The Scituation

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The Scituation

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The Danger of Being a “Sephora 10-year-old”

Bridget Henderson
A vanity featuring skin care products that may or may not be advantagous to young skin.

A new social media trend has taken over, causing tweens to use luxury skincare and make-up products that contain strong chemicals. Often referred to as “Sephora 10-year-olds,” younger children are using serums and anti-aging products daily. Many of these products contain harmful exfoliators and acids that can promote irreversible damage to young skin. Many children suffer from eczema and have sensitive skin that these fragrances and anti-aging products can worsen. Dermatologists from UCLA say, “Parents are bringing their preteens and teens in for skincare routines, even though they have no skin pathology of concern — no acne or eczema, etc.” Social Media is influencing young children to have skincare and makeup routines very early on. In the US, 80% of 9-11 years olds have beauty routines. This trend is seen also in Scituate Public Schools.

A 12-year-old avid skincare user from Gates Middle School says, “I first started in the 5th grade when I was 10…I do the necessary steps like a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and other things. I do makeup because sometimes you can have imperfections that you might make less detailed.”

In addition to affecting physical health, having beauty routines at such a young age can also be detrimental to one’s self-esteem. Starting these routines at such a young age can cause younger adolescents to have an altered idea of what is considered beauty.  As they get older, young girls will have distorted views of their appearance. Social media and society’s “Beauty Standards” have led girls to believe they need to look a certain way, and the only way is by using countless amounts of unnecessary beauty products that do more harm than good.

Another middle schooler says, “It helps to get in the habit early. I use makeup because it makes me feel more confident and covers up any pimples.”

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 Most users are also not looking at the contents of the ingredients before giving them to their children. Pediatric dermatologist, Carol Cheng from UCLA said, “Many products have what we call “active” ingredients — like salicylic acid, retinol, peptides. They are more suitable for mature skin to target wrinkles or skin with specific concerns like acne.” In addition, retinols on young skin can cause retinoid dermatitis which is a type of scaly rash. On top of that, retinol can make one more susceptible to sunburn and damage.

Another 12-year-old student from Gates Middle School says, “I usually read the labels and what they do but I don’t really read the ingredients. I usually get influenced by older people or my mom buys me stuff to use for my skin.”

However, there are some benefits of these desired beauty routines. Kids are becoming more interested in keeping their skin healthy. Regardless, it is only beneficial if the skin care is appropriate for the user. Many dermatologists say that sunscreen is one of the most beneficial products one can use,” cited the UCLA study. Correct usage never has adverse health effects and it prevents sun damage and potentially skin cancer. Sunscreen should be used on the face every day, even if the UV Index isn’t very high.   

Many people across the world have daily make-up and skincare regimens. Many of these habits start at a young age. The effects can be detrimental to young skin and self-esteem. One student said, “I have always loved makeup and loved doing it. At first, it didn’t really feel that needed. I just did it when I wanted to but, now that I am older it’s [feels like a] necessity.”