Share: how young did you start on skin care?

Some of you may remembering reading this news I posted some time back on my Facebook page regarding a California mother who was injecting her 8-year-old daughter with botox in preparation for a beauty pageant. The outrageous news sparked plenty of unsavory comments about the mother, and the mildest was that she was being “dumb”. Well, it seems that the news was a hoax after the mother claimed that her scandalous tale is bogus and scripted by the newspaper. But bogus or not, it seems that she has temporarily lost custody of her daughter as the case is undergoing investigation.

But if the news is true, it is indeed stupid of the mother because kids do not need botox since they do not have wrinkles to begin with. In fact, I don’t even take special care to wash my 8-year-old’s face with anything. His shampoo and body wash doubles up as his facial cleanser. Realistically, I don’t think his face needs much attention until his teens except using sunscreen when he’s out under the hot sun now.

I started late
Maybe I come across as indifferent about my child’s skin care but that’s because I’m quite late with skin care myself; I only began caring for my skin at about 18 years old. Believe it or not, I was swimming about three times a week in my teenage years under the blazing hot sun without applying any sunscreen. I was using normal shower soap to wash my face and I only started to use the Neutrogena cleansing soap when I was around 18 years old. And on an off, I would use some of my mother’s products from Oil of Ulan (now Olay) or Hazeline Snow. In fact, I did not even moisturize my skin till I was around 21 years old or so! I attribute it to the aircon in the lecture theatres that caused my skin to cry out for moisturizer and thus, my first foray into the world of skin care with products from Clinque.

In hindsight, those years without moisturizing didn’t do much damage to my skin but not slathering sunscreen was a major regret.

How about you ladies? At what age did you start on skin care and what did you use? Did you ever wish you’ve started younger?


  1. EcoBeauty says:

    I guess I started young but dumb. LOL. When I was in high school, I used this chemical exfoliant for some time without using any sunblock/moisturizer on top of it. That’s when my skin started to get uneven. I was also a swimmer in my younger years and I never bothered to apply sunblock. As for moisturizers, I think I only really started 2-3 years ago. Haha, I have a lot of regrets but no use crying over spilled milk. I’m just focusing on trying to repair my skin and prevent further damage now.

  2. Angel says:

    I started getting into skincare when I was 18, (22 now). But my acne had made it so complicated to get a good routine and find the right product. I’m still struggling to find the perfect sunscreen and cleanser, etc for my skin. I keep up to date with skincare knowledge and research a lot of ingriddnets, but I feel that I’m still behind now since I don’t have a solid routine.

    I haven’t yet found a SS that is good for my skin, but I do wear big sunglasses and a hat when I go out and SS around my eyes , hands and neck and stay out of the sun.
    Luckily, when I was a kid I wasn’t really an outdoor person. I never tanned and when I did go to the beach, I slathered on tons of SS because I hated sunburns! (I didn’t even know about the anti aging aspect at the time)

    I don’t think it’s ever too late to start, and you just have to keep tweaking until you get something that works for you. I wish I had started a routine at 15. If I knew what I know now, I think I would be even happier. ?

  3. claire says:

    My sister is addicted to skin care…haha i guess it is a good thing. Started from 18 or 19, she has been spending a lot of money buying tons of skin care products and spending at least 2 hours every night on masks. No kidding!

    She is 4 years older than me and people first meet us would think she is my younger sister. That’s hurt.

    I really think it pays off the money and afford when there are people say and think she is a 22-year-old. (she is now 30!!!)

    P.S. I really like your blog!

  4. Alexandra says:

    I remember my first cleanser at 15 years of age was Eversoft, then Biore. I foolishly thought that cleansers are the ‘all in one thing'( cleanse,tone and moisturise) that I never follow up with toner and moisturiser.

    Then Clinique was my 1st 3 step skincare at 20. Never bothered with the importance of sunscreen( even when I was a swimmer during school days ) until 11 years later:(

    I’d wished to have known the importance of skincare routine during my younger days, so that now, I don’t need to spend so much on the reparing phase.

  5. Nikki says:

    Crazy on the mother injecting an 8year old daughter with BOTOX! What the hell was she thinking?

