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Tips for Teenage Skin & Hair

Oct23

by

Hola Amalah:
I’ve recently been put in charge of putting together a three part panel to teach the young girls in my church congregation about taking care of their bodies. (Why me? Yeah, I’m not sure either.) I’ve found someone to come and teach about nutrition and another women to come and teach about how to dress appropriately and how to take proper care of clothing. Now I just need someone to teach about hair and skin care. This is where you come in.
Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to fly to Seattle to teach the teenager girls. (I know how you feel about teenagers!)
I’ve not been able to find anyone to teach this portion. I decided that since I can’t find anyone to teach for me that I’d just do it. Problem is that I’m not really an “expert”. I figured I could pull some info from the Advice Smackdown and just present it to the girls. Needless to say I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the Advice Smackdown archives today, and while I’ve found a ton of useful info, it really is geared towards us adult ladies. I’m not sure if teenage skin and hair is much different then adult skin and hair (except for the lack of wrinkles and gray strands here and there).
So, is it different? Should I be teaching the girls something totally different than my “adult” skin and hair routines? It must be noted that the girls range in ages from 12 to 18, so about half of them aren’t even wearing make-up (yet!).
I would appreciate any advice you (and the AS readers) could share with me, so that I can share it with these girls.
As always, keep on rocking. You do much good around the interweb.
xo
Isabel

Oh, how I wish I’d had someone like you in my life back when I was a teenager, when I had no idea how to deal with my hair and skin and had even less of an idea about all the harm I was doing to do it. So, thank you for at least putting the effort and realizing that this is actually a pretty useful topic — beyond the teen magazines’ tips on PERFECT PROM MAKEUP or EYELASHES TO GET U NOTICED BY BOYZZZOMG. Skin and hair health. Avoiding mistakes that you pay for later. Like now, when you’re old. Like us.
Of course, teenage hair and skin IS like adult-lady hair and skin in one way: Everybody is different. Perhaps you could offer a little one-on-one consultation time with each girl? Just to help them identify whether their skin is normal/dry/oily/combination? Quick hair health assessment and pointers on what type of shampoo and conditioner might be best for them? I know I would have appreciated that — for YEARS I was sure my skin and hair were full-on oily and used every product on earth to fix the problem. Turns out my skin was actually combination and needed to be treated a wee bit gentler. I never even used moisturizer because I was sure moisture = zits. And I had no idea how bad all those shampoos for oily hair were on (at-home, from-a-box) colored hair, and that just because my scalp was oily, I still needed to condition.
Beyond that, I guess I will start things off with a few things I wish someone had told me back in junior high:
1) Wash your face. Wash your hands. Keep them from coming in contact with each other as much as possible. I was always touching my face with my hands. Totally awful for your pores and blemishes. I was also entirely too cavalier about slapping on tons of makeup and not remembering to remove it properly at night. Bar soaps are bad for dry skin, scrubs aren’t good for anyone: the best bet is a gentle liquid face wash.
2) And on that note, you’re going to have this same skin when you’re OLD. Be gentle with it. My whole thing? About using balancing skin and hair products instead of throwing the harshest thing you can find at the problem? Totally applies to teenage skin. Crap, I used to swap out my face toner with STRAIGHT RUBBING ALCOHOL during breakouts, and thought I was a total genius for coming up with that one. Then I’d use an acne mask and a spot treatment and no moisturizer. A quick science lesson in that whole pH balance business would have been helpful.
3) Wear sunscreen. All the time. Not just at the beach. You can get sun damage on cloudy days.
4) Your hair may grow out, but the quality of the new growth depends on how well you’re treating what’s already there. Hair dye, perms, straighteners, heat styling = really rough on your hair. Proceed with caution. Be really, really sure about chemically altering your hair.
5) For general all-purpose hair upkeep: shampoo just your roots, condition only your ends. Comb your hair out while it’s sopping wet, use a heat protectant if you’re flat-ironing. Don’t sleep with a ponytail in. Homemade hair masks (avocado, mayo, etc.) are fun for sleepovers and goooood for your hair.
6) Diet matters. And I don’t just mean “chocolate gives you zits!” old wives’ tales. Just a quick talk about how what you put into your body affects you in ways beyond the bathroom scale. Junk food, excess salt, artificial and overly-processed crap can be to blame for some skin and hair problems. And likewise, the stuff you put ON your hair and skin should be chosen with care. It’s never too early to start thinking critically about fragrance, parabens, chemicals and animal testing.
7) Zits totally suck. Everybody gets them, they’re always worse around your period and no, don’t squeeze and pick at them and NO, you really really aren’t going to die alone and unloved and unpopular because of them.
8) For really terrible teen acne, follow the regimen from acne.org. Hands down, it’s the most sensible approach for zits ever.
9) For teenage undereye circles: It’s usually a lack of sleep and/or dehydration, unlike the ones us Olds get as our skin thins and ages. Teabags, cucumber slices and a yellow- or apricot-tinted concealer are magic.
10) Remember that the “natural look” in magazines requires two makeup artists, three hairstylists, four hours, fake eyelashes and a pantsload of Photoshop. Watch this. It’s okay that you don’t look like that, because NO ONE DOES.
What say the rest of you? If you could go back in time and tell your teenaged-self just one thing about her hair and skincare regimen, what would it be?


