Wondering what lurks inside your teen’s personal care products? The first items that may come to mind are the brightly colored makeup products sold in those glittery shops in the mall or the aerosol cans of unnaturally scented cologne that are a staple in every middle school boy’s gym locker.
Yes, these products contain some of the most hazardous cosmetic ingredients, but they aren’t the only ones. Even daily care items that you don’t give a second thought -- like hand soap, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products -- often harbor toxic chemicals.
Hormone disrupting chemicals are the main concern with products marketed to teens and they are rampant in conventional products. Synthetic fragrance and preservatives, chemical sunscreen, and harsh chemical antibacterial ingredients all have links to hormonal disruption and they can have lasting effects.
Research shows that commonly used endocrine disruptors, like phthalates, BPA, and pesticides, can affect the regular pubertal development of children and teens, causing early onset puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys. There is also a connection between weight gain and obesity with regular exposure to these chemicals.
A 2016 study by the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California Berkeley showed a significant decline in hormone disrupting chemicals in study subjects just days after eliminating products that contain them.
Kids should also be taught how to use makeup products safely to avoid irritation, infection, or skin damage. “Using expired products can be just as dangerous as using products with toxic ingredients,” said Dome Beauty founder Mar Cavallone. Check expiration dates, know product shelf life, and clean makeup brushes regularly.