    I’m not sure if I started young but I started to use moisturizer around senior year highschool? Or probably first year college! The facial wash though, I’ve started to use Johnson’s Clean & Clear (for my crazy hormonal acne) around junior high! ? I guess it’s just right?

  6. Rennie says:

    I started during the beginning of high school when I had a huge acne breakout period. My parents are blessed with beautiful skin and had little to none issues with their skin even when they were teens so they had no idea how to help me out with my skin problems. So it was during that period I learned a LOT about skincare (cleanser, toner, acne treatment etc..) and about my own skin and I’m glad I did. I think learning about skin care early definitely helps especially for those with more troubled skin.

  7. stella says:

    i guess my mom started it for me when i was in primary school coz i started to get teenage acne (early). but i was really lax about it, which contributed to worsening skin till i was about 15 when i started taking better care of it; but with the lack of thorough info like we have on the internet now, i wasn’t using any sunscreen and was in fact on AHA!

    thankfully, i’ve pretty thick (hehee) skin which heals fairly well so other than scars, my skin’s all in order at the grand old age of 30+…so i’m trying to minimize them scars now– very tall order–but skin’s responding well to laser at least

  8. Ms. Blacklace says:

    I started using facial wash when I was 13 years old. It was Johnson and Johnson. Cheap stuff. We were quite poor back then. So I depended on free samples. I just washed, I didn’t moisturize or tone.

    Then I started moisturizing when I was 18. I used Garnier and Witch products. I started working then so I had enough to get “higher end” products.

    I started out wearing sunblock on a regular basis during the later half of the year I turned 18. Used L’Oreal sunscreen. From when I was 18 to 21 I experimented on different ways of cleansing, different brands and different sunblock.

    But when I was 21 [I’m 22 now] I found the right combination for my skin and I very very seldom get breakouts now:
    – John Masters Organics Bear berry foaming facial wash.
    – L-Ascorbic Acid Serum [DIY] when I start getting the time of the month acne spot.
    – Sea buckthorn oil for moisturizing.
    – Neroli/Lemon Balm Hydorsol.
    – Marie Veronique Organics Sunscreen.
    – Cure exfoliating gel [use twice a week].

    I don’t do the oil cleansing method anymore as it is very time consuming, and I would get acne spots here and there.

  9. Ms. Blacklace says:

    I actually wished I found this combination when I started working part time when I was 17.

    Only the facial wash and sunblock is expensive, but I save money on moisturizer and acne treatments.

    And I wished I wore sunblock on my face everyday when I was in secondary school. I only wore sunblock when I went to the beach or went swimming.

    However, I think that you also know that finding the right products will take time and lots of samples.

  10. Jennifer says:

    My mother bought me my first products (toner and moisturiser) when I was 12 because I wanted to have what the grown-ups used.
    I’ve also used sunblock religiously my whole life. When I was a child, my mother made me use it whenever I went out and in my teenage years I was a “Goth” and thus wanted to stay as pale as possible. And now I use it to prevent my skin from aging too quickly.
    …I’d say I’m a good customer for the cosmetics industry ?

  11. sesame says:

    I wouldn’t call it dumb but more like ignorant and I was like that too even up to my late 20s. But you’re right…no use crying over spilled milk. ?

  12. sesame says:

    True about tweaking. Just have to find something that works for your skin…only that it may take awhile. Meanwhile, do not get tempted by new products in the market. LOL.

    But personally, I find internal health has got more effects on the skin. Maybe that’s something you can look at for your acne issue.

    And very good you started on sun protection early. You’ll thank yourself for that in future.

  13. sesame says:

    Oh wow, your sis is very fanatic about skin care but she’s doing well for being thought to be 8 years younger!

    And thanks for saying you like my blog. It made my day. ?

  14. sesame says:

    Haha…think you’re not alone in that “all in one” idea. I probably thought the same about my soap…or more like I have no idea what is moisturizing at all.

    And seems like a numer of us were tardy with sunscreen in our younger days.

  15. sesame says:

    Yeah, many pple were angry with the mother and reported her…that’s why it seems she has lost custody of her daughter now.

    Your skincare during you younger days is quite good! At least you started moisturizing early!

