My early teenage skincare “routine” consisted of a bit of apricot scrub that I bought with my own money and sparingly used because I didn’t want it to run out. No moisturiser. Sunscreen only when going to the beach. And the odd squeeze of a zit.
Not much of a routine at all really. Then at 18 while studying (and working) in the big smoke, I discovered my first skincare counter and was seduced by the white, clean lines and “computer” skin analysis at Clinque. Most days I’d achieve the 1-2-3 steps.
Things – including my skin – improved from that day on and now life has gone full circle. I have a 14-year-old daughter. At the risk of sounding like MY mother, I don’t think she realises how good she’s got it.
For starters, she has a mum who actually knows her shiz when it comes to skincare. And she has a mum who believes is getting her daughter started on a regime that is going to protect her skin for years to come.
And she also has a mum who will share an afternoon at a spa with her, introducing her to the wonders – and benefits – of a facial and massage.*
I know this sounds indulgent. And it is. My first facial was in my mid-20s.
But, you know what? I’m all for it as a special treat and some mother-daughter bonding time during the school holidays. It’s also a way to help her skin stay vaguely balanced as it travels the rocky hormonal highway of those teenage years.
And that’s what really impressed me most about our visit to Ikatan Balinese Day Spa in Noosa.
Oh, ok, you got me, that last sentence was SO not true. I’ve been to Ikatan before and I’m always amazed at how the owners – Katrina Thorpe and Nicholas Pilditch – have created a tropical, Balinese-inspired beauty oasis 10 minutes from the beach.
From the moment you step out of your car and check this sign, you know that you’re in for something special. Hands up who’d like to be able to pop up a similar message at home some time?
The spa is a collection of Balinese pavilions surrounded by lush, tropical gardens. The chill-out effect is immediate and very, very welcome. It’s backed up my beauty and massage therapists who are trained in providing results-driven treatments that go beyond the relaxation factor.
Teenage treatments included.
Katrina said they had asked teenagers what spa treatments they would like to experience. “The response was great to see how keen teenagers are to look after their skin and chill out from studying with a massage. It’s not just for the girls either, the boys are booking in with mum and dad too,” she said.
My daughter and I are in the double room at Ikatan, the two beds covered in Balinese-printed linen sit side by side. She is having a Teen Time treatment ($140 for a combination of a 30 minute massage followed by a 30 minute Elemis facial designed for teen skin); I’m having a 60-minute Environ facial ($120).
We are both talked through our treatments before being left to undress, lie back and enjoy. The 60 minutes is nothing short of blissful with a captial B. Or should that be capital S – for snoring – because that’s usually what I manage to do when my face, neck and decolletage is rhythmically massaged for this length of time. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
The one really bad thing about having a spa treatment? It’s that bit where they gentle nudge you and tell you it’s all over. On this occasion, I resist the urge to cry, instead listening in as my daughter’s therapist talks her through her particular skin concerns and how best to manage her skincare at home.
Katie explains to Alex that her skin is very sensitive. “A great deal of heat radiates from your cheeks. As you are a teen, there are a few blemishes on your forehead but the rest of the face is very pure. You need to cleanse morning and night, very gently. You can spend extra time on the forehead but not on your cheeks. Don’t put any hot water on your face and be very conscious of the sun.” She also suggests Alex take a zinc supplement to help with those forehead pimples.
There’s no hard product sell. Suggested products are listed out on a sheet to take away though (something I find incredibly helpful when coming to from a facial-induced coma) and I can tell that Alex has taken in some key skincare messages pertinent to her individual skin type that will set her in good stead for the future.
After all, the lessons aren’t coming from her mother, are they?
*My daughter and I were guests of Ikatan Balinese Day Spa in Noosa. This is not a paid or sponsored post.
Teen skincare suggestions
These products are not limited to use by teenagers. If you too are one of the incredibly *lucky* women to have both pimples AND wrinkles featuring on your face at the same time then you might find these are worth a try.
1. Ethical Nutrients Zinc Fix (about $17). We’ve always got this zinc and vitamin C powder in the cupboard as part of our cold and flu fighters weaponry. It wasn’t until Alex’s treatment at Ikatan that I realised that both my teens should be taking it every day for their skin. My 16-year-old son has moderately bad acne and I’ve noticed a big change in it since he started this. Available at pharmacies.
2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (250ml, $7.60). This cleanser is one that the whole family can use – even babies. It gets the seal of approval from dermatologists and it’s loved by celebs including Natalie Portman and Tara Moss. This cleanser moisturises as it cleanses, is free from fragrance, soap and lanolin and is gentle enough for use on baby skin. It’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores and is pH balanced. And did you check the price? Yep, it’s a no brainer on this one. Available at Priceline and pharmacies.
3. Twenty8 Balance Hydrating Moisturiser (50g, $67). Even if you have breakout skin, it’s super important to moisturise and keep you skin hydrated. A moisturiser that is light and includes ingredients designed to help balance out the oil production of your skin (Lavender, Geranium, Lime and Sandalwood) is what you need to look for. Yes, this might seem like a more expensive product for a teenager but a little does go a long way.
4. Dermalogica Clean Start Hit the Spot (10ml, $40). The Clean Start range by Dermalogica has been especially formulated for young skin. Having a product like this one to help target individual pimples is a good one to have in your skincare kit. Sulfur helps stop breakout-causing bacteria, clearing oil and congestion, then plant extracts soothe and help reduce redness and inflammation. Zinc sulfates help purify skin.
Do you have a teenager? What do they use on their skin? What about you? Do you have both zits and wrinkles? Do you think Mother Nature is playing a joke on us?