What We're Teaching Our Daughters About Natural Beauty

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Essential Oils Blog

What We’re Teaching Our Daughters About Natural Beauty

Jessica Cobb, Certified Aromatherapist & Content Manager 

Obviously, not all of us at Plant Therapy are moms. But we all have moms! And we’ve all learned a lot from our mothers about taking care of ourselves, loving ourselves and how to take care of the body we were given. 

But what are we teaching our daughters about natural beauty? (I know, the title says ‘daughters’ but boys need these lessons too!) Today, we’re talking about how our moms influenced our personal views of beauty, and what we’re passing down to our own daughters (or sons) about the importance of a natural beauty routine, and loving your own skin.

Before the Bath: Beauty starts with loving yourself.

Woman happy during a run

Beauty isn’t about making yourself pretty, it’s about caring for your skin, hair, body, and soul.

 

Today women have more pressure to be beautiful and perfect than ever before. Social media, television, and advertising have built up an exhausting and unrealistic standard of beauty. We’re bombarded daily with images of “perfect” bodies and if our own doesn’t measure up, it’s hard not to feel like we’re failing. If you’re not careful, this constant can make your beauty routine a stressful time of focusing on the negative.

But don’t forget that beauty is self-care for the body you already have. Beauty isn’t about making yourself pretty, it’s about caring for your skin, hair, body, and soul. That message is at the heart of what we want our daughters to hear: She’s already beautiful! Your beauty routine is about you, not about anyone else. Take the time every day to appreciate your body, care for it, and take pride in what you can do.

Teaching our daughters about natural beauty.

Think about it this way: When you’re making your all-natural body scrub, you are spending time creating a future moment of pampering for your skin. Be mindful of the joy creating brings you and make that mindfulness something you also pass on to your daughter.

Teaching your daughter to have a healthy, joyful attitude about her own body helps avoid anxiety and encourages body positivity, both of which will help her mental health and give her confidence for the rest of her life (and yours, too!).

And remember when teaching our daughters about natural beauty, if it doesn’t bring you joy to spend time on your beauty routine, if swiping on the perfect shade of lipstick makes you cringe, don’t do it! Beauty is about feeling comfortable in your own skin, not stressing about perfection. You don’t have to spend hours a day pampering yourself by scrubbing, buffing, lotioning and making up to take excellent care of your body.

Beauty as bonding.

Natural beauty

Beauty rituals can be quality time spent bonding over boy troubles, school struggles and giggling at makeup mistakes.

 

Think about the products you used as a teenager for a second.

Do scrunchies and the scent of Herbal Essences shampoo come to mind? Did you store your Lip Smacker collection in your Caboodle? If our own teenage selves are any indication, our pre-teens and teens are going to experiment with some wild trends (frosted tips and blue eyeshadow, I’m looking at you). Making green, natural beauty a priority gives our daughters a head start on healthy skin and hair that will last a lifetime, long after the brightly-colored makeup washes off.

But beauty is more than that. Just like anything else you share with your daughter, time spent together learning a good beauty routine is just as much about bonding as it is about teaching her how to care for her hair and skin. Beauty rituals can be quality time spent bonding over boy troubles, school struggles and giggling at makeup mistakes. My own daughter tells me more about her own developing ideas of beauty during our “makeovers” than she does any other time. These times are incredibly valuable moments to connect with her as she matures.

If your little girl is curious about your beauty routine, bring her into your routine with you! When you make beauty routines and products taboo, or “adults only,” you might miss out on these valuable moments to teach and bond with your daughter.

Start with the basics: Natural beauty 101.

My daughter has just started getting into makeup, and I realized when she started her collection that you can’t teach effective natural beauty routines without a good foundation. Teaching the building blocks of a healthy beauty routine is essential for future skin, hair and body health.

Wash your face. Every day.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirrorWashing your face is the most basic and essential step of any beauty or skincare routine. All day long our face (and skin) comes into contact with environmental pollution, toxins, germs, and dirt.  In order to keep your skin from getting angry and producing acne, wash your face twice a day with a gentle, natural cleanser: Once in the morning and once before you go to bed.

For the gentlest cleanser, you can buy that seriously works, try an oil cleanser. It might not feel like rubbing oil on your skin is cleaning it or picking up oil, but it is. Remember: Oil absorbs oil! So oily skin is sometimes best cleaned with oil. Plus it leaves your skin soft and hydrated.

