Recently, Monave had the special privilege of receiving an award
from the Prestigious Natural Solutions ďBeauty with a Conscience
AwardĒ. It was a thrill to see so many small
companies like mine finally getting the attention that they
deserve. Natural Solutions has been very supportive of the
grass-roots Natural Beauty Movement that has been picking up
steam in the U.S for the last ten years.
This is what Natural Solutions editors had to say about Teens
and Cosmetics: ďToday, conventional cosmetic companies market
their products to teens, tweens, and girls as young as three
years old. But their products often contain the hormone
disruptors that some scientists blame for early puberty. In
fact, half of all American girls show signs of breast
development by the age of ten. Early breast development and
early puberty may lead to a higher risk for breast cancer, as
well as depression, and even drinking and unprotected sex. In the
article, ďPretty in Pink?Ē, Natural Solutions recommends teens
and parents learn more information about the ingredients in
skincare and cosmetic products at
http://www.teensforsafecosmetics.com to avoid potentially
I saw the evidence of early puberty in girls when I worked at my
kiosk in Baltimore in the early part of this decade. There was a
decided height and developmental difference in girls from the
Midwest. My personal theory is that its connected to the
hormones used in dairy production. That part of the country has a
heavier emphasis on beef and milk, simply due to the fact that
itís a prevalent industry. At any rate, seeing a tall, beautiful
woman who looks like sheís nineteen, and then finding out sheís
thirteen, is quite a shock. It is no wonder our children are
having trouble saying no to early sexuality. Their hormones are
raging at the age of twelve, the way ours were at the age of
sixteen. These hormones contribute to the severity of acne as
well in teens as well as adults. If you have access to naturally
raised chicken and dairy, I strongly recommend taking your
children (and yourself) off of any products that do not
specifically say that they are free of hormones. This helps with
adult acne as well.
I will not dwell on this topic anymore, but rather turn to the
care and beautification of teen/tween skin. As any parent of a
teen knows, healthy skin is a big issue for both girls and boys
alike. The information in the first section can be utilized for
both boys and girls. For this part, I interviewed a very much
sought-after aromatherapist; Theresa Canglioni, here in
Baltimore. Theresa owns and manages a thriving aromatherapy blending
bar, gorgeous aromatherapy shop, and aromatherapy massage
business. I often take friends or staff members there to peruse
the products, and to have custom perfumes made on the spot (for
A customer having a custom
blended perfume created just for her at So Botanical
I met Theresa over twenty years ago, when she
was first learning about essential oils. She began studying
their healing properties due to a terrible, and persistent
problem with acne. Today, twenty odd years later, she is a
beautiful woman with very smooth, supple skin, and not a wrinkle
in sight. She looks to be in her late twenties at most. She
had a lot of very interesting information and tips for us, after
having worked with hundreds of teens and their moms.
the left) & Kim
from So Botanical creating their custom blends
My Interview with Theresa:
From your experience, what do you see as the main problems
affecting teenage skin these days?
levels and hormones are the two big factors affecting teensí
skin. This results in increased hormone levels. The main job of
skincare that is targeted for their particular skin issues is
to calm the skin down. Acne and blackheads result in inflamed skin. One of the problems that I see in how teens
take care of their skin is that they overcompensate by scrubbing
too much, and by stripping their skin of its natural oils. This
results in the skin producing even more sebum, so it becomes a
never ending cycle. Squeaky clean should not be the goal. The
goal is to use very gentle cleansers along with calming
essential oils that will balance the skin so it will stop
overproducing sebum as a defense.
What essential oils do you feel are the best for calming and
balancing their skin?
Lavender is at
the top of the list for balancing the hormones. It is also
anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
another one that is calming and anti-inflammatory.
Geranium is a
great choice because it is anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial
oils will help the skin begin to self-regulate. For either male
of female, the body can actually heal itself, so the goal is to
achieve balance in the skin, so that its own abilities to
control and monitor sebum production will kick in again.
