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Health Team

UNC Healthcare addresses cosmetics in teens

Posted October 11, 2019 2:39 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2019 4:19 p.m. EDT

Cosmetics in teens and tweens

Cosmetic usage in children is different than adults because kids are not mini-adults. They metabolize and accumulate products differently than adults. It takes time for their liver and kidneys to mature and detox chemicals for them. This is why we dose medications differently in adults, and do not give certain products to children until they are older.

Are natural products safer?

At this point, not necessarily. The FDA has not defined what is "Clean or Natural" yet. This has left it open to interpretation by retailers, bloggers etc. Asbestos is natural, but is it safe? No!

What can parents do to guide their teens and tweens?

  1. If no ingredients are listed on the packaging somewhere, or if the ingredients are not listed in English, toss it. The products may have come into distribution illegally.
  2. Use the California Safe Cosmetic Database to make decisions for yourself, whether to use the product.
  3. Throw out old cosmetics, and store cosmetics in cool and dry places
  4. Read directions and use as they suggest on the product
  5. Urge your kids not to share make-up.
  6. Wash cosmetics off at night before bed to decrease the length of exposure.
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