Tweens and teens have officially taken over my house. My 3 daughters are now aged 9, 11 and 13 and I have noticed that ever so slowly, the play makeup in our house is being replaced by real lip gloss, requests for deodorant and mascara. Actually my oldest daughter stole my mascara to use it secretly but this mama knows when lashes look more luscious and she was quickly caught.
I realized then that I had a whole new set of lessons to teach my daughters. Sharing socks and tank tops is cool, sharing makeup is not and stealing mine is never gonna work! Then I noticed after a shopping trip to a dollar store with her friends and using her own money from her paper route that she had bought facial wipes . . . from a dollar store!
I get being thrifty and I am all for saving money where we can, but I realized the second lesson that needed to be taught was being careful of what you buy to put on your skin. We are conscious of eating healthy and putting real food inside, and it was obvious it was time to introduce them to quality and healthy beauty products and start them in the right direction when it came to what they were putting on the outside.
Teaching Your Tween About Healthy Products
My kids are very active so the request for deodorant seems to happen when they turned 10 or 11. Knowing it will become part of their daily routine, I wanted to be sure they started with a light, natural deodorant.
The job of deodorant is to neutralize and kill bacteria that metabolize the proteins and fatty acids in our sweat, which prevents the odour. Antiperspirants prevent sweating by blocking the pores using aluminum. Tweens and teens likely do not need an antiperspirant so make sure you are buying a deodorant. A natural deodorant will be paraben, propylene glycol, alcohol, ehthonal, and aluminum free while still being effective at preventing odour.
They come in many natural scents and costs only fraction more than commercial chemical deodorants. It is worth a trip to the health food store to look at options such at the Green Beaver Company and take your tween with you so she can pick out the scent she likes best.
It’s cute when little girls raid mommy’s lipstick drawer or get dozens of shiny sparkly lip glosses in loot bags, but when your tween starts wearing it on a daily basis, be sure to check ingredients. Since lipstick and lip gloss is on your lips, there is the risk it can be ingested so safe, natural options are best. Brands like Burts Bees have a full line of lip balms, glosses and pencils made from natural ingredients.
Our eyes are very sensitive and our vision is very important so it makes sense to be concerned that our mascara is a healthy habit from the start. Twelve or thirteen seems to be the magic mascara age and I have decided to not make a big deal about them wearing it if they are being responsible about it. Teach your tween that makeup, especially mascara, should not be shared and that it only has a 3 month life span once opened due to bacteria growth within the product. Drug store mascaras can be full of propylene glycol, aluminum powder and parabens, while natural options at the health food store provide the same rich lash experience without the potentially harmful chemicals.
Make Up Remover
Once it’s on, we need to take it off. Even your tween’s skin needs to breath. Keeping mascara on can damage their lashes, and dark smudged makeup under the eye doesn’t look good on anyone. Teach your daughter how to remove eye make up with a gentle cleanser that won’t aggravate the sensitive area around the eyes and look for a makeup remover that is for eye makeup and is oil and fragrance free.
Facial Cleanser & Moisturizer
Most tweens will only need to wash with water, but if they are very active, sweating or you are seeing early signs of acne you may want to introduce them to a chemical and fragrance free light facial cleanser that won’t leave residue behind. Many gentle natural cleansers are available at health food stores and can help clear up mild acne without having acne medications in the ingredients.
Since natural products won’t be drying and our tweens have beautifully soft skin to begin with, it is probably still too early to introduce a moisturizer but, make sure they know body lotion is not facial lotion. And when they are ready to moisturize, look for oil and chemical free options at the health store and not the dollar store!
About Deb Lowther
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy and staying active. Find more inspiring tips from Deb on IronKidsNutrition.ca and MyBoomerNutrition.com and follow her on both Twitter and Pinterest @Deb_Lowther .