October 23, 2012

Skincare -- Have You Forgotten Your Kids?

by Colleen Langenfeld

You're teaching your kids about the importance of nutrition, right? Balanced meals, good hydration and smart food choices are tools you give your children as they learn about self-care.

Additionally, you're probably making sure they get plenty of healthy exercise, too. Afterschool sports, weekend biking and those great family swim sessions!

Yep, you're right on track!

Uh, wait a minute. Have you missed something?

Is your family practicing healthy skincare?

If your answer is, 'yes, we use sunscreen'...well, that's a great start, but you'll need more than that to keep your kids' skin healthy. Let's start with the facts:

-- There were 35 million office visits (US) to Dermatologists annually in 2000 (source: Advance Data 328 for the CDC).

-- Approximately 13.3 million visits to office-based physicians were for skin rash in 2000 (source: Advance Data 328 for the CDC).

-- Your skin is the largest organ on your body. That fact alone should entice you to take better care of it! An adult's skin weighs 5 to 8 pounds (about 3 to 4 kilograms) and measures around 20 square feet (1.8 square meters) in size, if laid out flat.

-- If you are a woman, chances are good that you are very careful about your facial skincare and rightly so. Are you as careful about the rest of your body? And what about the rest of the family? The Mayo Clinic advises using a heavy moisturizer all over the body after bathing or showering while beads of water are still present on the skin, especially during the winter months and repeating 2 or 3 times a day!

So what is the number one skincare rule you can teach your kids? Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

But first - take a second look at that moisturizer. You are probably already spending quite a bit on skincare for your family; are you getting quality results for your money? Recently, I realized that the generic lotions I had purchased to place in several baths and rooms around my home were simply not working! So, my family went back to our old tried - and - true brand, which costs quite a bit more than the generic. I would much rather spend extra and get actual results than spend a little and throw that money down the drain!

The bottom line? Pay close attention to the beauty and household products your family uses. The perfumes, dyes and other chemicals in these everyday products cause skin irritations for many people. Try using chemical-free or dye-free products instead. There are more on the market all the time. I personally use ALL brand Free & Clear laundry detergent for my family's laundry and I've been very happy with it. Remember, your skin is your body's first line of defense!

Plain and simple, don't shortcut your family when it comes to skincare. Give them the tools and the training they need to nourish this vital part of their body's health for the rest of their lives!

So, shop around and find products that work for YOUR family. Test a few lotions to see which ones your kids will actually use. Ask yourself if you can prevent some of the odors in your home instead of just covering them up with chemical air fresheners. You don't need to change everything. Just add some balance to your family's life.

And oh, one more thing. Don't forget the sunscreen!

Colleen Langenfeld

Colleen Langenfeld owns and operates http://www.paintedgold.com, a resource site for busy working mothers. Try our FREE e-course for Non-Toxic Living! Find out more here: http://www.paintedgold.com/Pages/HSpunEclass.html
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