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Viral Skincare Trends – A Warning for Parents

January 27, 2024

Viral Skincare for Tiny Influencers: Protecting Precious Faces from Viral Trends

We all know the power of social media but a growing concern from Dermatologists are the viral skincare trends (particularly on TikTok and YouTube). These are aimed at both adults and children it seems, despite in theory children under the age of 13 should not be on these platforms. However, skincare products designed for adults can have a catastrophic effect on a child’s delicate skin.

Children using skincare products too young

Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist at Self London, said “I do have concerns about them using ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin A (retinoids) and exfoliating acids like AHAs and BHAs. They’re not necessary on young skin and I think the psychological aspect of starting an ‘anti-ageing’ routine this young is detrimental. Unfortunately I am seeing more teens in my clinic who are obsessed with ageing. It’s concerning and it’s undoubtedly been fuelled by social media.”

Real Life Story – Sadie’s Story

Eight-year-old Sadie isn’t begging for a pony or the latest gadget. Her heart’s desire? A bottle of fancy serum from a brand with a cartoon mascot. She’s not alone. A growing trend has kids glued to social media, devouring skincare routines of their favourite influencers, and yearning for the brightly-packaged potions promising flawless complexions. But while these trends might look bubbly and innocent, dermatologists warn they could leave little faces with lasting scars.

The culprits? Powerful ingredients like exfoliating acids and retinol, found in luxury products aimed at adults rather than children. These potent concoctions, meant to combat wrinkles and sun damage, have no place in a child’s skincare routine. Like potent spices for delicate palates, they can trigger allergies, eczema, and unwanted redness.

Sadie’s story echoes others. Parents across the UK are witnessing the allure of TikTok and YouTube, where skincare tutorials featuring cartoon animals and pastel packaging hold more sway than bedtime stories. The pressure to fit in, fuelled by peer influence and flashy branding, leaves little room for reason.

But amidst the social media frenzy, voices of caution are rising. Dermatologists urge parents to be gatekeepers, safeguarding their children’s skin from the onslaught of unsuitable products. The message is clear: keep kids away from adult skincare formulas. Their young skin needs gentle care, not potent potions.

So, how do we navigate this trend as parents?

Here is some key advice for parents:

  • Education, not elimination – Banning platforms won’t solve the problem. Open communication is key. Explain the difference between child-friendly products and adult formulas, focusing on gentle cleansers and moisturisers.
  • Seek expert advice – Dermatologists are your friends! Consult them for recommendations tailored to your child’s unique needs. Forget the hype, stick to science-backed solutions.
  • Beware the lure of trends –  Flashy packaging and celebrity endorsements don’t guarantee safety. Focus on ingredients and consult reliable sources before giving in to impulse buys.
  • Empowerment beyond beauty – Celebrate individuality and teach self-acceptance. True beauty lies within, not in the promise of a flawless complexion.

Let’s encourage our children to embrace their faces. Childhood is a time for mud pies and scraped knees, not wrinkle-fighting serums and harsh chemicals. Let’s protect their precious skin while fostering a healthy relationship with self-care, free from the pressures of the latest viral trends.



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