  16. sesame says:

    I see…but good thing you learnt and that must have helped your skin condition heaps. It’s really great that you have resources like Internet to help too. In my days, no Internet at all and as young girls, I think we didn’t care much about skincare. But I did remember using an umbrella to walk from the school to the bus stop daily.

  17. sesame says:

    Yes, no info from Internet like now! The girls now are more blessed with forums, websites and blogs to find out more info.

    Oh speaking about AHA…I was like you. I did one AHA treatment in my late 20s and didn’t use sunscreen too. I think that ruin my skin quite a bit…maybe more so than the years of swimming without sunscreen.

    But definitely good that you are happy with your skin care treatments instead of aiming for perfection. I know of some pple with perfect looking skin and still not happy with it.

  18. BT says:

    Living in tropical climate, until 12 year-old, my mom only asked me to cleanse my face every morning with a face towel dampened with warm water.

    Then I involved in many outdoor activities in 12 year-old and started having freckles, since then my mom gave me a skin care balm to tackle my freckles but my freckles never faded. Finally I found out the truth and source of freckles from my brother’s encyclopedia around 14 year-old, understand that – sunlight is the root cause for freckles and freckles would never disappeared. Still, I continued using a drugstore cleanser and moisturizer that my mom suggested until adulthood.

    Having sensitive and no-issue skin at young, now I actually glad I only used cleanser since 12 year-old (skin became very oily). For young kid, the skin cell turnover is very healthy and fast, chemical stuff is actually not necessary at all. May be I didn’t play in mud that need strong cleanse? (“b)

  19. sesame says:

    It’s great that you have found the right combo for your skin and better still that you’re young! That means your skin will look younger as you age. ?

  20. sesame says:

    Yeah, definitely takes time and also takes resistance to not want to try every other products! LOL.

    I think not wearing sunscreens in our younger days is quite a regret for a number of us. But sunscreen wasn’t “in fashion” till these later years so well, the timing wasn’t right too.

  21. sesame says:

    Oh you have to thank your mom! Because she made you use sunblock so religiously, your skin did not need to live through the damage like some of us.

    My mom actually nagged at me regarding using umbrella and wearing a hate and also to avoid the sun. But I was a rebellious girl. So bad customer there! ?

  22. sesame says:

    Haha…not playing the mud? No mud pack? It might help your skin more you know. Heheh. ?

    But you certainly raised a good point…young pple have good skin cell turnover and so there is really no need to use unnecessary stuff on their skin. Basic skin care should suffice. And I have to applaud you for bothering to check up your brother’s encyclopedia about your skin condition then!

  23. Reena says:

    When I was in my teens, I was totally clueless about skin care. I just wash my face with cleanser and I’m good to go. I don’t even know anything about toners and moisturizers…lol. Good thing I was blessed with genes because if I wasn’t I would have realllly bad skin due to my poor skin care routine. I actually have normal to combo skin so I’d notice some areas of my face gets a little dry and flaky.

    I started to do “proper” skin care routine two years ago, and boy what a great difference it makes! My skin is now younger looking and much more evenly toned. Should have done this years ago. lol…

    Btw, this is a very nice post. I like your blog! ?

  24. Cristina says:

    I started using acne treatment products really young. I had really bad acne and by the age of 13 I had already tried a lot of stuff. I only washed my face with water until my mid-twenties, anything I tried would make me break out or hurt my face. I only found out that you could apply sunscreen to your face when I went to a dermatologist for the 1st time(at 13)!
    Only started using sunscreen everyday at 25! I have very acne-prone skin and I don’t get why people often complain that all sunscreens breaks them out…I find moisturizers and make up to be a lot more pore clogging! (I don’t use them, they turn me into a “human cactus”).

  25. pf1123 says:

    I was using cheap drugstore/mama shop products when I start having acne in my teenage years. I was abt 20 when I did my first facial, battling with acne. There I was introduced to skin care which actually suits my skin. It is only when I was 26, that I started using sunblock. Very late.

  26. iheartkoreanbeauty says:

    Hmmm.. pretty young! I think I started using a real facial wash (as in instead of just splashing your face with water) when I was like 10! ?