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About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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48 Responses to “Tips for Teenage Skin & Hair”

  1. Cobblestone Oct 23 at 8:56 am Reply Reply

    It is great to bring in pictures of what you’d like your hair to look like when you get it cut but it is important to ask IF your hair will do that thing and how much work it will be.
    I have a haircut that works – not because it matches the picture but because I like to sleep more than I like to do my hair, and my haircut works with that personal truth.

  2. laurellee Oct 23 at 9:47 am Reply Reply

    They won’t listen to anything that we tell them anyways because they already know it all!
    One thing I would try to avoid is recommending expensive products that they can’t get at Target. Purity would be a stretch for a high school girl whose mom is a tightwad (like ME).

  3. Stephanie Oct 23 at 9:56 am Reply Reply

    I wish someone had taught me about proper eyebrow grooming. All I knew was that I had man-brows and wanted to do something about it. I did, alright, but some of those hairs did not grow back and now my left eyebrow will be forever a little bit wonky. If someone just taught me less is more (as in, less removal) and to never, never, EVER pluck from above the eyebrow, I wouldn’t have to spend time filling in that stupid left eyebrow every morning.

  4. Susan Oct 23 at 10:00 am Reply Reply

    I’d tell them that they’ll regret tanning later in life. I see way, way too many young girls baking themselves in tanning booths. There are lots of safe self-tanners out there that don’t involve 1. the sun or 2. a box of fake light.
    But, more importantly, learn to love the color your skin is naturally. Pale does not = ugly. The best thing I ever did for my skin was come to grips with this truth. I just wish I’d realized it in high school.

  5. Elizabeth Oct 23 at 10:18 am Reply Reply

    Don’t layer on thick foundation to try to cover your zits. Also, get your mom or a friend to help you pick the right color for your face. Nothing too white (my problem in high school) or too orange (everyone else’s problem in high school).
    Wear mascara on your upper lashes only. Mascara on your bottom lashes just ends up on your face.
    Don’t be afraid to experiment with your hair color/style/etc or a crazy eyeshadow color. You’re only young once!

  6. Katie Oct 23 at 10:27 am Reply Reply

    Remember that, like your skin, your teeth will (hopefully) be with you the rest of your life and can be one of the best beautifiers. Take care of them not only to enhance your appearance, but to avoid halitosis, gum disease, and worse later on. People tell me I have a wonderful smile, and have since I was young… I just wish that I’d realized when I was young that flashing that smile was probably a great “instant makeover” for me and I should’ve done it more often!

