As adolescent girls begin their journey to womanhood, the desire to be beautiful often firmly takes root, giving them more than a passive interest in the latest cosmetic trends.
Perhaps this is why adolescent and teenage girls tend to use more personal care and beauty products than any other age group. Shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, acne cream, body wash, face wash, deodorant, perfume, make-up, chap stick, nail polish, and nail polish removers, make up just some of the average daily beauty regimen.
At first glance, this may not seem like a big issue. Everyone uses these products, and surely it wouldn’t be on the shelves if it wasn’t safe…right?
Wrong! It could be much more dangerous than it seems.
Many of the ingredients in commonly used personal care products contain hormone-altering chemicals. Some of which have even been linked to cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm and/or birth defects.
Ironically, this increase in chemical exposure is occurring during the same time period when reproductive, blood, adrenal, immune, and hormone systems are trying to mature. The brain is still developing, bones are rapidly growing, and metabolism is shifting and adjusting.
According to an article by the The Environmental Working Group,
Emerging research suggests that teens may be particularly sensitive to exposures to trace levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals… Thus, teens may unknowingly expose themselves to higher levels of cosmetic ingredients linked to potential health effects at a time when their bodies are more susceptible to chemical damage. 
Fact: The FDA does not approve cosmetics. It is the responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers to ensure, before marketing their products, that the products are safe when used as directed in their label or under customary conditions of use. 
Bottom Line: Some companies choose to use ingredients that have proven to be both safe and effective. However, other companies disregard safety factors in favor of using dangerous ingredients that are, among other things, carcinogens and developmental toxins.
To put this into further perspective, the United States FDA has only banned or restricted 11 chemicals from being included in cosmetics, compared to the 1,328 which have been banned in the European Union. 
Since our skin absorbs whatever we put on it, it is especially important that we pay attention to what goes on/in our own bodies and the bodies of those we love.
We have a great opportunity to start teaching girls now how to nurture and care for themselves in a way that will not bring them harm.
There are some really great options, that can help accomplish just that!
- There are some great companies out there who have dedicated themselves to creating products that are safe. The Environmental Working Group published a Shoppers Guide to Safe Cosmetics that is available for download on their site. This guide can help you locate good companies and trustworthy products.
- Making your own cosmetics can seem intimidating at first, but is actually very simple and a lot of fun! There are online tutorials, recipes, and books available to help guide you, and as long as you find a reputable source, it can be very fun to explore and experiment. Check out this book for example!
- If you are interested in a simple DIY kit, join the Green Girls Create pre-launch list! If we can generate enough interest, we hope to offer all-inclusive kits that come to your door on a monthly basis! Teaching, guiding, and giving girls skills that will last them a lifetime!
- Teen Girls’ Body Burden of Hormone-Altering Cosmetics Chemicals http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals
- Are cosmetics approved by FDA? http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194552.htm
- International Laws http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regulations/international-laws/
- Dallmeier, L. Can Cosmetics be absorbed into your Bloodstream? http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk/can-cosmetics-be-absorbed-into-your-bloodstream/