How to best look after your children’s skin health

portrait of a girl with a bottle of sunscreen on the beach

As much as we wish kids could take care of their own skin, they’re normally off running around in the sun instead! As parents, it’s our job to make sure our children’s skin is taken care of and that they understand the importance of sun safety.

Below we’ve got five key things every parent should keep in mind when taking care of their kids’ skin — including resources to educate them on sun safety.

1. Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide

First up, here’s something easy for kids to remember (and adults too). Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide is one of our favourite life mottos here at Skin2.

Slip (on some sun protective clothing)

Slop (on some sunscreen)

Slap (on a sun protective hat)

Seek (some shade)

Slide (on a pair of sunnies)

Need a visual aid? Here’s Sid the Seagull singing the slip, slop, slap jingle. Teach your kid the tune and give it a quick sing the next time you’re out at the park, playground or beach.

2. Keep them hydrated

One of the best things you can do for your child’s skin health is make sure they’re fully refreshed. Dehydration can cause skin to become dull, itchy, or dry. In young children and babies it is also common to experience sunken eyes and cheekbones.

If you see any of these symptoms showing up in the skin of your child, ask them about the last time they last drank water.

If you’re child has a hard time remembering to stay hydrated we recommend a bottle with time markers and a fun pattern, like this one here.

3. Eat healthy

What foods should you be sneaking into your kids’ lunches for good skin?

No surprise that your classic fruits, veggies and nuts make the list, but we have some specific suggestions for you too:

· Tomatoes have the powerful antioxidant lycopene which helps build our skin’s natural protection against the sun.

· Carrots contain beta-carotene which has been shown to play an essential role in maintaining skin health and appearance.

· Walnuts are a great way of getting your kids’ omega-3 up. Deficiency of omega-3 can result in dry skin and scaling.

4. Avoid harsh chemicals

There’s always chatter about bad chemicals floating around in lunchboxes and water bottles. Do we take enough time to think about the chemicals which are harsh on our skin?

Sulphates and parabens are common in shampoos and skin care products, but they have a large range of downfalls. Both can irritate your skin, while sulphates are also commonly known to strip away natural and necessary oils from the body.

5. Educate

Skin health can be a big topic to get your head around, even as an adult.

For kids, understanding skin cancer, UV rays, and layers of the skin is a complicated task.

Thankfully, there’s lots of educational resources which are aimed directly at kids. Check out the videos done by Mayo Clinic, this sun safety campaign video featuring the Despicable Me minions, or this video of “George the Sun Safe Superstar”.

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