Cosmetics can give the impression that teens are not beautiful without them. While sometimes unintentional, teenagers can get the vibe that they are only beautiful when they wear makeup. Cosmetics should be seen as something fun and not a necessity. It also should be made clear that the makeup is not the only way to appear beautiful. I opt not to wear any makeup at all. However, because not everyone will feel the same, it's important to teach kids to wear makeup the correct way and for the right reasons. It should never be stated that the makeup is to correct beauty flaws or that your teen looks better with it than without.
Discuss ill effects of cosmetics. It's important for your teen to know about the damage that cosmetics can cause to the face and even to her health. She should also know about what happens to certain animals in order to create makeup. For instance, some women develop pock marks, blemishes, and other skin issues because of wearing makeup. Also, depending on the products, animals can be injured or even killed simply for the purpose of creating makeup. Check the labels and talk to your teen about the toxic materials used to create the products.
Teach your teen proper makeup application. This may seem like an odd way to teach kids to appreciate their beauty without makeup. But the fact is that teens are going to want to at least experiment with some makeup. Teaching them about applying it properly lets them know that you are not simply throwing orders out there. They need to know that you do respect their choices, but that you do want them to know all the facts so they can make an informed decision themselves. This teaches them to be responsible for their own actions. Also, when your teen sees herself both with and without the makeup, it gives her a comparison point. Another thing to point out is that a teen can wear makeup while still appreciating her natural beauty. Not all teens or women who wear makeup do so because they don't appreciate their own looks.
Teach your child about natural cosmetics. As mentioned above, teens may want to try out some makeup. This is an experimental age when they are learning more about the world around them. They may decide they like it and then again, they may not. But at least if they do make the choice to wear makeup, they will be knowledgeable about what's good for their skin. Natural cosmetics can be found online and in many retail locations. Look for makeup that is not tested on animals, not made of animal by-products, friendly to the earth, and has some sort of health benefit to the skin. There should not be any chemical ingredients. Basically, you want to teach your teen to look for makeup that is good for her, rather than damaging.
Emphasize all your teen's beautiful features when she is not wearing makeup. Be sure to compliment your teen on her features during times when she does not have on any makeup. You don't need to say anything about the makeup. Simply say something honest and nice about her most flattering features whenever you get the chance. Of course, there is no need to overdo it. But your teen will appreciate the comments and take them to heart. Remember, that just as she takes the nice comments to heart, the negative ones can have an impact as well. Even if there is something you don't like about her looks, with or without the makeup, there is no need to say so. Only focus on the positive.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network