Photo Credit: Tubby Todd

Children should not be concerned with extensive skincare routines (Op-Ed)

Recently, there’s been an uptick in content and controversy surrounding children’s involvement and dedication to extensive (and expensive) skincare routines. 

While it’s certainly beneficial to instruct children on how to properly care for themselves and instill proper hygiene habits, this skincare debate is another debacle entirely. 

Primarily found on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, children are taking it upon themselves (or with the support of a parent or guardian) to create and post skincare content- filming themselves unboxing a wide variety of products- often from highly-revered and pricey brands), explaining complex uses and expectations for results for each product, and sometimes applying products as well. 

While the incorporation of social media into this phenomenon is its own issue entirely, there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to why this is happening in the first place. 

With the introduction of technology into children’s lives at an earlier age, and the influence of social media into different parenting practices in general, there is an increased level of exposure to pressure to look and act a certain way from content creators and online influencers towards more vulnerable audiences like parents and their young children. 

Trends and judgements from these individuals on fashion choices, diets, personal technology, recreational time and more are rampant, often easily accessible and unrestricted. This is resulting in kids, put simply, not being allowed to be kids anymore. With exposure to social media and video-sharing platforms from a young age being treated as a “toy” or entertainment pastime, these children feed into unrealistic expectations about themselves, their bodies, and their lifestyles at a disturbingly young age when it should be the furthest thing from their minds.

Purchasing and applying a simple, gentle cleanser, moisturizer (with or without SPF) and/or sunscreen is the most baseline routine that nearly everyone can benefit from; it’s when the introduction of complex serums, acne-fighting treatments, eye creams, toners, and more become entirely unnecessary in the vast majority of cases. 

Our skin can be quite sensitive at any age, but is known to be very fragile the younger you are. By introducing harsh chemicals and foreign formulas that are designed to prevent or treat skin ailments that are most likely not even present at this stage, children are setting themselves up for an early-onset lifetime of care and issues that are wholly unnecessary. 

By reducing exposure and access to content that may encourage this behavior, as well as taking a step back from marketing to inappropriate age demographics, we can ensure that children find a better balance between basic hygiene and unnecessary routines as soon as possible, setting themselves up for a more successful and healthy routine and self-image into their adolescence and beyond.


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