Love the Skin You’re in
For Teens and Tween’s: A Guide to Safe and Healthy Skin Care
Skin is your largest organ of your body and it is your body’s largest transport system. Taking care of the health of your skin is far more important than buying cosmetics and following the latest trends. As a matter of fact, following the latest trends may not only be damaging to your wallet, it very well may be damaging your skin and endocrine system and putting you at risk for disease including cancer. Why should I care about my endocrine system? Your endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, gender identity, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. Believe it or not, what you put on your skin goes deep into your body. You skin is your largest organ and up to 60% of what you put on its surface gets absorbed into your body. Some chemicals in the cosmetics in America have hormone disruptors and literally give boys female mimicking hormones, and girl’s male mimicking hormones.
So, you may ask, how can I have great skin without buying a lot of products? There are many natural product lines and DIY recipes to care for your skin and even treat skin disorders such as acne. Follow this practical guide that will walk you through the world of cosmetics and help you learn how to not get “taken” by unscrupulous companies looking to make a profit.
The Cosmetics Industry and YOU!
Did you know the average teen American girl uses up to 17 personal care products a day and is wearing over 500 chemicals on her hair and body by the time she walks out the door to go to school? This cocktail of over 10,000 ingredients include some of the same chemicals used in toilet bowel cleaner and are linked to serious health issues.
You might argue that you are only using a little, tiny bit of each product each day, but a “little each day” adds up to over 5 lbs. of chemical toxins that we absorb into our body each year!
Why are we using so many products and what exactly are these chemicals? Billions of dollars are spent each year in marketing products in America. The personal care products industry is a 70 billion dollar business, and companies will keep making products and marketing to us, as long as we keep buying them and don’t ask questions.
You may think that the more expensive skin care, personal care and cosmetic products such as Clinique, Este Lauder or Lancôme are better, meaning more safe, but this is not necessarily the case. So, save your money and do your homework. Here are three easy steps to ensure you are getting products that are safe for your body:
These labels have legal meaning in the food industry, but no legal meaning in the cosmetics industry. They are merely marketing terms to make you believe a product is safe, but in fact a product with these labels can have many harmful chemicals in it.
What Should I do?
1. Read Labels and Avoid the Dirty Dozen*
Thanks to great websites like www.safecosmetics.org and free mobile apps you can download on your smart phone like: Think Dirty, Skin Deep and Good Guide you can scan the bar code of products before you buy or type in the ingredients and get a level of safety of that product.
2. Beware of “Green-washing” and “Pink-washing” Words like natural and organic have no legal meaning in the cosmetic industry. Read the label or scan the product with your smart app. Beware of the pink ribbon on products during Breast Cancer Awareness months—many of these products have ingredients that cause cancer.
3. Less is More – The less products you use, the better for your skin and overall health. Look for Do It Yourself recipes and if you are a busy girl, scan bar codes and only buy products that are deemed safe using one of the independent apps like “Think Dirty”. Look for products that have more than one purpose so you don’t expose yourself to more chemicals.