  27. sesame says:

    It’s good you’re having a proper skin care routine…definitely make a difference!

    And thanks for saying you like my blog. Come back often. ?

  28. sesame says:

    Oh moisturizers cause your pores to clog? It’s probably the ingredients. But if your sunscreen can double up as a moisturizer, then it should suffice.

  29. sesame says:

    I think I started on sunblock around that time but the SPF was low and also, not sure if the products were effective.

  30. sesame says:

    Oh that’s young! But not a problem as long as it suit your skin then. ?

  31. Abby says:

    Not until when I was 18 (I’m 22 now) that I started the 3-step skincare program, tho I started using facewash when I was 15. My skincare routine since then just gets more and more elaborate as I can now earn some money from my part time job, to my mum’s dismay haha

    My mum was a strong opponent of using skincare products coz she thought they were all toxic chemicals (which is quite true). She has been using a bit of moisturizer in the morning but that’s it.

    I didn’t like to use sunscreen when I was young but I didn’t like to get tanned either so I wore big hat and super protective clothing when I was out, sunny day or not. I think that still counts lol

  32. stella says:

    yea harsh treatments like aha, witch hazel and benzol peroxide WITHOUT sunscreen during my teenage years probably damaged my skin a great deal!

    good thing i discovered sunscreen when i was 20 or so and have been using it religiously since. my skin improved tremendously and being pretty fanatical about skincare, i even get the all-clear on my skin from beauty consultants now…since they’re sales oriented, i’ll take it that these peeps are just being honest

    so take it from someone who used to suffer from bad cystic acne for years–there’s nothing that cannot be improved on, you just need to really work on it and be conscientious! but yes…it can cost quite a bit.

  33. sesame says:

    I think you’re doing all right. Something simple since you’re still yound and don’t have problems with your skin. Good that you wore big hat and protective clothing – that must have helped somewhat. ?

  34. Miggs says:

    Hmmm…I think I started late, like my early 20’s. When I was younger I only used Noxeema to clean my face, but then again, it was for everyone in the house, including my brothers. We always went to the beach, so I was always getting burnt, but really didn’t think of anything but sunblock and face powder. It was only when I got to college did I realize how uneven my skin was and how other young people had craters on their face from popping their zits. Ew. I use Olay now as my primary skincare line and I love it. The best thing for skin is a lot of maintenance, not layers of makeup.

  35. sesame says:

    I believe some skin problems can be reversed, especially with the slew of treatments available in the market. But I’m trying to rely on natural treatments for now. They’re definitely slower but I do see improvements.

  36. hazel says:

    Well, I sort of started young, coz I had HUGE cystic zits on my face and my mum brought me to a facial lady to calm my skin. Having those huge zits on my face really dampened my confidence. I think I was about 14?
    Like you, I used to swim a lot… but just swim, I would tan as well. I used to use SUN TAN lotion with ZERO spf! I am soOOooo totally regretting it now.

  37. sesame says:

    Zits do make us lose our self-esteem. I felt I didn’t even want to raise my head on those days I had acne.

  38. Carrie says:

    My mom was a skin care frantic so I think I started rather young as well… Perhaps at the age of 14?! Can’t really remember! But all I could remember was that she told me which cleansing lotion to use, which moisturizer to put on and can’t get out of the house without sunscreen! But to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention at that time anyway! It’s until when I reach late teens that I started to decide what’s right for myself rather than sharing the products with her, coz both of us got really different skin types ?

  39. N. says:

    Botox on a child? What’s even the point? Jesus. . .

    I think I started when I was 15-16. I’m 17 right now, 18 in December. And I guess right after I started I discovered about ingredients, about the harm of chemicals and now I’m currently converting slowly to organic skin care. And actually investing in skin care I need. Which before was only sunscreen and a moisturizer. But now I want to use more things so that my skin can improve. But my skin was never exposed to heavy sun since I’m pretty pale and my mom used carry an umbrella over me. And my sister is younger and even paler and she uses protective clothing. I guess I have to thank my mom for taking care. Although the skin care was all me since she is not very keen or patient to take care of her skin so I basically take care of her skin as well.

