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MD advice for moms: When to start a skincare program with your daughter

Mother with Teenage Daughter reading Magazine

With everyone from Jessica Simpson to Justin Bieber hocking beauty loot, there are products ‘a plenty in the marketplace luring your pre-teen girl to get her primp on. While these beauty products promise a great deal of glamour and fun, you may have asked yourself what’s really necessary or healthiest for her skin over the long haul.

What the Doctor Says
According to board-certified dermatologist, Jessica J. Krant, M.D. founder of Art of Dermatology on 5th Avenue in NYC, everyone’s exact age to start a skin care regimen differs slightly. The reason is because everyone matures at a different pace and has different natural skin issues to manage. She explains when the best time to start a routine with your daughter, and which basic products are best.

When to Worry About Skin Care
A good age to start thinking about your skincare regimen is during early puberty, which spans a wide range, occurring among individuals between the ages of 9 and 14. This is when the body’s hormones start to rev up oil production and the first signs of acne can begin.

At this age, gentle cleansing with a moisturizing beauty bar or a glycerin bar is often enough, especially if followed by daily application of a light moisturizer for sensitive skin that contains SPF 15 or higher.

Add Antioxidants and Retinols with Age
Depending on how significant your acne, or how sensitive your skin is to different conditions, this basic skincare routine may be enough to get you through college and into your mid to late 20s. After college, add a plant-based antioxidant moisturizer. Some options include green tea, coffeeberry, feverfew and soy. Using this product at night while you sleep can help gently reverse the damage that the sun and environment are already accumulating on your skin.

By 30, it’s time to start considering a topical retinoid – a derivative of Vitamin A, to use sparingly at night. Krant recommends starting with an over-the-counter retinol during this decade. If you already have deepening, visible lines and more dullness than average, you should consider seeing your dermatologist for a prescription of Tretinoin. A pea-sized amount or less nightly will help start to reverse multiple signs of aging and slow the development of future ones.

For more information on skin health, see the American Academy of Dermatology’s website.

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Tricia Chaves
By: Tricia Chaves

In spite of being the baby girl of the family with five brothers, Tricia Chaves was never destined to be a tomboy. As a latch-key kid growing up in Cleveland, the corner drugstore makeup aisle was a treasure trove, when she wasn’t in the kitchen or library. With a mom as a manicurist, the salon became an after-school hangout in high school. Still in her teens, she became a Mary Kay consultant and helped women build their confidence by teaching them how to care for their skin and apply cosmetics. Today she works full time as a freelance writer giving tips on her favorite topics: food, gardening, glamour and travel on sites like Tyra Banks’ TypeF, USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle. With her husband and three Pomeranians, she calls Rio de Janeiro home. In November 2011, Tricia created Cover Look Collection. On her site, she teams up with an esteemed group of celebrity MDs, beauty and style experts to create "How To" guides that help men and women in the real world achieve current magazine cover looks. Tricia and her team of Cover Look Correspondents blog about beauty and fashion with tips and products for living a fabulous lifestyle.