Try natural, non-toxic toners.

hydrosols being used on a cotton pad

When you think “toner” you’re probably thinking of the super singing or painful astringent toners of our own teen years. Toners were originally toners were alcohol-based and they were meant to dry up oily skin and help get rid of any leftover dirt after washing your face.

Today though, toners have seriously been upgraded. Think of them as beauty supplements — the right toner delivers an extra shot of nutrients to your skin, helps your skin absorb your beauty products, packs a punch of natural benefits and helps balance your facial skin. Choose an all-natural toner, like a gentle hydrosol spray, to get the benefits of toner but keep the ingredients natural and green.

Bonus tip: How to use Toner: Toners should happen after cleaning but before moisturizers, morning and night. Traditionally, you soak a cotton ball in toner and gently rub it into your face, but you end up wasting so much product that way!

Instead, apply toner with your hands, or better yet use an all-natural hydrosol as a toner and spritz it on clean skin. Lavender and Melissa hydrosols both smell amazing, are 100% natural and the bring gentle properties of each essential oil to the skin as well.

Moisturize!

The original organic healing balm plant therapyDon’t skip moisturizer! Moisturizer is key to hydrating skin and keeping it balanced and healthy. A good moisturizer helps prevent water loss through the outer layers of your skin, as well as fortify the already existing protective oils of your skin (like ceramides). Skin naturally loses the ability to retain moisture as we age, so basically slather on moisturizer every day and start young.

Wear sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply.

child with cream on her itchy arm
Sunscreen is, hands down, the most crucial skin-care product.
The single most important tip (and one that comes straight from our own mothers and grandmothers) is sunscreen.

Sunscreen is, hands down, the most crucial skin-care product.

Using sunscreen every single day (yes even in winter) helps prevent the development of fine lines, wrinkles, dry skin, and changes in the appearance of pores over time. But even more important, using sunscreen every day can help prevent the formation of skin cancers.

The easiest way to remember your sunscreen is hands-down to use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen built-in. Choose one with at least a broad spectrum  SPF of at least 30.

Decoding sunscreen:

Though there are a ton different trendy sunscreen ingredients, you basically have two options for ingredients in sunscreen formulas:

Chemical ingredients: This includes oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are absorbed into your skin to counteract the damage from ultraviolet light.
  • Pros: Chemical ingredients are lightweight, easily applied and transparent on the skin.
  • Cons: Chemicals can be irritating or even cause bad reactions in people with sensitive skin. Plus, some chemical ingredients (like oxybenzone) have associated health concerns and carry a “high hazard” rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.

Physical ingredients: Natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These sit on top of your skin and help deflect from entering your body.

  • Pros: Physical ingredienVery little risk of irritation or health concerns.
  • Cons: These products, though natural, can leave a white or gray tint on the skin. This can be more noticeable on dark skin.

Choose the best of both worlds: If possible, opt for a sunscreen that uses a combination. That way you get the best of both worlds.

Sunscreen tips:

Just as important as wearing sunscreen: Applying it correctly!
  • Put on your sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun.
  • Reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours.
  • Chemical sunscreens should be applied directly to clean skin
  • Physical blocking sunscreen needs to be applied last in your skin-care routine (but before makeup).
  • Use about two Tbsp of sunscreen on your face and exposed areas of your body

Read product labels and look for natural ingredients:

natural beautyJust like food labels, beauty product labels can be a mess of unpronounceable and unrecognizable words and ingredients. When teaching our daughters about natural beauty, be sure to take a few extra minutes to puzzle out what is actually in your products, to make the most educated choices.

Concentration levels

Concentration is listed from highest to lowest. So, the higher up on the ingredient list, the higher the concentration. That means that the first ingredient listed will be the main ingredient.

Preservatives

We talk a lot about preservatives when we do DIYs with essential oils (Polysorbate 20 is the most common one). And they’re necessary even in products you buy over-the-counter. Why? Because any product that contains water needs a preservative to prevent molding. No one wants moldy beauty products.

Another potential ingredient to avoid is Parabens. Parabens can sometimes irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions, and some have also been linked to hormone disruption because they mimic the hormone estrogen. Since many products are now going paraben-free, you’ll be seeing phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin more commonly in your beauty products.

