PARIS, Feb 13 — A growing number of kids between the ages of 10 and 14 are showing a keen interest in beauty products, and their skincare routines are sometimes comparable to those of adults.

In the United States, these young girls’ obsession with skincare is such that they’ve been dubbed “Sephora Kids.” This trend has alarmed the country’s dermatologists, who are issuing warnings about children using products intended for more mature skin.

On TikTok, it’s not unusual to come across videos showing young girls rushing to the shelves of Sephora. Over the past few weeks, employees and customers alike have been referencing an influx of sometimes unruly pre-teen girls, capable of creating chaos in the aisles.

On the social network, the phenomenon is reflected in the appearance of hashtags such as #sephorakids or #kidsatsephora, and the rise of brands considered trendy among these young customers, such as Drunk Elephant.

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This trend may be driven by girls who are already exerting a certain influence on social networks among the Alpha generation (children born after 2010), such as North West, the daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

In one of her videos, posted in 2022, North West — not even 10 years old at the time — showed off her morning beauty routine, including a cloth mask, lip mask and toner.

Her cousin Penelope, Kourtney Kardashian’s daughter, also shares such videos. One of them went viral last November when American dermatologist Dr Brooke Jeffy reposted it along with strong reservations about tweens using beauty products designed for adults.

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@brookejeffymd Tween skin deserves gentle care, not a pricey, extensive skincare routine! As a mom and derm, I’m here to spill the tea: harsh chemicals aren’t meant for those in-between years. Drunk Elephant products may be fine adult skin but for kiddos, it is definitely not! This skincare line is packed with potent ingredients meant for adults, not young skin.#skincaretrends #teenskincare #dermatologist #derm #tweenskincare #drunkelephant #dermreacts #dermatology original sound - Dr. Brooke Jeffy

Ingredients that are often too harsh

In the post accompanying her video, the dermatologist explains: “Tween skin deserves gentle care, not a pricey, extensive skincare routine! As a mom and derm, I’m here to spill the tea: harsh chemicals aren’t meant for those in-between years.

Drunk Elephant products may be fine [for] adult skin, but for kiddos, it is definitely not! This skincare line is packed with potent ingredients meant for adults, not young skin.”

The expert, who has almost 34,000 followers on TikTok, regularly posts videos warning of the dangers of using anti-aging products on young skin. Interviewed by USA Today, Dr Brooke Jeffy — like many dermatologists — has observed that more and more children are adopting “several-step skincare routines, more-often filled with products they either don’t need or that are harming their skin,” the US media outlet reports.

Some young patients may come to her with severe skin rashes around the eyes, due to the use of retinol, an ingredient currently very popular for helping to reduce the signs of aging.

“When the skin barrier is damaged by constant irritation like this, it gets dry,” Dr Jeffy told USA Today. “It’s more prone to infection, more prone to getting rashes and more prone to breakouts.”

Irritation also makes the skin barrier less effective at protecting the skin from environmental damage, such as ultraviolet rays or pollution.

According to Dr Anthony Rossi, a New York dermatologist, “the only skincare a child needs are a gentle cleanser, a light moisturiser and sunblock,” USA Today explains.

He stresses that if a child suffers from specific skin conditions requiring additional products, then consultation with a qualified dermatologist is necessary. — ETX Studio