Safer Skincare For Pre Teens/Teens And Why It Matters

Teen skincare is a most frequently asked question! And just like I have been honest about before - I'm still learning and did much research on the subject.
I have to say my findings are surprising.
Today you'll learn:
1. Why Safer Skincare & Cleaner Cosmetics for teens matters
2. Get them on board: empower with information and educate
3. How to help them get healthy inside & out
4. Safer alternative suggestions with printable instructions
5. Before we get started, don’t forget to join my Safer Skincare list here:
for more info like this as well as sales specials on many of the products noted here today!

With hormone changes it’s often the first time kids start thinking of skincare. These days, it’s an even more important topic because incredibly dangerous and toxic chemicals are in the products sold to our children. Understandably, we don’t want to give heavy metals or hormone disrupting chemicals to our pre teen or teens . But if you’re like I was, you may not be aware of what is in these products and how it can affect your children's health.
Problem is,..pre teens and teens don't like to listen to your ideas and recommendations anymore. What can we do?
• Explain how being healthy inside their bodies affects their appearance
• Provide them with safer alternatives
It seems overwhelming at first, but really their needs are just the same as our own. They may want eyeshadow and lip gloss instead of anti-aging cream, but we can all understand we want to feel and look healthy.
Here are some good articles to start with:
After three days, the teens’ urine tests showed these decreases in the concentrations of the cosmetics ingredients under study:
•44 percent down in levels of methyl and propyl paraben. Parabens are preservatives widely used in cosmetics, shampoos and skin lotions.
•35 percent down in triclosan, an antibacterial chemical common in liquid antibacterial hand soap, dishwashing detergent, toothpaste, face wash and deodorant. Triclosan has been linked to the disruption of thyroid and reproductive hormones.
•27 percent down in mono-ethyl phthalates. Phthalates, common industrial plasticizers, show up in some nail polish and fragrances. [source]
Claims vs. Facts
Earlier this year I made the choice to switch to Beautycounter for about 90% of our home' personal care products. I don’t promote them because I'm a brand ambassador, I became a brand ambassador because I sincerely fell in love with the products. I tried many clean products before Beautycounter but they did not perform like the brands I used to love like MAC. Beautycounter does!
Also - I want to make sure you know the reason for this brand. Specifically, Beautycounter is the ONLY brand that I know of that is TESTING both ingredients and finished products for safety – of both hormone disrupting chemicals as well as heavy metals. Not just “what are the basic ingredients” but testing finished products for safety. Their manufacturers sign contracts to uphold these same standards; they’re known in the community as “brutal counter” because of how difficult the standards are.
Did you know any brand can make any claim they like about any personal care product without needing to test or prove it? Natural, organic, BPA-free, you name it – no standards.
How to tell what’s safe
Color cosmetics can contain asbestos and heavy metals (like lead).  Without testing even natural, organic, or high-end brands cannot claim a product is safe. This is not just about paying more and avoiding cheap stuff.
Things I look for are:
1) Are all ingredients disclosed and prominently displayed?
2) Does the brand work with industry to improve health safety overall (such as the Counteract Coalition)?
3) What is the product’s safety rating on EWG’s Skin Deep database?
4) And, are the products evaluated by a 3rd party?
I love the EWG app because you can snap a pic of a barcode and it’ll do the work for you.
Here’s an example of a Beautycounter product versus a comparative one you’d commonly see on teens. I even chose a version marketed or thought to be “safe.”
Neutrogena Healthy skin Tinted Moisturizer VS. Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer
When looking on the EWG app it's best to look for overall scores under a 3.  As you can see Neutrogena is rated a 9/10 (almost a near worst of the worst scores) and reports allergy, cancer and developmental concerns. YIKES! But the truly scary thins?  It claims itself as healthy right in the title of the product.  Scary stuff here, but so important to know. As you can see Beatuycounter rates a 1/10 - safe!
Top Ingredients to look for and avoid
If you read labels and ingredients then at least you have a place to start with knowing what to avoid. While our family has come to trust Beautycounter after nearly two years of use and their commitment to better standards and regulation, it’s certainly not the only brand we use! Things like toothpaste and deodorant which Beautycounter does not have can be harmful to health as well. Here’s a list of ingredients and why we avoid them:
>Parabens. These are preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer; they are absorbed and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products.
>Synthetic colors. FD&C or D&C colors noted on labels represent artificial colors. F — representing food and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.
>Fragrance. What does “fragrance” mean anyway? This term was created to protect a company’s “secret formula.” You could be putting tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health on and have no idea. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturizers.
>Phthalates. A group of chemicals increases flexibility and softness of plastics; main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray (they’re also often found in deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays and moisturizers). They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it often hidden as a “fragrance.”
>Triclosan. An antimicrobial chemical that’s a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant. Studies raise concerns that triclosan contributes to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant. There also wasn’t significant evidence that antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provides any benefit over regular soap and water. Tricolson are found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants.
>Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). This surfactant is in more than 90% of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products like shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment). SLS’s are known to irritate skin, lung, and eye and can cause kidney and respiratory damage. SLS can interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen.
>Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) are in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. Deemed a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) it has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal. It causes allergic skin reactions and may also be harmful to the immune system. Found in almost all personal care products.
>Toluene. A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene; it is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint. It affects your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin as well as cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It is found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
>Sunscreen chemicals. These chemicals function as a sunscreen agent, to absorb ultraviolet light. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. They can be found in sunscreen products. [abridged from this source, read full article for more]
So what can we do a parents?
 Education is so important and i wish I was aware of all of this when the girls were younger. Here’s the list of things I'd prioritize then if they were still teenagers:
Encourage Lifestyle Choices:
- Gluten (and grains), dairy, and sugar have the most impact on your skin; avoid if inflamed.
- Gut health is essential, what your body is struggling with on the inside will show outside; consume broth, probiotic-rich foods, vegetables, healthy fats (pastured animals, avocado/olive/coconut oils, and grass-fed butters); avoid high volume of refined carbohydrates and sugars to keep your glut balanced and happy.
- Sleep because your cells need to regenerate to heal and the only time they can do that is when you are sleeping!
- Hydration – drink plenty of fluids, especially water! If you don’t like plain water then make a big pitcher with herbs, cucumber, citrus or other fruit that you do like; tea is also a good alternative, lots of herbal teas 
While I’m all for educating and empowering kids, it’s in your home and with your money so your rules apply.
Provide them with safer alternatives
Your skin is your largest organ, and it takes in 80% of what you put on it straight to your blood stream within 30 seconds (sources 1 and 2). As the education information provided above, making good choices of what products are important. It’s also important to choose the right product for you. Not everyone is the same and different products will work differently for different people.
As children get older, I think it’s important to remember that they are their own people. If you have teenage girls you can let them know that you will buy any makeup that she wants as long as it's from Beauty Counter but If she wants to buy anything else, she has to do it with her own $:)
What I’ve done here is outline 3 overall recommendations for what I’m calling Teen Kits. Ranging from the basic starting point to both skincare and cosmetics.
Pre Teens Kit  
Use either the  Body Wash, Kids Body Wash, or Charcoal Cleansing Bar. The charcoal bar in particular is wonderful at pulling out oil and impurities ( but I only recommend this two times per week max and the other days the body wash, 
Shampoo & hair care: avoiding foaming agents in shampoo is hard, Beautycoutner’s new Daily hair care line has a special technology that foams without unsafe ingredients and they also are color safe. They have a Kids shampoo and conditioner too. (a great detangler) 
Teens Kit  
Continue steps from above, then graduate to the specific hair care as may be needed. For skincare,I recommend Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser and Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream | Oil-free for normal teen skin. For acne prone teen skin I recommend the entire Countercontrol Regimen here
Cleaner Cosmetics Kit  
I outline my favorite products for teens and how to use them below. Alternatively, the Flawless in 5 (5 minute face set) is a great all-in-one solution to replacing cosmetics and is discounted when bought together, all products included (Tint Skin, Concealer Pen, Blush/Bronzer, Eyebrow Pencil, Mascara, and Gloss) are customizable to the color selections you’d like.
Follow the Bathing and Skincare routine outlined above. and then:
Apply foundation after moisturizing: Either Dew Skin or Tint Skin.
Dew Skin is my preference for teens because it contains natural zinc-based SPF that also helps reduce dry skin, inflammation, and acne. Dew Skin is a tinted moisturizer, so it’ll give extra moisture while also giving a dewy-glow (this product won Allure Magazine’s Best Of). Alternatively for more coverage Tint Skin is a true foundation; if going for this option I’d recommend the Flawless in 5 set. 
Apply Eye Make-up:
A) Pencils. Gone are the days of thin eyebrows! Brows are the new black, friends. And frankly, I’d much rather a teen put a sharp object on their brow instead of the edge of their eye, but either way carefully apply either or both to your desired affect. Beautycounter has both Color Outline Eye Pencil (eyeliner) as well as Color Define Brow Pencil (eyebrow). The pencils each have a tool at the other end to help with application and use.
B ) Mascara. As a teen I would forego all else but HAD to wear mascara. I think brow pencils may have become the new mascara, but if your teen is wanting mascara there isn’t a safer one than Beautycounter’s clay-based mascara. If you want the appearance of more thin and long lashes, get Lengthening Mascara. If you want big, bushy and bold lashes then get Volumizing Mascara
Finish with Gloss. I love bare shimmer both for teens and adults,  Beautycounter’s Lip Glosses are one of my favorite of their products. They deliver a sublte shine without stickiness and wear off evenly. They make them with nourishing ingredients that will moisturize the lips and do not contain any nasty chemicals you wouldn’t want to consume when wearing, since women eat up to one pound of what they put on their lips per year!
Remover – remove makeup with either the Instant Eye Makeup Remover, then wash with Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser and moisturize with Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream | Oil-free 
Get either Flawless in 5 or my recommended Dew Skin, Brow Pencil, Mascara, Gloss and Eye Makeup remover
I hope this was helpful. If you have questions, ask away! I also offer skin consultations (no purchase necessary).  Comment or e-mail me so I can help!
XO - Erin

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