Social Media Pressure Leads to Young Children Using Anti-Ageing Creams, Experts Warn

15 January 2024

Dermatologists caution against the unnecessary and potentially harmful use of expensive skincare products by pre-teens and teenagers influenced by social media.

Children as young as ten are succumbing to social media pressure and using anti-ageing creams, according to experts in dermatology. Pre-teens are increasingly adopting complicated skincare regimes, often involving expensive moisturizers, in an attempt to emulate influencers they see online. However, dermatologists warn that these products may be unsuitable for young skin, potentially causing redness, flaking, and even worsening acne. The rise of social media has led to heightened self-awareness among children, leading to concerns about their appearance and mental health.

The Influence of Social Media on Skincare Routines

Children as young as ten are now requesting expensive skincare products from their parents, influenced by what they see on social media. Dermatologists report that pre-teens are adopting elaborate skincare routines, involving multiple steps and high-end products. Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a member of the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group, emphasizes that such routines are unnecessary for children, who only require a gentle cleanser, light moisturizer, and sunscreen during the summer months. The pressure to conform to the beauty standards portrayed by influencers on social media is a growing concern for the mental health of young children.

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Potential Risks and Unsuitability for Young Skin

Experts caution that certain ingredients found in anti-ageing creams, such as retinol, can be harmful to young skin. While retinol is beneficial for ageing skin, it can cause redness, flaking, and rashes on children’s faces. Additionally, these products may block the pores of teenagers with oily skin, exacerbating acne. Dr. Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist, stresses the importance of prioritizing basic hygiene over unnecessary complexity in skincare routines for teenagers. The desire to combat premature ageing among teenagers is often fueled by social media and influencer culture.

The Need for Medical Guidance

Dermatologists urge teenagers to seek medical advice for skincare concerns, such as acne, instead of relying solely on online trends. Dr. Wedgeworth highlights the influence of relatable “girl-next-door” influencers on social media, leading many young children to scrutinize their skin for imperfections and blemishes more than necessary at their age. By seeking professional help, teenagers can receive appropriate guidance and treatment tailored to their specific needs, rather than relying on potentially harmful online trends.


The pervasive influence of social media has led to a concerning trend among young children, as they adopt skincare routines influenced by influencers and online trends. Dermatologists stress that these routines, often involving expensive anti-ageing creams, are unnecessary and potentially harmful to young skin. The pressure to conform to beauty standards at a young age can negatively impact children’s mental health. It is crucial for parents and caregivers to educate children about the appropriate skincare practices and encourage them to seek medical advice for any skin concerns. By doing so, we can protect the well-being of young individuals and promote a healthy approach to skincare.

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