Experts concerned about factors influencing kids to wear makeup younger

Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 21:49:23-04

Kids are picking up the makeup brush at younger ages these days.

Experts are concerned about the factors influencing this trend among young girls.

"I started wearing makeup really young, but that was for dance - like, heavy full makeup like foundation, eyeliner, fake eyelashes, mascara. But on a daily basis I don't wear a lot," Isabelle Chamla-Saunders explains.

At 14, she mostly only wears mascara.

"A lot of girls straighten their hair every day, put a lot of makeup on, lip gloss eyeliner and mascara on, I feel like a lot of people," she said.

A study by marketing agency Mintel found that 80% of 9- to 11 year-olds in the U.S. wear some form of beauty products. More than half of 12- to 14 year-olds use mascara, eyeliner and eyebrow pencils, and 45% also use foundation and concealer products, which is basically a full face of makeup.

Isabelle Chamla-Saunders' mom, Dr. Laura Saunders, thinks it's because she had the experience with dance that made makeup more of a chore, and she's happy with her daughter's choice to wear minimal makeup.

However, as a family psychologist she knows it an be a tough battle between preteens and parents. She suggests starting the conversation with asking why your child wants to wear it.

"I think it has a lot to do with social media. Throughout the years, I've seen a lot of change in the age; it's becoming younger and younger. A lot of new beauty customers are preteens opposed to 17 years old," explains Tiana Barnes.

Related: Effects of social media on teen body image 

But how it this affecting young girls and their self esteem? That study by Mintel found that at least one in five girls ages 8-14 has negative feelings about themselves if they are not wearing makeup.

Dr. Saunders says it's important that your child likes who they are inside and out.

"The hope would be that makeup enhances appearance. When you're doing more drastic things to change your appearance, that's more worrisome because then your'e seeing yourself as deeply damaged, and that's more concerning," she said.