  7. Ang Oct 23 at 10:31 am Reply Reply

    Good suggestions! When I was in 8th grade, the math teacher (only 28 years old herself, younger than I am now) told us that it was super important to always moisturize your face, even as teenagers. At the time I had problem skin and my regimen was a lot like Amalah’s (lots of super-drying products/masks and NO MOISTURE). Luckily my skin cleared up when I started taking the pill, and I started using moisturizer regularly in college.
    Nothing that I would recommend could be any better than Amalah’s suggestions. ONLY…I would combine the moisturizer and sunscreen. I’ve always used moisturizers with SPF, and it doesn’t hurt to use oil-free. I LOVE my purity face wash, and I use hope in a jar at night, but it’s too heavy for daytime use (also lack of SPF). I have been using Olay moisturizer with SPF 15 for several years now, and it’s oil-free. Not to mention it’s only about $8 for a good-sized bottle at your local discount superstore.

  8. Fraulein Furioso Oct 23 at 10:49 am Reply Reply

    I have curly hair, and I wish someone had shown me how to take care of it back in the day! Would’ve saved me a lot of grief if I’d known not to wash it every day, use a deep conditioner, how to use a diffuser properly, etc. Good luck!

  9. Jasmine Oct 23 at 10:49 am Reply Reply

    Hi! I’m 18! And I don’t really have any business reading Alphamom, I know, but I really love the make-up advice that I chanced upon one fine day with Google.
    I think everything here is really great basic info, and the best advice is recommendations for a small budget and how to take care of oneself without going too vain for one’s age, haa.
    I think sunscreen, tinted moisturiser, eyeliner, mascara and lipgloss is magic!

  10. Kat Oct 23 at 11:24 am Reply Reply

    Call one your local dermatologists and ask them to come. They are usually more than willing to come and talk to potential clients. Also, ask them to bring samples (oh, I love free samples). Little hint…look for the young, new dermatologist in town.. this is how they build business and they will be closer in age.
    If you want to discuss makeup, have one of the makeup ladies from Dillards or Macy’s or other big department store come..

  11. Linda_M Oct 23 at 11:33 am Reply Reply

    Jasmine said what I’m thinking, only she put it much better than I would have. Encourage them to keep it simple. When they’re old (like me, not like you), they’d kill to get that teenage fresh-faced look back.
    On hair – besides all of Amy’s good advice – don’t fight what you have. Straight, curly, thick, thin, light, dark – celebrate it as is, don’t spend hours trying to get your hair to do something it’s not meant to do. I remember years of dodging fun events because the weather wasn’t going to be kind to my laboriously straightened hair. Teenagers should live and enjoy life, not be slaves to some artificial notion of beauty.
    Whew! That got to be a little soap-boxy. Sorry.

  12. Mrs. D Oct 23 at 11:42 am Reply Reply

    Aside from some of the other notes – like moisturizing and dental care – the biggest thing I wish I’d known was how to remove eye makeup. In fact, I have yet to find a really good eye-makeup remover. Mascara smudges are the bane of my existence!

  13. Julie Oct 23 at 12:11 pm Reply Reply

    I second the recommendation of talking about the fact that tanning is BAD. I’m only 31 and I already have extra freckles and spots and just not-as-nice skin on my chest, from too many tans and burns.
    It is really important to stress the facts, and I know teenage girls want to look tan and healthy and all that…but they need to really understand the dangers (both health-wise AND vanity-wise.)

  14. Greta Oct 23 at 12:21 pm Reply Reply

    Um, this church sounds awesome. What a good idea! I wish someone had told me that kind of stuff when I was a kid. You should get someone to come in and demonstrate how to apply self tanner — maybe the dermatologist? That, by the way, was an awesome suggestion. You could get a local hair stylist to come too I bet.