How can teens (with parental supervision) use essential oils in
When their skin is inflamed from acne, they can use warm
compresses to help draw out the pustules, as well as to calm
down the redness. When there is the presence of blackhead or
whiteheads, kids pick, squeeze, and dry them out, and the skin
become red and irritated.
prepare a hot compress, they should fill the sink or a basin
with warm water, then drop in a few drops of lavender essential
oil. The lavender should be pure, undiluted essential oil, not
lavender in a base, so when purchasing essential oils, make sure
to read the bottles carefully. They should swish the oil around
in the water, then dip a clean washcloth into the water, and
hold it on the face for a few minutes. They can repeat this a
few times. This can be done in the evening a few times a week. They tend to think more is better, but in this case, using more
than 2-3 drops in the water can end up burning the skin, so a
parent should supervise. When using essential oils, the quantity
and manner used matters as much as the oil itself.
What about cleansers?
Parents should look for
cleanser that do not have any sulfates in them. Sulfates create
heat (which translates into irritation). Thatís why Lavender and
Geranium are so beneficial to the skin, because they are
cooling. For example, Lavender can be used on a burn to help
heal it faster, because it cools the skin. Some examples of
sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate.
Coconut-based cleansers, and handmade vegetable soaps are great
alternatives. Handmade soaps are full of the natural oils and
glycerin from plants which keeps skin from becoming too dry.
Another effective cleanser, especially for teens with ace, is
black soap. They help the skin achieve PH balance. Look for
ingredients like charcoal, plantain, or ash. I have always
heard really good feedback from my clients about either bar or
liquid black soap. These can be purchased online, or from stores
selling products made in Africa.
Is there any common treatment for acne that you disagree with?
Yes. Many people
have read that Tea Tree is a beneficial essential oil for acne,
so they rub it all over the face. This essentially burns the
skin, which is the opposite effect that weíre looking for. It is
okay to dab a tiny amount with a Q-tip right onto a blackhead or
a whitehead. It is also a beneficial ingredient in a cleanser,
but it is much more aggressive that Lavender. It is similar to
Peppermint in that it can burn the skin.
Are there any other essential oils that you approve for use on
Marjoram, Bergamot are all nice, but you have to be careful with
Bergamot because it creates photosensitivity in the skin.
What about moisturizers?
donít need a cream, because their skin produces a lot of oil,
and wonít tend to be dry unless their cleansing routine is too
harsh. Believe it or not, a light cold-pressed vegetable oil is
the best choice. Just a few drops spread gently onto the skin in
the morning is enough to seal in moisture and keep skin
well-lubricated and soft.
pressed Jojoba, Grapeseed, or Almond, will literally disappear
into the skin and wonít be greasy. For really bad acne, they
can use Rose hip seed oil. It has cellular regeneration
properties; heals scarring and inflammation, and will calm the
skin. Heavy amounts will irritate, so it should never be used
at 100% strength, but in a vegetable oil blend, it is a very
effective component for healing acne scarring. Teens should
avoid Sesame, Peanut or mineral oil. Mineral oil immediately
clogs the pores, contrary to popular belief.
was in my late teens, I had terrible cystic acne, with raised
purple welts. Thatís what drove me to start learning about
essential oils, in order to heal my own skin. I had tried
commercial preparations, but they irritated my already inflamed
skin even more. Rose hip seed oil was one of the most healing
oils that I found during this process. It provides the nutrients
that the skin/body is craving, and keeps the face nourished. I
resisted for a long time, thinking that a straight oil on my
face would be too heavy. But it cleared my acne, and helped get
my skin out of its over-productive state.
Is there any other general advice that you can offer parents and
teens reading this article?
Oftentimes, teenagers are low on zinc levels, because of how
theyíre eating. Theyíre always on the go and donít eat properly. People with acne have lower zinc levels. Parents can get a good
vitamin supplement, a reputable brand from a good health food
store, Whole Foods etc. Zinc can help balance the skin.
stress that teens experience will make hormones flare up also.
