Choose makeup and nail polish made of all-natural ingredients that are free of chemicals. Nail polish can have formaldehyde or phthalates in it. These are harmful to kids who might suck their thumbs or put their hands in their mouths -- two things that small children commonly do. Children who bite their nails could be getting a mouthful of these harmful chemicals, too, so make sure they’re not in the polishes they use.
Children’s sensitive skin may react with allergic rashes and break-outs to additives in makeup. Skin allergies result in more than seven million doctors’ visits each year, according to the Mitchell Medical Group, a website that focuses on immunology and integrative medicine. The sunscreen protection and fragrances added to some makeup could irritate your child’s eyes, or cause a negative allergic reaction called contact dermatitis on skin. They can also cause wheezing and whole body hives if the child is allergic to a product in the makeup used.
Opt for water-based, plant-based, or all-natural polishes and makeup for children. Makeup should be labeled “hypoallergenic” -- which means it has been tested by dermatologists and will most likely not cause an allergic reaction. Oil-based makeup could clog pores. Makeup labeled “non-comedogenic” most likely will not clog pores. Makeup formulas for adults often contain products to combat aging skin, such as retinols, alpha-hydroxy acids and other chemicals that could irritate young children’s skin. Lipsticks should be all-natural formulas that are safe if ingested. Make sure you read the labels of anything your child uses before she puts it on her face or nails.
Throw out any makeup that is past its expiration date. Expired makeup harbors bacteria that can make kids and adults sick, or lead to rashes, styes or pink eye. Dr. Angela Bowers, a dermatologist with the Baylor Regional Medical Center, suggests that eye makeup and liquid foundation be thrown out after being opened for three months.
Spread of Infection
Lipsticks and glosses used by someone who has had a cold sore could spread the virus to children. Make sure you know who used that lipstick before your kids wear it.
The average teen -- especially one just starting to experiment with makeup -- probably doesn't need a whole case full of makeup products, but rather just the basics. Look for makeup kits that provide the basics for your teen. Makeup guru Bobbi Brown tells Oprah.com that most teens don't need heavy stuff like foundation. Instead, look for a kit that contains easy-to-use lip gloss, mascara and blush to get her started.
Heavy powders can look cakey on your teen's fresh skin, so consider looking for kits that offer cream and liquid-based products. They're typically easier to blend, go on lighter and are more foolproof than heavier products. Choose lip gloss over lipstick and cream blush over the powdery kind. Even cream eyeshadows can be a smart addition to a first makeup kit -- they go on more sheer, especially if your teen has a heavy hand when it comes to application.
While your teen might be anxious to try out the bright colors she saw in a magazine, natural is best when first starting out. Look for makeup kits that contain neutral color palettes, like beige and brown. Your teen can learn how to use those before trying brighter and more shocking colors. As an added bonus, neutral colors flatter any skin tone, so you don't have to worry about matching shades with it comes to eyeliner, shadow, blush and mascara.
Before you hand over a makeup kit, make sure you're clear on school rules regarding makeup and ensure that your teen is willing to follow those rules. Disney Family suggests setting your own rules for wearing makeup, like which products are appropriate. It also helps if you set a timeline for your makeup-loving teen. You might not think that mascara is necessary for a 12-year-old, but she can start wearing it when she turns 14 instead. It's a compromise that allows your teen to play with her makeup kit within the bounds you've set.