Latin ingredients

Don’t let Latin on a label scare you, it’s actually a good thing! Latin names refer to botanical ingredients, which you absolutely want when choosing natural beauty products. For example, Lavendula gastufolia is the Latin (scientific) name for Lavender, or Lavender essential oil, a powerhouse in natural beauty products.

Even here at Plant Therapy, we use Latin names for all our essential oils and natural products. And because we want it to be easy to tell what you’re getting, we also often list the common name as well.

Chemicals

You can frequently find these ingredients as multi-syllable, ultra-long and unpronounceable words on the back of your bottle of product.  At first, you might be tempted to just put it down. After all, chemicals are bad, right?

But hold up a second. Yes, a highly chemical-laden product can be a bad sign, and certainly, you want to opt for natural ingredients whenever you can. But seeing complicated ingredients isn’t a reason to give up on a product. Remember, just because something sounds complex doesn’t mean it’s synthetic.

Choose companies and brands that reflect your values

Take your time to research the company you’re buying from. Choose a company or brand that values the same things you do. Pick a brand that has a history of transparency, who tests all of their products ethically, has clear and understandable labels, and chooses ethically sourced ingredients.

Bonus tip: I’m not saying Plant Therapy meets all these requirements for an ethical, natural brand…oh wait that’s exactly what I’m saying! But seriously, there are so many companies out there that truly care about their customers, their ingredients, the environment, and their ethics. Do just a little research and you’ll find a company whose products you feel great about buying.

Encourage beautiful individuality.

Natural beautyRemember when you’re teaching the next generation about beauty: That best lesson you can teach is that individuality is the most beautiful thing about any person. Every person will have different values, different features and different strengths. While you’re passing on your beauty wisdom, don’t forget to take a moment and appreciate the beauty that comes from within, as well as without.

48 thoughts on “What We’re Teaching Our Daughters About Natural Beauty”

  1. I’ve always taught my daughter that our beauty is shown in how we treat others and the world around us. I’m fine with her pretending to be a princess, as long as that princess knows how to rescue herself and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Part of our self care and mindfulness routine has been to tune into our bodies to asses how we’re feeling emotionally as well as physically and then select appropriate oil blends. It’s been such a blessing to have all the KidSafe blends to reach for and to empower her to help herself when she needs one of her rollers or aromatherapy inhalers. I’ve paired it with our botany & herbology homeschool unit. Since Plant Therapy has the latin names for each plant right on the label, we end up doing our schoolwork surrounded by all those little bottles. Thank you for this blog!

  2. Thank you for the tip on when to use hydrosol toners! I’m trying really hard to perfect my skincare routine. I currently love heli and Melissa hydrosol! I don’t have lavender yet but I’m really enjoying the Melissa and heli for my families acne, scarring, stress, anxiety calming effect. I’m obsessed with Skin Restore and palmarose together but jojoba with Anti-Age is perfect and leaves no residue! Plant therapy has helped my family clean up our beauty habits from natural aloe for bug bites instead of bug sticks, zit fighter and tea tree for acne, essential oils in the bath instead of chemical bubble bath, and the entire family has dandruff, and rosemary, cedarwood, and tea tree oils in natural shampoo have replaced toxic dandruff shampoo brilliantly! We are so thankful PT has shown us the way. As a cold sore sufferer, Melissa hydrosol has transformed my life : I put it on 5X a day if I feel one coming in and it never forms a sore. My recent fight with the virus made my lips extremely chapped and tingly and it split open, the sore was trying to pop up. I took my lysine and did my Melissa regimen and used healing balm for the chap – the crack closed up in less than 12 hours and my lips are almost healed and after just 2 days I no longer have a tingle sensation. I’d heard of Melissa’s antiviral properties for cold sores but I can assure you, it has been my saving grace. My son also suffers and I know what to do next time I love it as a facial toner and heli helps my scarring from past acne, so using Melissa after heli when any of us has a tingle or a pimple outbreak is very convenient – no mixing, adding in preservatives or trips to the liquor store, hydrosol sits right in the fridge, waiting for when we need it! I recently added fresh green tea sprayed on and when I use that my skin is clear as a baby’s! So just further proof that plants are all you need. Thank you for arming me with information to keep my family safe and make better decisions about our home

  3. What a great reminder that true beauty comes down to loving the skin you’re in. I don’t have daughters, but I want to teach my sons to value true beauty! Thanks, Plant Therapy for making DIY self-care fun and affordable!

