Let kids experiment with cosmetics when they’re older
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Many of us experimented with makeup when we were younger. It was fun putting on some lip gloss and eyeshadow before going to school or a birthday party. Dabbling with makeup at a young age and wearing it for Halloween is perfectly normal. It’s when a young child wears lots of makeup or wears it often that I think we should start to be concerned.
I follow a couple of makeup blogs on social media and as a result I have seen my fair share of makeover videos—some involving young children and lots of makeup. While I do think it is fun for kids to dress up once in a while, heavy makeup is not something we should be integrating into their lives at such a young age.
For one thing, there are a lot of chemicals in makeup that can be harmful for children’s skin. Children have a higher metabolism rate than adults, so their bodies can easily absorb the toxins, according to environmental health physician and toxicologist Dr. Mohd Hasni Ja’afar from the National University of Malaysia Medical Centre.
“Children have a 10 to 20 percent higher absorption rate compared with adults due to their high metabolism. Unfortunately, their bodies cannot differentiate between good and bad chemicals. All they can do is to absorb whatever is being applied on their bodies […] and more worryingly, the effects will become evident in the future,” he said in an article by the New Straits Times.
Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require cosmetic companies to have their products or ingredients (except for colour additives) approved before they sell them, meaning there could be questionable ingredients in cosmetics that the public is not aware of. The popular cosmetics and retail chain Claire’s recently had their makeup products taken off the shelves because a law firm tested their makeup and reportedly found that it contained asbestos. If we don’t know if the ingredients in makeup are safe for us, and asbestos has allegedly been found in a popular child’s makeup chain, is it really safe to be using these products on kids?
I also think it’s important to consider the societal implications of putting makeup on young children. I see cosmetics as a mature, adult thing to wear. Although I don’t think there’s any harm in letting kids dabble, letting them wear it too often, or wear too much of it, can have consequences on their self-esteem when they’re older. Makeup gets rid of your imperfections—and as kids I don’t think it’s healthy for them to become accustomed to the idea of flawless beauty via cosmetics. I think it can have repercussions in the way they perceive their own beauty or their self-esteem when they grow up.
Kids have such a short time to be kids. Letting them wear makeup makes them feel and look older when they should be having fun being young. Their youth is not a good time to be worrying about their physical beauty, so save the makeup for when they’re older.