  40. lynne says:

    Sigh. I only started around 21 (I’m 24 now) because prior to that I was a complete tomboy / slob who did not care for my hair, skin or clothes, basically anything to do with my appearance at all. That is a HUGE regret now because I’m left with enlarged pores and some acne scars that probably cannot be fixed by anything except expensive clinical procedures, which I am currently saving up for. ?

  41. sesame says:

    Wow, another one who benefited from her mom! It’s good advice…and even though you didn’t start at 14 but you did get started in your late teens so you must be reaping the rewards now! ?

  42. sesame says:

    Yes, it was a crazy story and now the mom has lost custody because of that. Many said she’s unfit to be a mother.

    Oh geez…you are still so young! So starting earlier means you have great skin down the road! How I wish I started protecting my skin from the sun at that age instead of being such an ignorant fool.

  43. sesame says:

    Well, don’t be discouraged. Your skin can still be helped and you are still young…your skin cell is still strong and health. ?

  44. Ct says:

    I started using sunblock when I was about 21. At that time I thought it was cute having freckles and loved being dark. Now I’m regretting but never too late to start.

  45. sesame says:

    But you look so fair now! I don’t see any spots!

  46. Issa says:

    I guess I started late because during my younger years, I just try whatever my mom is using and I don’t use it religiously. I only started moisturizing about 2 years ago. Oh well, better late than never!

  47. Soos says:

    I live in HAWAII. We went to the beach and used TANNING lotions and oils, not sunscreen! I was fortunate never to have skin problems UNTIL I had my son. Can you say adult ACNE? To this day, I still use a topical antibacterial and Retin-A and my son is 25 years old. It’s a JOURNEY to find what works, and it changes all the time. Use the right cleansers – different ones for morning and night. NO TONER for me – no matter how “gentle” they claim to be, they strip my skin and it just starts producing more OIL. At night I use serums, for day, moisturizer with 30 spf AND AHA. Though I break out occasionally, I can bring the blemishes under control. I have some hyperpigmentation, but I can live with it rather than using harsh chemicals to fade it. I would recommend everyone cleanse properly, use sunscreen, moisturize and use eye cream. I do not look my age. And don’t forget hand cream – Google Kirstie Alley to find out why.

  48. sesame says:

    Yeah true…better late than never.

  49. sesame says:

    I share the same feelings with you about hyperpigmentation. I used to try AHA and even went for laser treatments but I realized those are too harsh. So like you, I rather go with something more natural and even though the marks are around, I live with them.

    Good that you look young! Hand and neck creams are as important as face creams. ?

  50. youngorgeous says:

    I only started after my 23rd birthday! Very late I reckon as previously I was totally bo-chap and is now having pigmentation on my cheeks though i’ve yet to turn 26..

    regret? definitely not knowing about sunblock!

  51. sesame says:

    If your pigmentation is not so severe, it can still be improved with the right products – try those with vitamin C especially L-Ascorbic.

  52. youngorgeous says:

    Thanks dear! I’ve been using off the counter products that promises to fade a lil bit..shall check out new products that has L-Ascorbic!

  53. youngorgeous says:

    maybe i should try lustre skin pro tablets too! WOW..i’ve never said this before but your blog is AWEEEEEEsome! =)

  54. sesame says:

    Usually they do offer some skin tone evening effect but if you go for those with L-Ascorbic and the ingredient is stable, the effects can be more obvious.

  55. sesame says:

    Oh thanks dear! ?

  56. Lore says:

    I started using one of my mom’s clay masks when i was like 13, just playing around ?
    But she said it would break me out so she got me the 3 step program from clinique and it helped me keep clear, chid-like skin until i was about 20, when i got acne.
    Then I had to seriously start taking care of my skin and tried other products.

    I regret having facials (with extractions) when i first started having problems with my skin, because it made it a lot worse.

  57. sesame says:

    While you started young!

    Yes, extractions are not so good for our skin especially if performed. So is steaming.

  58. Kristen says:

    I started young, probably around 13 but at 18 and went almost straight to Shiseido products. Been wearing sunscreen since 17 and people do think I am really young now that I am 30. I do spend quite a lot of money on skin care and do research like crazy. I have to thank my mom and older sister for pushing me to take care of my skin.

