In the '60s we smoked cigarettes like there was no tomorrow, and in the '70s we baked ourselves in the sun like Christmas hams. Why? Because we were young, that's why.
Of course, these days we now know the errors of our ways, and as we look back on our careless skin care missteps, all we can think about is how important it is to make sure the next generation does not repeat our mistakes.
In celebration of Mother's Day, we asked all the moms (and dads...and aunts) in the TIA community what skin care advice they would pass along to their daughter. Below, their responses.
"Beware of the effects of the sun. I was one of those '60's and '70's teenagers who baked in the sun. The deeper the tan the happier I was and thought I looked great. Maybe I did, but it came at a big price. My advice: "Paying attention to the SPF in your skin care products and sunscreen may not seem important right now, but as you age, the payoff will be well worth the effort as your skin will be far less damaged with wrinkles and dark spots than your mother's generation."
"First and foremost ...hydrate and MOISTURIZE inside and out. Always drink plenty of good water, cleanse your face before going to bed, and don't forget your neck and chest! (Knees and elbows also get saggy with age, so don't forget them, either.) Fresh air, fresh food, a good attitude and a grateful heart will show ... on the outside, too."
"I don’t have a daughter, but I’m very close to my 16-year-old cousin, Mia. One thing I tell Mia is to look for natural, organic and non-toxic ingredients. Even if a product has immediate results, they’re not worth the cell-damage and other health-risks. I’ve introduced her to the TIA glossary and the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Guide, and recently she found an all-natural product for her acne, which was pretty bad and has now cleared-up."
"I have two daughters who are now 24 and 30. Two most important words of advice about their skin care they always hear: Never ever go to bed without removing your makeup and cleaning your face. Second, never go outside without a quality sunscreen — especially on your face, neck, and décolletage."
"Begin to care for your skin at a very early age. It's never too early. That's what I wish I would have known as a teenager. Also, what I didn't know then was most products available in drug stores simply are not effective and contain potentially harmful ingredients. Do your homework: Know what you are applying to your skin."
"I have a couple pieces of skin care advice that I want to pass on to my daughter so that hopefully she will get better skin than mine. First is to start early with sun protection and to avoid UV rays as much as possible because the damage accumulates over time. I wish I'd known this in my teenage years. Second is not to rub the eye area — another mistake I made in my childhood — because it's prone to wrinkles and fine lines. And lastly, I would advise her to get physically active and eat healthy — because beauty starts from within and whatever you take in your body reflects from the inside so it's better if she takes care of her health first, and she will get that healthy glow.
"Start gentle exfoliation in puberty when skin starts to get oily, but don't overclean. Try not to read fashion magazines — they make young girls (and women) feel bad about themselves."
"I don't have any kids yet, but when I do, I will tell them that less makeup for every day is better. I'll let her know that it's important to take off her makeup at the end of the day, no matter how tired she is because it will decrease breakouts and leave her skin looking fresh. I would also tell her to use products with natural ingredients because it's much better for her skin!"
"Pay attention to your neck!!! We're all so concentrated on the face but the neck needs the same exfoliation, buffing and moisturizing love. Also, start "anti-aging" creams and facials early. Don't wait until your 30s or 40s to start the process. Healthy skin care begins early — and one needs to be educated about the 'right' and 'wrong' products."
"Never squeeze your pimples! It can cause permanent scarring. Instead, use a salicylic acid formula and keep your hands off your face. And get a good night's sleep! While it's not always possible to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, this is something to strive for. No makeup can compare to what you look like after a good night's sleep."