Post in collaboration with Girl Lane
While I’ve been occupied with settling Gilbert into high school, I’ve also been busy helping Matilda settle into her last year of primary school. She’ll be 12 later this year and is already making the transition from tween to teen.
Her emotions are running high, her skin is changing, hormones are coming into effect, her body is developing and the social challenges in the playground are becoming even more complicated. Becoming a teenager is huge for any child. But, it’s harder for kids on the autism spectrum.
They’re already challenged by unwritten social rules, sensory sensitivities, communication barriers, emotional disregulation, anxiety and misunderstanding of their needs. Puberty is an extra layer of complexity for our kids to navigate.
It’s hard to imagine how difficult that would be to go through.
I love to see her smiling!
One of our ongoing concerns for Matilda as she moves into the teenage years is her hygiene practices. Highly sensitive to touch, she’s never been enthusiastic about hair brushing, body washing, shampooing, toileting, tooth brushing and other basic hygiene practices.
It can be physically painful for her to undertake these tasks. In the past, she’s often tried to avoid them.
This year, she is making more of an effort and has settled on a night-time routine that suits her. But she still needs regular prompting and reminders in the morning when getting ready for the day. I want to work with her to ensure her hygiene and skin care needs are met, while also keeping in mind her sensory sensitivities.
To help us out, Girl Lane, an Australian company dedicated to looking after girls’ delicate skin, sent through some products for us to trial.
Girl Lane was founded by 3 mums, one of whom is an award winning pharmacist, after they couldn’t find skin care products suitable for their own daughters.
Pharmacist formulated, using natural and botanical ingredients, Girl Lane’s range of skin, body and hair care products has been made especially for girls.
I particularly love their focus on helping girls be natural, be unique and be themselves:
You are ‘you’nique! And we love you that way!
We’re all different, which we at Girl Lane think is a great thing!
We think you shine brightest when you are just being yourself. Things can get more complicated as you get older, but feeling confident in yourself should be as simple as just being you.
This is the perfect message for any girl, particularly autistic girls struggling to fit in and understand their own needs.
For the purposes of this review, we received the following products:
- Girl Lane High Protection Sunscreen 50+ (RRP $9.99)
- Girl Lane Gentle Cleansing Wipes (RRP $6.99)
- Girl Lane Intensive Hydration Mist (RRP $11.99)
- Girl Lane Paw Paw Lip Balm (RRP $5.29)
- Girl Lane Metallic Bag (RRP $10.00)
Matilda was given the task of undertaking the review. She LOVED the look of the bag and the products inside and was excited to find out they were just for her.
The lip balm was a favourite, as were the wipes (handy too on nights she couldn’t face having a shower). She was a little confused by the hydration mist and absolutely refused to spritz it on her face as she was terrified it’d get in her eyes. But she loved the feel of the spray on her arms – perfect for warm days!
Here’s her review. Excuse Delilah singing in the background!
As a parent, I think these products are an easy and non-threatening way of introducing skin care to our girls. They are made for sensitive skin and I would definitely recommend them to others looking to guide their tweens into the teen years.
I was also very impressed with the level of detail I received when I asked co-founder, Deborah Williams, about the suitability of the products for my sensory-avoiding daughter. Check out my questions (and her answers) below:
1. What is your number one tip for introducing primary aged girls to a skin care routine?
Keep it simple. A skincare routine needs to be gentle and easy to follow, but most importantly, young girls need to want to do it. Introducing too many steps when starting to look after skin makes it too complicated and it feels like a chore instead of a fun, healthy habit.
Introducing a skin care routine will help reduce skin problems in the future, and that’s the key to maintaining the beautiful skin our children have. A good cleanser and moisturiser with SPF 50+ are great starters.
2. What does a skin care routine look like for a primary aged girl? (It’s been a while since I was that age!)
Young skin is constantly exposed to harmful free radicals and pollution from the environment and our surroundings, and is also constantly at risk of damage from the sun. This is especially so for tweens, because they are so active and constantly outdoors.
For a primary aged girl, a skincare routine should be using a gentle face wash that is specifically formulated for young skin to remove dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells and sweat from the skin. This should be followed by a moisturiser with a high SPF. No matter the skin type, a moisturiser is integral to help balance the skin’s moisture barrier.
3. Any chemicals or products we should particularly avoid giving to our girls?
Understanding skin and skincare ingredients is really daunting for any parent. Most products that work well on mature skin are simply not suitable for tweens, because they have different skin needs, and their skin is less resilient with an immature barrier in comparison to adult skin.
A good example of this is the ingredient dimethicone. This is a silicon that is present in many moisturisers and foundations. It traps in moisture and makes the skin feel velvety smooth. This is effective for mature skin, however for a tween, dimethicone traps in not only moisture, but oil and bacteria which are present in fluctuating levels in tweens and leads to inflammation, stinging and breakouts. GL products are dimethicone free to ensure optimal oil and hydration balance, without unwanted side effects.
I can’t stress enough, choosing products specially and professionally formulated for young skin means that it will be significantly less likely to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities because every ingredient chosen has been included because it suits the skin type.
4. How can we best help our girls deal with sensitive skin and/or sensory sensitivities when it comes to using products and starting a skin care routine?
All children need encouragement to take extra care of their bodies and personal hygiene as they start to reach puberty. For children on the spectrum, including a skincare routine in their daily schedule can be a useful tool to get them looking after their skin.Use a visual schedule in words or pictures and place it in the bathroom. Add the steps of washing your face and applying moisturiser after brushing teeth. For children with heightened sensitivity to tactile stimulation, it might be a good idea to start by creating and reading a story about skincare. Encourage your child to perform the skin care routine on you, first the face wash, then the moisturiser.
Choose a wash that only needs to be applied and tissued off (no water needed – like the Girl Lane wash) and use a light moisturiser, not a heavy cream, as these choices will feel more comfortable on the skin. Cleansing wipes can be used on the face and body as needed (after sports or after running around at lunchtime when sweat can cause increased skin inflammation) and stored in a school bag. They don’t sting the skin and are a simple alternative to a fluid based cleanser.
I’m really impressed with the level of detail and care Girl Lane take with their products. Deborah’s advice reassured me and even educated me on skin care too (mind you, my skin routine is a shower in the morning….!)
Girl Lane products can be ordered online or purchased through your local Priceline pharmacy.
If you have girls on the spectrum, I definitely recommend giving Girl Lane products a go!
Disclaimer: I received Girl Lane products valued at $44.26 (RRP) for the purposes of undertaking this review. No other monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own (except for Matilda’s, obviously!)