To help combat this stress, teens can
take baths with calming oils added, like Lavender,
Geranium, Marjoram, and Clary Sage. Adding 5-6 drops of each
essential oil is enough. Aromatherapy massage is also a
wonderful stress reliever. Oftentimes, we donít experience
professional massage until we are adults, but massage for teens
can be a very beneficial therapy on a lot of levels. It helps
them identify what a relaxed state actually feels like, so that
they can try to recreate that state whenever stress is starting
to build up. It increases their body awareness. Yoga is another
beneficial therapy to try for combating stress.
Theresa, if moms or teens have questions, or wish to purchase
some of your products, where should they go?
contact me any time at
email@example.com. The website (www.sobotanical.com)
has many products for sale that can be used for teens, and Iím
happy to help anyone with suggestions or advice.
In addition to
using natural products to clean and moisturize, the makeup
choices that teens make can have a huge impact on the health of
the skin. Many teens use makeup, and mineral makeup is still not
easily accessible, so if they are shopping in malls and stores,
they will invariably end up putting products on their faces that
not only exacerbate their skin problems, but do little to heal and calm
down their inflammation. I encourage moms to purchase mineral
makeup for their teen daughters if they already wear makeup. If
they do not, mineral foundation alone can be used as a sunscreen,
and if it contains zinc oxide, as a calming agent for the
inflammation caused by acne.
'Back in the day', heavy eye makeup was the rage, and nothing
was too much. So what do teens of today want in their color
palette and products? When I had my first business at the kiosk in
Baltimore, selling mostly mineral eye powders and glosses, I was
besieged by teens and tweens on a daily basis. They came in
droves, and over the space of several years, I began to notice
some patterns in their preferences for colors, and product
Teens seem to prefer a sheer, natural look. If
they are too made up and the makeup is obvious, that makes it
seem like they are trying to hard, that they are trying to get
attention the wrong way. Lip products are usually sheer and
glossy, without a lot of color, and shadows tend to blend into
the skin. The days of bright shadows are over moms!
Teens love makeup that is low maintenance for
their daily routine, but love makeup that can be used in a
more imaginative way during free time. Itís like an art
project, so when thereís nothing to do, teen girls like to
experiment and have fun with their makeup. So, they are very
attracted by makeup that has something creative built into it. Loose powders are especially popular because they can be
blended into any base to create a variety of cosmetics, such
as lip gloss, eyeliner, or nail polish.
Teens are very active and therefore, appreciate
makeup that lasts. The last thing they want to do at the end
of the school day is take time to put on more makeup. They
have many other more important priorities, such as sports,
friends, boyfriends and schoolwork.
Makeup is an important part of a teenage girlís
life. Her face is an expression of herself, and it contributes
to her self-esteem as well as her comfort. With awkward growth
spurts, crushes, new body parts and acne, it can be
excruciating for a teenage girl to face the world each day.
Having reliable makeup that covers acne, can make a huge
difference in a girlís life. Weíd all like for our children to
look past superficial things such as skin, hair, and clothes,
but the fact is... that is a teenagerís world, and they are
forced to deal with it on a daily basis.
I used to love watching the oohs and aahs as girls would crowd
around my kiosk. It was amazing how the same three sets of
(our Monave) mineral eye powders were chosen over and over by girls from all
over the country.
Some other favorites are
lime (# 63),
sand beige (41) and
For lips, the lip glazes
are very sheer and translucent.
