Wellness Clean Beauty Good for You Girls Nontoxic Bath and Beauty Product for Tweens By Starre Vartan Writer Columbia University Syracuse University Starre Vartan has been an environmental and science journalist for 15-plus years. She founded an award-winning eco-website and wrote a book on living green. our editorial process Starre Vartan Updated May 31, 2017 Images courtesy Good for You Girls. Share Twitter Pinterest Email Wellness Health & Well-being Clean Beauty There's a lot of stuff marketed at young girls these days, including beauty and skin care products that were unheard of even 10 years ago. Two moms with six daughters between them were alarmed by the toxic products that packed the ingredients listings of many of the potions they found. They decided to start their own line, and Good For You Girls was born. Gluten-free and vegan, the products contain no phthalates, mineral oils, silicone, dyes, sulfates or parabens, and are especially formulated for the skin of young girls, with quality ingredients. (And yes, they still have some cute packaging girls will love — see below). I was curious as to how this company got going, and how they figured out the complex world of personal care products formulations, production, and marketing, so I sent the below questions over to founder and president of Good For You Girls, Kimberly Grustas. MNN: How did GFYG get it's start? Kimberly Grustas: A simple trip to the health food store launched the company idea in 2007. Grace and I have been friends for many years, sharing much in common including our passion for natural products and the fact that we are both the mothers of girls. I have two, she has four. At the health food store she asked me to help read labels on skincare because she wanted to find a product for her daughter, Olivia, who was 11 at the time. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, Grace is extremely knowledgeable about herbology. As we started to read labels, we realized that most products were focused on anti-aging. In addition they would not appeal to her daughter. I literally had the light bulb moment thinking if we, as naturally savvy moms, were having trouble finding products for our own girls, there must be other moms out there that were having the same issue, and Good For You Girls was born. After a year in development, we launched the company in 2008. Was product formulation sans toxic ingredients more or less challenging than you expected? The challenges we faced in developing our product was not really about removing the toxic ingredients because that was not an option. Many of the questionable ingredients used in traditional skincare products are used as thickeners, foaming agents and fragrance. The challenges we faced were trying to get so many of the beautiful ingredients we wanted into our products. Example: You can create a natural cleanser but will it over dry or irritate the skin? Our formulas are really complete not only addressing cleansing but are beautifully balance to feed and nourish the skin as well. How is young girls' skin different than teens and older women? Young skin is ever-evolving. One day it’s dry, the next oily. But just like the skin of babies, sensitivity is also a big issue with younger skin. Many companies want to just slap tweens and teens into what I call the oils slick category. They just assume that everyone has major acne issues. Huge mistake. Sebum is the oil our body produces to in essence waterproof us. It’s the bacteria that sebum turns into when it gets clogged in pores that causes trouble. Environmental toxins also play a big role in the health of young skin. Consumers are far too quick to resort to drastic measures and harsh acne solutions. Adult skin is more predictable and many issues we have with our skin as adults are linked to stress and poor diet. How is being a tween today different than it was 15 or 20 years ago? What's the biggest change you've seen (or that the girls have seen)? Wow, that’s a big question. First, we know girls are entering puberty much younger than they were 20 years ago so there’s a big change. With this change their skin is also acting much older because of the hormones. But girls today have so many more social issues to deal with and “fitting in” today takes on an entirely different meaning. Mainstream beauty images of 20 years ago portrayed woman in healthier ways. Remember the days when Barbie was a threat to the psychological development of girls? Seems pretty minor now. Girls today are bombarded with not so “normal” images. Do I dare use Lady Gaga as an example? Twenty years ago, beauty used to be reserved for girls 16 and over. Today girls are wearing makeup at 13. Mind you, I have no problem with makeup. But I do take issue with the fact that we now know many chemicals found in traditional skin care and personal care products effect the hormone development of girls entering puberty. Not to mention their long term link to cancer. As a girl's first skincare line it is our hopes that when a girl uses our products for the first time she learns two things; one, that natural products are effective and beautiful. Two, someone very special loved her enough to buy them for her.