  15. Ms. Krieger Oct 23 at 12:21 pm Reply Reply

    Everyone had great comments, esp. RE: not tanning and loving the natural texture of your hair.
    I have curly hair, like a previous poster. And I wish when I was a teen that somebody told me to
    1) wash it only once or twice a week
    2) when you do wash it, to use conditioner (not shampoo!!!! please!!!!)
    3) learn to love leave-in conditioner
    and
    4) find a stylist who is trained in curly hair, likes it and will be honest with you about your hair can and cannot do.
    I suspect there are similar guidelines to working with all hair types.

  16. Lisa Oct 23 at 12:29 pm Reply Reply

    I second the derm recommendation for acne. My son had horrible acne — ProActive made it WORSE ye gads — and we tried everything in the stores AND from acne.org. Nothing worked until we went to the doctor, and he had to take three rounds of antibiotics — and now takes doxycycline daily — before it even began to clear up.
    If it’s mild and can be taken care of by a good facial cleanser and some Clearasil, your doctor will tell you. But it’s a medical condition, acne, and needs to be treated as such. The more you know. . . doo doo doo doo.
    (And Mrs. D? Get thee to a Mary Kay lady. The rest of their stuff might be overpriced and useless, but their eye makeup remover is the shit. The only thing that works, like EVER.)

  17. TasterSpoon Oct 23 at 1:10 pm Reply Reply

    Two related pearls of wisdom that were passed on to me (a little too late):
    1. Nothing is as beautiful as youth. It may be hard to appreciate at the time, but trying to look older usually backfires, beauty-wise.
    2. After five minutes, any more time you spend putting on your daily makeup is too much makeup.

  18. Laura Oct 23 at 1:44 pm Reply Reply

    An excellent website with actual information and explanations (as opposed to all the marketing hype and crap the cosmetic companies put out) is http://www.cosmeticscop.com. Go to the Learn tab and start reading!
    One of the things I like best about the site and the woman who owns it is that she rates all brands of makeup and skin-care products. If you sign up for her newsletter, at the end of the year she puts out a “best products” roundup, and it truly does cover all price points. So it’s easy to find products that work in the less-expensive price ranges.

  19. Sarah Oct 23 at 2:00 pm Reply Reply

    Please look into the Dove Real Beauty Campaign! It’s great!

  20. kaelak Oct 23 at 2:00 pm Reply Reply

    Great, natural acne spot treatments:
    * tea tree oil
    * toothpaste
    Just a dab for both. And DO NOT PICK YOUR ZITS!
    And a few-times-a-week splash with witch hazel as toner.
    Also, go as gentle as you can and do as little to mess with your skin as possible.

  21. Deanna B Oct 23 at 2:02 pm Reply Reply

    Having recently left my teenage years, I would have to say that the biggest mistake girls (myself included) was piling on the makeup before school. Now for high schoolers, I would recommend one of those mineral foundations. I know people with sensitive skin don’t always like them BUT it is really hard to put on too much of them.
    I would also be sure to point out that if they’re involved in sports any makeup they wear will sweat off which isn’t cute so either take it off before practice or go light enough that it isn’t obvious and to wear a higher spf/reapply if they are playing an outdoor sport. Oh and if you’re in swim invest in a silicon swim cap. They last longer and don’t ruin your hair as much as the latex do.

  22. anna Oct 23 at 2:13 pm Reply Reply

    I’m still working on it, but the most important thing I needed to learn as a teen was “No really, you’ve got to wash your face every day and NO, you don’t need to use scrub all the time.”

  23. Tiffany Oct 23 at 2:26 pm Reply Reply

    Another thing: start with less when it comes to cleaning– less fragrance, less active ingredients, less allergenics. For years I had red, acne-icky skin that wouldn’t go away and then I decided to use some sensitive skin cleansers and Pond’s cold cream and everything just disappeared! I don’t know if it’s age related, but if you have tried lots of active ingredients for acne and nothing works, try something with as little active ingredients as possible– it might just be the answer!

