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Social media influences children to use detrimental skincare products

Chloe Burney
12 January 2024

Dermatologists have confirmed using skincare products containing active ingredients – such as Retinol and vitamin C – on young skin causes more harm than good.

Though it's no secret that social media can negatively impact the minds of children and teens, its latest danger has been revealed. Youngsters who have taken an interest in the skincare and makeup category are being fed algorithms that may be more appropriate for matured skin. According to skin specialists, the use of anti-ageing products at a young age can damage children’s sensitive skin.

Instead of simply cleaning the face twice a day and using a light moisturiser and suncream, as is advised, young people are asking their parents to purchase products advertised on social media that aren't necessary.

Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto told The Times: "I feel it is essential to emphasise that a 13-year-old’s skincare routine should prioritise basic hygiene, rather than unnecessary complexity.

"Something I feel quite strongly about is discouraging the adoption of intricate anti-ageing routines that involve actives like vitamin C, retinoids and other exfoliating acids. Teenagers are sometimes overly concerned about premature ageing. I recently saw a 14-year-old in my clinic who was concerned about crow’s feet. She had undoubtedly been influenced by social media and influencers.

"The other main issue I see is the tendency to frequently switch skincare products in an attempt to resolve acne issues. If you’re concerned about your teen’s skin, please consult a dermatologist or your GP because medical intervention and guidance may be required."

Viral brands on TikTok such as Drunk Elephant, Sol De Janeiro and Glow Recipe have developed a cult following among pre-teens. In reality, these product lines are not designed for adolescent skin.

Dr Emma Wedgeworth, from the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group, corroborated Dr. Mahto's advice telling The Guardian: "It is something I see all the time [at work]... It’s great to look after your skin but not to the point where you are using [so many] different products. The vast majority you will not need and some could even be detrimental. Some skin will be sensitive and some young people are even using retinol, which can be damaging for sensitive skin."

@patrickstarrr ok forreal tho what are these 10 year olds doing here 😭 #sephora #children #epidemic #fyp ♬ original sound - Patrick Starrr

Beauty influencer Patrick Starrr even chimed in, posting a comedic video to the social media platform on the topic. Users flocked to the comments, to tell anecdotes of their younger siblings tapping into advanced beauty trends and using advanced makeup terminology.




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