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Too young for makeup?

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How young is too young to wear makeup? You may change your mind after you hear about a shocking new study that says putting on a pretty face can have some ugly side effects -- and the younger you are, the greater the danger.

Even girls as young as 7 or 8 are using scented body lotions and tinted lip glosses. Then in their teen years, the number of beauty products containing chemicals grows.

That has the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics worried.

"We did a survey recently that found that teenage girls were using 17 different products a day with over 200 chemicals, so that's a lot of exposure to toxins," said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Medical researchers have found that certain widely used chemicals are hormone disrupters, adversely affecting the development process in puberty. That causes girls to mature faster and increases their long-term risk for certain cancers. Often what's on your skin goes through your system.

"The researchers studied the urine of these girls and they found 13 hormone disrupting cosmetic chemicals in their urine," Malkan said.

The three worst culprits are fragrance, which is in everything and can mean anything; paraben, a widely used preservative found in shampoos, lotions and body washes; and triclosan, found in many anti-bacterial products, according to Malkan.

The safe cosmetics campaign maintains a database of more than 70,000 products. It says  the best way to protect yourself or your daughter is to read labels and check its list.

www.safecosmetics.org

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