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We read cleaning and cosmetic labels so you don't have to. But you might really want to.

What you don't know might, at the very least, make you itchy.

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Seventh Generation

Skin is pretty incredible.

It's the largest organ of the human body and one of the first lines of defense for keeping pollutants and irritants from making us sick.

We put a lot of stuff on our skin, one of our favorite and most common being makeup. Thankfully, we usually can find out pretty easily what's in it, if we have sensitivities to certain ingredients or there are ones we want to avoid.


But we don't always know what's in another item that our skin comes in frequent contact with: cleaning products. What gives?

Starting with the passing of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, government regulators have approved almost everything for sale in American drugstores.

The act requires cosmetic companies to put their full ingredient lists directly on their products so purchasers know exactly what they're buying. It's the same deal for drug companies and food manufacturers.

Taking care of it isn't just necessary, it can also be pretty fun. Is there anything more satisfying than a peel-off face mask?

But it's a bit strange that the same kind of regulation doesn't happen for household cleaners, which often come into contact with our skin too.

What's so different about the product that washes your body and the one that washes your clothes? Only one of them is required to tell you its ingredients.

Not-so-fun fact: This body wash is not gluten-free. Better fact: Aveeno is legally required to share that information. Image by Heather Libby/Upworthy.

Both of these products are going to touch your body either on a washcloth in the shower or in residue adhering to your clean clothes.

But unlike body wash, detergents don't have to share anything about what's in their product — even if it contains known irritants.

See the "CAUTION: MAY IRRITATE EYES" on the laundry detergent label? Current regulations do not require companies to share what that chemical additive actually is — just that it might cause harm. That doesn't mean that cleaning products are unsafe or that cosmetics are, but it does mean that you can't really avoid certain ingredients in cleaning products if you want to because you have no way of knowing if they're there.

One of these products lists an "active ingredient." Is it also the one that may irritate your eyes? We don't know.

Image by Heather Libby/Upworthy.

Unless you're super serious about only using rubber gloves when you wash dishes, your hands are probably coming in contact with dish soap almost every day.

This dish soap isn't totally secretive about what its ingredients are. It does note that it contains 0.5% salicylic acid (better known as the stuff you put on zits to dry them out) as an "active ingredient." It also notes that the product itself might irritate eyes if it comes in contact with them. Both of those are good things to know, but they also raise some questions. Is the 0.5% salicylic acid the ingredient that may irritate eyes? If it isn't, we're interested in finding out what the other ingredients in this soap might be.

Both of these products are required to post ingredient lists. Why? Because they're classified as "drugs."

Image by Heather Libby/Upworthy.

This is one of the rare times when cleaners and cosmetics overlap. The Food and Drug Administration classifies sunscreen and hand sanitizers as "drugs" because they are "articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease." Under that classification, they have to share a detailed ingredient list on their packaging.

But did you note the one area on the hand sanitizer label that's still pretty vague? Hint: It's "fragrance."

Current regulations don't require companies to say what's in their scented products, so there's still a chance an allergen or a chemical you'd prefer not to have on your person might sneak in the ingredient list.

I know what you're thinking: "All these labels are too confusing! I'm going to move to the woods, give up bathing and cleaning, and become Sasquatch!"

A bit overdramatic, but I get it.

"Laters, soap!"

Makeup and cleaners play a big part in keeping us — and our homes — fresh and happy. But not knowing what's in cleaners can be frustrating, especially if you or someone you love has allergies or sensitivities.

Some consumers and companies are advocating for manufacturers to have to disclose all their ingredients on the labels, but the product makers say that's proprietary information and it could hurt their business to share it.

We can understand both sides of the argument; for now, the best bet for consumers who want to be in the know is to look for companies that voluntarily disclose their ingredients or to call the manufacturer and ask them questions directly.

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

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The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

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via Pexels

If you know how to fix this tape, you grew up in the 1990s.

There are a lot of reasons to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the final days of the 20th century. Rampant inflation, a global pandemic and political unrest have created a sense of uneasiness about the future that has everyone feeling a bit down.

There’s also a feeling that the current state of pop culture is lacking as well. Nobody listens to new music anymore and unless you’re into superheroes, it seems like creativity is seriously missing from the silver screen.

But, you gotta admit, that TV is still pretty damn good.

A lot of folks feel Americans have become a lot harsher to one another due to political divides, which seem to be widening by the day due to the power of the internet and partisan media.

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Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

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Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

A recent Twitter thread highlights life after turning 30.

There's something really scary about turning 30. Society places so much emphasis on reaching your fourth decade of life, giving it more importance than it actually needs. At 30, apparently, you're supposed to have figured out all the big things, including your career and your love life. It reminds me of the movie "13 Going on 30" when teenage Jenna is sitting in the closet repeating "30 and flirty and thriving" over to herself as some sort of mantra. I don't know about your experience, but the concept of "30 and flirty and thriving" for me ended up being a total myth. That's what people are trying to tell a Twitter user who needed reassurance that life "gets better" after 30.

Katherine Morgan, known as blktinabelcher on Twitter, is a writer and bookseller who asked a question of the Twitter hive mind to set her mind at ease.

"I’m 28, so I’m almost there, but can people in their 30s and older please (gently) tell me that it’s going to get better and I don’t need to have figured out my entire life in two years?" she wrote. The tweet took off, with more than 100,000 likes and thousands of replies. While everyone phrased their responses differently, the general consensus was you don't have to have anything figured out before you turn 30.

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Photo from Upworthy Library

A proud sloth dad was caught on camera.

Teddy the two-toed sloth has become a proud papa and thanks to a video posted by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, we all get to witness the adorable reunion with his newborn son.

Mama sloth, aka Grizzly, gave birth to their healthy little one in Feb 2022, which delighted more than 3,000 people on Facebook.



The video, posted to the Florida zoo’s YouTube page, shows Grizzly slowly climbing toward her mate, who is at first blissfully unaware as he continues munching on leaves. Typical dad.

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