  4. I loved the message about natural beauty. Definitely something we should be teaching our kids about.

  5. Thanks for the tips! I hope to teach my littles to take care of their bodies and be aware of all the chemicals in traditional body care products

  6. Love this blog! While I have only boys, this is just as important for them! And how they see me treat myself. Also, I think I found a typo…it says “super singing” and I think it’s supposed to say “super stinging”? when talking about astringents?

  7. Thank you, this was perfect timing for my pre teens. I also never understood the para ban scare so that was great info!

  8. I have switched to a more natural skin care routine in the past year and timing is great because my oldest is learning how to take care of her skin with me.

  9. This is absolutely amazing. I learned so many of these lessons later in life and wish my mom would have spent more time showing me how to care for my skin and love what I was working with. I am looking forward to spending quality time with my daughter and explaining to her how to care for herself and helping her learn how to make her own products.

  10. Great information and looking forward to sharing this with my daughters so we can learn together. Never tried a hydrosol before, so this will be a good reason to do so.

  11. As a mother of 7 girls, I have long understood that the way I treat myself is how my daughters will learn to treat themselves. I have tried to be intentional in taking care of myself and not overemphasizing physical beauty.
    Thank you for your thoughts. They are encouraging and insightful. I am inspired to be more intentional in my personal care routines and in teaching my daughters the same.

  12. My daughters aren’t even 10 yet, but we teach them beauty comes from the inside. You can dress up as much as you’d like, but unless you are beautiful from the inside, it’s all for naught.

  13. Love this 1000x! As someone that grew up thinking I was never pretty enough and always felt like i had to wear makeup, I’m making sure my daughter knows, without a doubt, she is beautiful just how God made her. Thank you, PT, for this!

  14. Our children learn by example, in every act and action we take and make each and every moment. I love having my LO right by my side learning and helping. Her body image and self care awareness is just starting to take shape. I love that I do not have to withhold any of my beauty products from her because they are Plant Therapy products or recipes we have made together using the best / safest ingredients possible. I will continue to model and teach. Thank you PT for the blog reinforcement to a happy healthy relationship with our daughters 🙂

  15. My daughter is just getting to the age where we’ll need to start instilling a beauty routine. Love the tips, definitely want to use these type of values.

  16. This is so great! My daughter is young right now we’re talking a lot about inner beauty, but I’ll be holding on to these tips as she get older!

  17. Great post! I having been using the hydrosols as toners for about 6 months and they are wonderful…I’ve noticed a big difference in the texture of my skin and the size of my pores. Have you ever thought about selling all the toners as a set?

  18. Thank you for this beautifully written piece. I have two daughters and am hoping to show them what true beauty is about.

  19. Great post to share with my only daughter. Although she has yet to be onboard with my oils, she is loving the rose hydrosol and so is my teenage boy. I think this post is great to share with our teens regardless boys or girls.

  20. I love this post. I really like the idea of bonding with my daughters while helping them establish a beauty routine. Teaching them how to take care of themselves and their skin while also helping them with their daily troubles.

  21. I’m a preschool director and would 100% agree teaching all children about positive body images is extremely important and needs to start very early! I’ve met three year olds who call themselves fat and ugly. 🙁 It’s heartbreaking!

  22. This was a great read! Thank you for packing it full of good advice for everyone, and going into differentiating detail!

  23. I like this post! Trying to focus on the beauty inside, and taking care of the body we’ve been given can be really hard work in this day and age! While making my journey to switching to natural, good-for-you products, I have often thought, “My kids won’t have to do this; they can just go their whole lives with these products being the norm.” And I love that. Thanks for all the tips!

  24. My girls already ask for their oils at 2 + 3 years old! So it’s more important than ever that I’m using safe products for myself and them. ☺️☺️ They are already watching

  25. What a great post! I love the message here about natural beauty and self care. Great tips for face washing, toner, sunscreen and moisturizer.

  26. I would love to learn more about making my own (safe) sunscreen…. maybe in a future blog post? Thank you for these gentle reminders!

  27. Great post. We haven’t used hydrasols at all, but this makes me want to try them. And I’m definitely more mindful of this area, now that I have my own daughter.

  28. Love this blog post! Being the mom of a 13 year old it opened my eyes to all of those tips and values that need to be shared with her! Thank you.

  29. Trying to teach my own daughters that beauty is so much more than the makeup and clothes you wear. It is so hard when they are bombarded from all sides with the wrong message.

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