  24. Anya Oct 23 at 3:12 pm Reply Reply

    Ooh ooh oooohhh! For skin care, check out CosmeticsCop.com – no kidding. Changed my life, seriously. Her makeup tips are definitely geared towards more mature women, but her skin care tips are good for all ages though. She has several fact sheet type things you may be able to print and take with you, as well as a database of product reviews based on actual scientific information.

  25. Heidi Oct 23 at 3:30 pm Reply Reply

    FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS FACIALLY SACRED DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT TAN!!!
    Whew. Okay. So. For acne, for one, remember- everyone gets it. Yes, even that popular cheerleader chick who seems JUST PERFECT. Use a gentle face wash with salicylic (sp?) acid for acne. Neutrogena makes one, and for an exfoliating face wash also be GENTLE. I used St. Ives Apricot scrub and I still do.
    For your hair once again…GENTLE! I know they’ll torture their hair with blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons and the like. Use a heat protector, and save your self from the crunchy-feeling-heat-damaged-hair drama.
    Wash your face nightly. If you’re going to work out or do a sport, your makeup WILL melt off. Sweat + makeup = clogged pores = acne. If you know you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, skip the makeup, and use some moisturizing sunscreen. That tan is cute now, but skin cancer isn’t. Trust me.
    As for makeup in general…Now is the time to have some fun with it and experiment. But less is more, girls. The eyeshadow up to your eyebrows, the racoon eyeliner, the streaky blush and orange foundation don’t look stylish, they look stripperish. Honestly, when I was teenager, I wore a light foundation everyday, light blush, mascara and that was it. At that age, when you wear much more, you look like a little girl playing dress up.

  26. Dacia Oct 23 at 3:31 pm Reply Reply

    My mom taught us that the “sting” from using those acne pads (stridex, etc) was a Good thing.
    If I could go back and tell myself something re: skin care it was that if it stings it is too strong and you can still have clean skin without it burning/stinging.
    For hair: I wish someone would have told me how to work WITH my hair and that hair products are not bad, evil things if you know what to choose. My hair was straight until around puberty and what an awkward time for your hair to start going curly. Especially if you were clueless about it. I would blow-dry it (again, NO help from smoothing/straightening products!) and wonder why the slightest bit of damp air would frizz and fluff it all to crap.

  27. Jenny Oct 23 at 4:06 pm Reply Reply

    Just to reiterate, use sun screen! Every day, all day. Most of your skin damage is done by age 20, so now is the time to nip it.
    And on another note, skin cancer is on the rise. My mom works as a nurse at a derm office (in a city of 100,000) and they DAILY see non-curable melanoma cases.

  28. Della Oct 23 at 5:37 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t have any beauty tips to add. But I can add that as a teenager (and frankly, even today), I would have been thrilled with a lesson in properly applying different kinds of makeup.
    Especially nice for the girls who haven’t started makeup and are tempted to overdo it, would be a silly “overdo it” demonstration, where you do it to the right (lovely) point – maybe even take pictures – and then go overboard, or do it Very Wrong, one layer at a time, showing how bad it actually looks in comparison [giving a great chance to demonstrate proper REMOVAL afterwards too]. (examples – wrong dark color of lip liner, eyeliner on top and bottom lids, etc)
    I never really had this going-overboard problem, but I had some friends and a cousin who thought more is more when it came to makeup.

  29. ECB Oct 23 at 5:55 pm Reply Reply

    Wear SUNSCREEN! 30 or higher! Not only on your face but any exposed body parts – EVERY DAY!! Wear Sunglasses anytime its remotely sunny. Wear a hat at the beach/pool.

  30. Tricia Oct 23 at 7:11 pm Reply Reply

    this little slideshow of identical twins, where one has tanned and smoked, etc, and the other did not, should get their attention! wow!
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33385839/ns/health-skin_and_beauty/

  31. Erin Oct 23 at 8:38 pm Reply Reply

    I wish someone had told me: 1) Stay away from Noxzema. STAY AWAY! 2) If your acne makes you sad, is deep and painful, or if you just wonder if you need medical help for it… go see a dermatologist. Doesn’t hurt to check it out! I had such bad acne for so long. I grew out of it, but not until I was 23 or so. I could have had help LONG before that!

