Product Review: Skincare for Kids

As women, we're inundated by ads for skincare products every day. They're pitched to us on TV, in magazines, online and at the mall. Most of us have made a few unwise expenditures of alleged miracle creams, and came out of it wiser, more savvy shoppers. Now, as moms, we're being courted by companies making skin products for our kids.

Some parents may let out a groan when we see the new skincare products formulated for kids. They're young, their skin is perfect as far as we can see, so do we really need to buy any more stuff?

Children's skincare products are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. First, the obvious. The scents, styles and packages of most of these products are cute and fun. They appeal to the kid in all of us. Of course, that's not the only reason to consider checking out children's skincare products.

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects us from illness, disease and injury, and we need to protect it from the weather, environmental pollutants and everyday wear and tear.

Buying kids their own skincare products can help them to learn about the importance of their skin, and get them accustomed to performing a daily skincare regimen.

Children's skincare products really are different from those formulated for adults, primarily because they're made for children's delicate, sensitive skin. There are many children's skincare products offered by companies that specialize in environmentally-friendly skincare and that feature ingredients straight from nature.

So, what types of skincare products do children need? It depends on your child's unique skincare needs, but there are some basics you'll want to look into.

Hand Washes

Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of our most common communicable illnesses. Parents could avoid much of the lost school and work time and the sniffly, sneezy misery of cold season if only children had more enthusiasm for hand-washing.

Kandoo Foaming Hand Wash by Pampers is one of the most popular mainstream pump hand washes for children. The pump format has been found to be more attractive for kids, and from a practical standpoint is much easier for them to use than bar soap. The one drawback of Kandoo is that it's not a very environmentally-friendly product because of the amount of plastic involved in the packaging. Ingredient-wise this is a basic mild soap, with no added moisturizers or special additions.

For families that prefer washes with lots of natural ingredients, Kiss My Face Kids Foaming Hand Wash is a great choice. It contains green tea extract, soothing aloe vera and citrus essential oils that not only smell great, but help get rid of dirt and grime, too.

Body Lotions

Children's body lotions are designed to keep kids' skin feeling soft and smelling yummy all day long. These products should be gentle and natural, using as many non-chemical ingredients as possible.

Just for Kids Body Lotion by Chartreuse is a safe and gentle lotion that's scented with lavender and chamomile. The combination makes for a lovely scent and calming effect.

Baby lotions can be used on kids (and adults) with good results. Choose one that's sheer and non-greasy with a light scent. Weightless Baby Nourishing Lotion by Avalon Baby is one such product. There are many similar natural body lotions for babies and kids available at your local health food store and online.

For kids with dry skin and minor skin irritations, simple, unscented moisturizers containing aloe vera and other soothing ingredients are great. Eucerin and Aquaphor work nicely, even though they're not marketed specifically for children.

Soaps and Body Wash

Depending on the kid, you may have to struggle to get him into the tub, or you may have to beg him to get out. Either way, fun and kid-friendly soaps and body washes can make the entire experience more pleasant for everyone involved.

JASON Kids Only! Bath Gel is natural and tear-free. These products gently cleanse without over-drying, leaving your child's skin in great shape. It comes in two delicious scents: Berry Burst and Tropical Twist.

For children who prefer the classic bar soap, there's Canus Lil' Goats Milk Soap. This Canadian product is phosphate-free, vegetable-based and lightly scented.

Body Oils

Body oils for babies and children have become increasingly popular as parents discover the benefits of baby/child massage and essential oils. If you're a parent who wants to add another soothing step to your child's bedtime routine, kids' body oils may be a good product for you.

California Baby has an excellent line of all-natural aromatherapy massage oils for kids and babies. The strategically scented oils are formulated to bring some peace and tranquility to kids who are cranky, overtired or suffering from cold and flu.

Acne Fighters

There comes a time in every parent's life when you realize your baby isn't a baby anymore. Unfortunately, that time often comes with the first sighting of acne on your tween's face.

Acne can be heartbreaking for a kid, and as parents we want to do whatever we can to ease their suffering. There are pharmaceutical medicines that are effective for acne, but sometimes it's good to start with some natural, preventative measures before hitting the pharmacy.

Zia Natural Skincare Balancing Elixir contains essential oils and phytonutrients that help heal existing acne and prevent further breakouts.

Young girls may be drawn to high-priced skin care products with fancy packaging, but those aren't always the best products for the job. Queen Helene Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub is a bargain-priced product that works surprisingly well. It helps remove dead skin and excess oils, but won't over-dry your skin.

Buying Only What You Need

It can be tempting to go wild and buy every kind of children's skincare product out there, but that will only hurt your wallet, clutter your bathroom and over-complicate your child's life.

Remember that the purpose of using separate skin products for children is that their skin needs gentler care. Some products marketed to kids are basically low-end adult skin products wrapped in child-attracting packaging. Read the labels. Test products on your own skin and give them a sniff. If they seem harsh or give off a chemical-based scent, leave them on the shelf.

Once you find a product that works for your child, you'll want to stick with it and possibly purchase other products from the same company's line.