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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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Andie Korenge
In today’s day and age, young children and tweens shop for makeup and skincare at stores like Sephora, as opposed to for fun accessories and toys at stores like Justice. They do so because stores designed specifically for them are becoming increasingly rare, while content that normalizes the use of skincare and makeup products becomes increasingly common.

[Opinion] The increasing number of tweens shopping at Sephora is alarming

An alarming number of young girls have been flooding Sephora due to recent TikTok trends involving kids and tweens showing off their skincare and makeup routines. In videos gaining millions of views, tween girls put concoctions of toners, moisturizers, acids and retinoids—an ingredient used to reduce acne and signs of aging–on their skin. This growing obsession, which stands out from previous generations, is extremely concerning.

If one types “10-year-olds at Sephora” in TikTok’s search bar, there are countless videos of people complaining about young girls’ poor store etiquette. Young girls around the ages of six to 12 have been specifically congesting the Drunk Elephant, Sol De Janeiro and Rare Beauty isles, drawn to the brands due to the colorful packaging and trendiness of their products.

Online, people have taken to sharing stories about tweens’ rude manners when speaking to other shoppers and workers, as well as their misuse of testers. As a result of tweens destroying testers, customers are no longer able to try the products at Sephora before purchasing them. At some Sephora stores, the makeup testers have even been taken away completely because of this.

Aside from tweens’ behavior in Sephora, the main issue with this trend is that girls believe that they need adult skincare products and makeup before they even reach puberty. When older generations were in elementary and middle school, they were too busy playing outside to even know what skincare was. It raises the on-going question of why young girls feel pressured to reach the conventional beauty standards of grown women earlier and earlier.

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It is bad enough that older women feel forced to meet a long list of beauty expectations–to be a certain weight, to have a hairless body and to always look put together–but it is even worse that children also feel required to do the same.

Some point to kids’ social media usage, that is exposing them to older activities at earlier ages, as the cause of this pressure. Unlike TikTok just a couple of years ago, there are now endless amounts of makeup and skincare content creators available to watch. If children constantly see that women are only deemed beautiful when they use copious amounts of skincare and makeup products, they in turn think that they also need to use skincare and makeup to be pretty.

Critiques blame parents for allowing their children to have access to social media in the first place. Some parents even promote the use of beauty products to their young ones by giving them permission to become skincare and makeup influencers themselves. These videos further reach young audiences and convince kids and tweens that this is a normal thing that girls their age do.

Parents also receive blame for willingly taking their children to Sephora and allowing them to buy whatever they please with no questions asked. The parents of these girls are failing to take a closer look at who products are designed for and what possible damage they may do to developing skin, let alone the social consequences of growing up too soon.

According to University of California, Los Angeles Health, the use of products with “active ingredients,” such as salicylic acid, retinoids and peptides, are suitable for mature skin to treat wrinkles and specific cases of acne. The active ingredients could cause retinoid dermatitis–a scaly rash–and make skin prone to sunburn.

“For tweens and teens, these ingredients can do damage, irritate the skin and cause the reverse effects they are hoping to achieve,” Dr. Carol Cheng said in an interview with UCLA Health.

The Drunk Elephant beauty company has been called out online for leveraging girls’ insecurities to market towards the younger demographic. In a recent Instagram post, Drunk Elephant founder, Tiffany Masterson, claimed that they do not intentionally market their products to kids.

“There’s only one answer, and that is we have products for all skin, and not every product is appropriate for every person,” Masterson said. “Acids and retinoids are certainly not appropriate for pre-pubescent skin. We’re gonna keep repeating that as much as we need to repeat it.”

An overlooked cause to this new Sephora craze is the lack of stores made for tween girls that past generations have had. Limited Too (later converted to Justice), Deliah’s (now owned by Dolls Kill) and Claire’s, used to all be stores that a tween girl could find in any mall. Now Delilah’s is no longer an in-person store and Justices all over the country have been shut down.

When kids grow out of playing outside or shopping at children’s stores, they want to move onto activities that older people do. Stores like Justice are important for allowing a girl to grow up, while still benefiting from the joys of childhood. If there is no appropriate next step for their age, they move onto using social media and purchasing makeup and skincare products.

It is natural for kids to want to act “grown up” now and then by playing with their parents’ makeup or clothes, but it is concerning when young girls genuinely believe that using Sephora products is appropriate for people their age. Instead of normalizing Sephora hauls for young girls, young girls need greater access to stores meant for them to serve as a middle ground between childhood and adulthood.

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About the Contributors
Zara Dautruche
Zara Dautruche, Reporter
Zara Dautruche is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a historian for Black Student Union and a choreographer for Drama. She enjoys dancing and listening to music.
Andie Korenge
Andie Korenge, Feature Editor
Andie Korenge is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Feature Editor for Eagle Eye News. She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family and friends in her free time.
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