  32. Kim Oct 23 at 8:40 pm Reply Reply

    I second all the remarks about curly hair! I didn’t discover what a difference a diffuser makes until I was 24. Huge!

  33. Muirnait Oct 23 at 10:36 pm Reply Reply

    Yeah, no particular tips here, just props to the church and to Isabel for doing this! Great idea :)

  34. Kaleigh Oct 24 at 12:43 am Reply Reply

    Okay, so I’ll weigh in as the mom of a (mostly) teenager (she’s a mature 12 and is already 2 inches taller than I am). And a youth group advisor.
    Tell them that they’re beautiful.
    Daily face washing is essential.
    If acne is truly a problem, see their doctor. Retin-A works wonders.
    Too much eye makeup really does look dumb.
    Get a Mary Kay (or similar) consultant to help you with makeup tips. They’re generally very good at being age-appropriate, and kids tend to listen to “experts” better than authority figures or parents.
    I’m a very permissive parent when it comes to hair. My daughter’s hair is currently purple and my son has a mohawk. It’s just hair. Teen years are PERFECT for trying on new personas and experimenting. Have fun!
    Don’t bite your nails! It changes how they grow.
    Posture is more important than you think. Good posture gives a great impression and makes girls look more confident. And a confident girl? Can rule the world.
    (Oh, and my daughter’s skin improved measurably when she started a mineral powder foundation. Worked for me, too. YMMV.)

  35. Mary Oct 24 at 12:56 am Reply Reply

    I have what my friends describe as olive skin. When I was in high school, all my friends went to Merle Norman and got pink tinted foundation. It looked so pretty on them and I yearned for it. But they gave me orange.
    I would have loved for someone to look at my coloring and tell me what would work for me. I have really good skin, even now in my late 40s. It would have been such a confidence booster for someone to say, this isn’t the color your friends can wear, but it will be awesome on you. And showed me how to use mascara and pick a good lip gloss.

  36. Toni Oct 24 at 1:09 am Reply Reply

    Don’t Smoke! I am 53 and have recently stopped smoking for the 3rd time. Not only is it an addiction, it will age your skin. One of the changes I recently noted was less dark circles. I do have some sun damage as well, when I was a kid they did not have sunscreen. We had baby oil. I got toasted as a child as I loved to play outdoors in the hot sun. When I was a teenager I loaded on the baby oil to get tan. I got burned. I am a red head and fair. I wish I had embraced the fair untanned me. Hope this helps some little red haired girl.

  37. caleal Oct 24 at 9:26 am Reply Reply

    Seriously, I totally agree with telling them about the effects of tanning. That’s the one thing I wish someone had told me. And smoking. I’m sure they know about the health effects, but probably don’t think about the look effects. That identical twin study slide show above is good- There are also those “underskin” camera photos that show damage.
    And I really think you should try and show the clip Amy posted. I worshiped magazines when I was a teenager, and to see that probably would have helped my self esteem a bit.

  38. Jasmine Oct 24 at 10:30 am Reply Reply

    Oh I had one more thing to add (since I’ve always been curious) what about things like waxing brows or getting highlights? The tips here are GREAT but what has always gotten everybody worried are things like prom and graduation. Hair! Dress! Face! Doom! It’d be great to know what is appropriate dressing for each occasion, too. I hope this helps!

  39. Melissa Oct 24 at 11:45 am Reply Reply

    I second Lisa’s recommendation for the Mary Kay eye makeup remover. That stuff is killer.
    I wish someone would have told me to have patience and seek help to avoid do-it-yourself pitfalls. I suffered through much self-inflicted drama due to hair trims, eyebrow shaping, acne treating and product use. Yes, it is 9:30 pm and those bangs do need to be shorter, but getting out the scissors to take off “a little bit” might not be the best idea. I’m quite handy with all of those things these days, but it took practice. Start slow or, even better, find someone who knows what their doing to get you started. Your parents probably won’t let you stay home from school until whatever you’ve done to yourself grows out or heals (disposable razors are sharp!).