  59. sesame says:

    Good that you use sunscreen at an early age! It really helps to preserve your skin in a better state. How I wish I started that early.

  60. Swati says:

    Me too Sesame…I was pretty late in my skin care though I was prescribed sunscreen at an age of 14-15 but I never used it regularly and still don’t which is really bad…but I think one can start a minimal skin care routine while entering into the teenage coz many acne and breakouts start at that time due to the hormonal changes…
    Swati last post is: Tomato for Vitamin C {Tip of the Day}

  61. sesame says:

    At least we can console ourselves that it’s never too late to start. ?

  62. Thao says:

    I’m 16 now, but at the start of freshmen year of high school, my skin became really bad & I started to break out. 9th grade was really horrible for me. However, my mum and dad took me to the dermatologist the following summer and he prescribed to me a prescription that treated my acne. Plus a drugstore moisturizer for my skin. I think it was the best decision that I ever made for my skin because now after a whole year, all my horrible (and it was HORRIBLE) acne and acne scars went away and I have really healthy skin. Can I tell you a secret? My dream is to be a dermatologist. I don’t know why but I just do. I was 9 years old when I saw a ProActive commercial and I decided that career is the one for me. I was so amazed by how confident the people were that that one skin care product got rid of their acne. Is it weird. Was it destined? I don’t know. Even now at 16 I still want to become a dermatologist and I am into skin care like crazy. More than the average person -_- But I enjoy every skin thing I research. The only thing is that I want to go to medical school but my dad says our family cannot afford it (he’s 59 right now) I told him I will pay for it because I don’t want him and mom to be in so much debt, that I’ll get loans and everything and even though my family doesn’t have enough money to pay for medical school, I can pay for it myself because any dream is possible if I just believe in myself. i feel like i want to cry (in the good way though) because I believe in myself to be able to want so bad to go through college medical school and everything else to be what i want to be.. thx sesame, ur blog is really awesome and so are you. <3

    p.s. i started my own skin care blog too and your blog on steaming is really inspirational to me. i gave you the credit, sorry is it okay if i use your steaming picture? i thought it was really pretty. i will take it off if you want. please check it out. ?

  63. sesame says:

    Hi Thao: Your aspiration is commendable! Yes, chase your dreams! It’s good that you have a motivation to work towards…pple should always have a clear goal of what they want. I will pray for you too, that you’ll be blessed to reign in your life. ?

    I saw your blog. Thanks for the link. You can use the picture no problems as long as you give a link back. I’m more concern with pple taking my content.

  64. Elle says:

    Botox for an 8 year old? Too much. I start planning to care for anti-aging when I’m….23 xD
    I might be the youngest person here. I’m just 15. Started my first “beauty routine” when I was 12, I think. My very first routine was cleanse-medicate. My sister, who is 2 years older, had tons of pimples and being fair, freckles. My mother’s face also has pimple scars. Scared me to think I would get those too, so started real early. Only became savvy now about picking the right products though.

  65. Sesame says:

    It’s good to start proper skincare early with simple products. I think teenagers do need to care well for their skin or they may have to grow up nursing plenty of acne scars.

  66. yen cheng says:

    I’m now 18 but i started slapping sunscreen on when i was just 15 ? and believe it or not, i’m already afraid of getting old and have started massaging my face using the tanaka method ever since i watched it from ur blog. izit too early anyway? :s

  67. Sesame says:

    No, I think it’s good to start earlier as long as you don’t load your skin with heavy creams.

  68. Julie says:

    I started as early as 14 yrs old…n nw im 19..ive been into diy skin care since i was 17..i will use yoghurt n strawberry as a mask n sometimes rubbing papaya on my elder sis n brother will always tease me for putting all these stuff on my face bt i dont care cos i see a huge diff in my skin..they are more glowy…i never miss a day out without sunblock even if its just a 15 min out gng grocerry..haha..ive stop using commercial cleanser a yr ago n have since using rice flour and grinder oatmeal..oh n i love bedak sejuk on my face!!! i love all ur post n i learn soo many things..thank you!!!! Muahh…glad i found ur blog:)))

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