Being a teenager is amazing, the world opens up to new possibilities, you start to form your own valuable opinions, you are your own person, so why do so many skincare companies still talk to us in a singular (and sometimes patronising) fashion about skincare?
Over the past couple of years I’ve been exploring the world of what I candidly ‘put on my face’ – and I have been both shocked and horrified by what I have found. Most of the traditional slant on teenage skincare has been around Acne. Chemically based products that stem the tide of those large pores and oozing spots that every teenage dreads and spends a large proportion of their teenage years trying to disguise.
But beyond the fabled zit, no-one is talking about the chemicals that, in a large way, are helping these blighters to breed!
Don’t get me wrong, we do have some control over what happens to our bodies, despite some hormone-obsessed adults telling us otherwise. Studies have shown that the food we eat can have a big impact on the outcome of our skin health – sorry chocolate, fizzy drinks, greasy burgers and chips – but there is something else going on that for some reason adults don’t want to mention.
A 2016 study by UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrated how even a short break (3 days was it’s test period) from certain kinds of make-up, shampoos and lotions can lead to a significant drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body. It also goes on to tell us that teenagers are particularly vulnerable to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals, due to our higher hormone levels and subsequent higher use of personal-care products.
So, what does this tell us – well for me it says look at what you put on your skin! I’d say we now understand the implications of what we eat alongside the wider issues and impact on climate change but we are still fairly unaware of the impact chemicals can have not only to our skin but our general well-being.
Small steps can make a difference – looking and avoiding products with phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone and seeking out organic, chemical free and natural products will make a significant difference. Whilst this can be a more expensive option, less is more and if there’s no push back on these kinds of products manufacturers will continue to produce them, pushing this chemical overload onto another generation.