  40. Trish Oct 24 at 1:08 pm Reply Reply

    I love Clinique products: so gentle to my rather sensitive skin. But their toner was too strong for me, so I switched to Neutrogena’s alcohol free toner and use it with their face soap (and all their non-oil-based makeup). And Amy is SO right about the moisturizer thing. I was in my mid-twenties before I started putting it on (still breaking out) and shortly after was kicking myself for never having tried it before. My skin cleared like magic: it was incredible. What I learned from that is if you’re getting zits, it might mean you don’t have ENOUGH moisture, not that you have too much!

  41. Amy Oct 25 at 1:11 am Reply Reply

    I would have told myself not to pick at pores or blackheads and to skip buying out the acne section of the drugstore and go to a dermatologist.
    Also, I would have spent the $15-30 to have my brows shaped professionally.
    Bobbi Brown has a book on teenaged beauty and makeup that is pretty good all about self esteem and “less is more” – you should take a look at that for inspiration as well.

  42. Lea Oct 25 at 11:17 am Reply Reply

    What’s sad is that I WAS told to wear sunscreen and to avoid tanning beds. I didn’t listen and now I have blotchy spots on my face and legs. I would much, much rather be a pale fish underbelly and get spray tans on occasion than to always have to cover up two dark spots on my right cheek.
    Any teenagers out there? Wear sunscreen! Take advantage of the decent sunless tanning products out there and don’t go to the tanning bed. Word.

  43. Melanie Oct 26 at 9:01 am Reply Reply

    I agree with a comment earlier about tinted moisturizer. It creates such a natrual look without being too heavy. A bonus about the one I use (Cover Girl) is that it has sunscreen in it too.
    I also think you should really discuss the right way to put on eyeliner. I have a 15 yo cousin who wears this ridiculous layer of black eyeliner… it makes her eyes look really small and it’s just horrible in general.

  44. kellyannecat Oct 26 at 5:17 pm Reply Reply

    All great advice, and I would add that maybe you could teach them about good posture? It sounds like such an old-fashioned, charm school-type concern, I know. When I was a teenager, my mom got after me about my posture, and I basically ignored her advice, until my husband told me, a few years ago, that when I stand up straight, I look “statuesque.” He was right, and so was Mom. When you stand up straight, you look good and feel good, your clothes fit better, your waist looks leaner, your neck longer . . .

  45. Kim Oct 27 at 11:04 am Reply Reply

    Teeth. Don’t forget teeth. This should be a no brainer, but I’ve seen great looking girls with beautiful hair and skin who look like they brush their teeth twice a week. Clean teeth and healthy gums look good and give you better breath.

  46. Melissa Oct 28 at 12:09 pm Reply Reply

    Ooh, I forgot about posture. I live in a college town and it drives me crazy that these young girls with a little height on them or with a rack that they aren’t comfortable with walk around stoop shouldered trying to shrink into themselves. Stand up straight and be proud! Confidence is beautiful.

  47. Donna Oct 30 at 5:57 pm Reply Reply

    Washing my face before I went to bed was the best advice my mother gave me on skincare.
    I just wish that she had been as insistent on sunscreen

  48. Isabel Nov 02 at 12:13 pm Reply Reply

    HOLY CRAP…you ladies are smart as heck! So, Amalah posted this after my presentation. (That’s what I get for waiting until the last minute!) That being said, I might have to have ANOTHER activity like this for the girls at church and talk more in depth about this topic.
    When I told the girls to ALWAYS wear sunscreen on their face they were surprised! SURPRISED?! They were also surprised to learn about the “only wash your roots and condition your ends” tip. I hope they follow the suggestions I did offer. And like all of you said, I wish someone would have shared this info with me when I was their age!

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