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Liz Thompson
Liz Thompson

Greening Our Teens for a Healthy Future

Beata Zita

Creative Commons License Photo credit: ckaroli

As adults we know what is good for us.  And, of course, our job as parents is to look after our kids; teach them manners and respect, make sure they get enough exercise, eat a healthy diet.  But do we take as much notice of which personal care products they are using?

A study done by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2008 on adolescent exposure to chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products revealed some alarming statistics.  In 20 teen girls aged 14-19 16 chemicals from four chemical families were detected.  These chemicals - phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and musks – are linked to potential health concerns, including hormone disruption and cancer.

Most everyone by now has heard of parabens (widely used synthetic preservatives) and the harmful effects they can have on our health, including links to breast cancer.  This study by the EWG is the first to expose statistics for parabens in teens.  And the results are disturbing, with two types of parabens detected in each girl tested.

Couple this information with the fact that teenage girls typically use more products (girls=17, women=12 on average) each day than adult women, upping their exposure to harmful chemicals.

We can and should educate our girls, preferably pre-teen, to the dangers of toxic cosmetic and skin care products and guide them toward recognizing which ones are safe to use.

Face Boutique is new to the skin care scene.  Specifically designed for girls in their teens, the line is free from harmful chemical ingredients and non-irritating.  The products control sebum production, reduce breakouts, minimize pores and keep skin clear and healthy.  And the colorful retro packaging ups the cool quotient.

Lavera also makes a line for young adults and those with acne.  Young Faces Mint line for Oily and Problem Skin clears the skin of breakouts by balancing oil production and soothes and calms irritated skin.  The line includes five products made with mint, rosemary and citrus fruit and is certified by the BDIH.

You can also find a wide range of makeup products to suit our experimental younger set.  Sure, they will probably want to use what their friends are using, but once they start with safer products hopefully their friends will follow suit.  We need to think of using safe organic personal care and beauty products as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

This past Christmas I filled a cosmetic kit with lip balms, blusher, body lotion and even a water-based nail polish for my daughter that she absolutely loves.  She is already starting to recognize which products are good for her and which she should try to avoid…and she is only six.

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I had no idea how harmful chemicals in makeup could be. It is important for parents to have knowledge on this subject, so that they can pass this useful information on to their children.

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This is the first time I have heard this! And considering how many reports come out each week telling us what causes cancer, you'd think this would be at the top. This is scary information, but it makes sense when I look at all the unpronounceable things in my makeup. What about Stella McCartney's skincare/cosmetics line or Burt's Bees? Are those safe?

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After looking at the ingredients list of a few Stella McCartney products on Sephora, they look like relatively safe products, though they do contain lots of ingredients! There is a number/letter combo in quotations at the end of each ingredient list which is most likely their own preservation method and it is hard to say what this could be. I would have to do more research on the Care products before I would recommend them. I do recommend Burt's Bees, though The Environmental Working Group webiste gives them a mid-range hazard score for ingredients like "fragrance" which can be very toxic but in the case of Burt's Bees is probably not. Unfortunately, many cosmetics companies switch up their ingredients constantly and a product that is safe one day may contain something you don't want to use down the line. It is always best to check the ingredients list before purchasing. You can check out my ingredients to avoid list at http://www.organicbeautysource.com/skin-care.html and feel free to contact me with any questions.

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