Honey lip glaze
is very popular, as is Strawberry Lip
To help understand the mindset and tastes of a typical teenager,
I interviewed Katherine Thompson, aged 16 who has been wearing
Monave makeup for two years. Prior to that, she had worn
traditional makeup for special events, such as parties, her
birthday and for fun on the weekends. As she developed from a
girl into a young woman and started experiencing acne, makeup
became an integral part of her life. She is a typical teenager,
juggling schoolwork with babysitting her younger brothers,
after-school clubs, friends, and boys. She had the
following to say:
Interview with Katherine:
In general, what do
you think teens need from their makeup?
nothing too heavy. Something light, that covers your acne, and
takes the attention away from your skin and brings out the other
aspects of your face, such as your eyes, or your lips. They need
to have fun. They need to trust their product, and feel that
they can put on their makeup and feel confident about their
skin. For example, when I go out of the house, and Iím not
wearing makeup I feel very vulnerable, and raw. I feel unkept. It boosts my confidence. It should bring out your natural
beauty. Less is more of course, especially with mineral makeup. With makeup in general, the less you use in the right places, is
Do you love mineral makeup?
I would rather use it than any other kind of makeup. Itís really
good for your skin, and helps to heal it. It covers it, but
instead of clogging your pores, it protects it from pollution. I
feel a lot more covered when Iím wearing mineral makeup, because
I feel like itís a safeguard.
What else do you love
easy to apply. You donít have to rub it into your face to get it
to stay there all day. You just lightly brush it on, and you
donít have to reapply it all day. It gives you a healthy glow.
People donít believe that Iím sick when Iím wearing mineral
makeup. You go out of the house, and you donít feel well, but it
gives you a pick up. Itís really colorful, but natural. I donít
like putting synthetic things on my skin, because I have really
sensitive skin, so it helps a lot.
Do you think itís hard
No, I donít
think so. But the first time, you should have a little bit of
guidance, because itís not like your regular generic makeup that
you can just plaster all over your face. You have to learn where
to apply it first, and how. I think the fact that itís a loose
powder makes it a lot easier to apply. You donít have to gouge
your brush into a makeup palette to get it to apply. It goes on
very softly and the colors are vibrant.
How does mineral
makeup look different than typical makeup?
cover up your face. The colors are a lot more natural. Theyíre
warmer. When I think of normal makeup, I automatically think of
chalky blue eye shadows. Mineral powders can be applied as
thin as you want. Theyíre very fine. Theyíre not heavy on your
How does the way that
it looks suit the teenage mindset?
and teenagers love sparkly things, especially for eye shadows,
and glitters. The variety of colors that you can get out of
mineral makeup is so much more than that of a generic brand. The
colors look so rich when youíre wearing them. Like if I want to
put on turquoise eye shadow, a mineral powder will really look
like turquoise. I think that a lot of teenagers in general
express themselves with makeup. Mineral makeup is so diverse, so
they have so many more options to choose from.
Also, I used my foundation as a base coat for my Halloween
makeup, and it kept everything in place. I came home that night,
and it completely improved the performance of my other makeup.
My white face paint, and blush (I was a doll) was exactly the
same five hours after I applied it. So, if you combine it with
other products, mineral foundation helps them work better, and
Could you describe
your makeup routine?
moisturize, then I put on the Cream Caroline Foundation with a
sponge, and then I apply my Caroline powder foundation one more time
for better coverage. I put on a pencil eyeliner, and then I
usually apply a neutral shadow to tone down the eyeliner so it
wonít look too dark. Then I put on a sparkly eye shadow with a
shadow brush. I pick a color that matches my clothes, like if I
wear a yellow shirt, then I put on a deep gold, or copper
shadow. In the Summertime Iíll use a bronzer, but I donít wear
blush, because my cheeks are pink. I always use a toner after
Iím finished applying my makeup. I spray it all over my face
lightly, and then I go gently over my face with a sponge to even
out any areas that arenít blended all the way.
Do you have any advice
for teenagers or Moms of teenagers who might be reading this
My advice is
to stop using synthetic products on your face. Be careful with
your skin. Mineral makeup really, really helps to improve your
skin. Donít be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, because
it never hurts to try things.
Some more Natural Makeup
Left to Right: Cleo, Canela, and Heather
the Monave Site:
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