Gen Alpha’s obsession with skincare has caused a sensation on social media. TikTok (and even Google searches) are overflowing with clips of youngsters, ranging from eight to fourteen, showcasing their intricate skincare regimens.

Nevertheless, these regimens frequently showcase luxury brands such as Drunk Elephant, Summer Fridays, and Glow Recipe, which has sparked some debates. These products may contain ingredients like retinol and exfoliants, usually targeted towards addressing issues related to ageing skin.

Fortune reported that “Gen Alpha ‘Sephora kids’ are dropping serious money on adult skincare,” while WWD confirmed earlier this year that Gen Alpha is driving 49% of skincare sales growth.

Additionally, Business Insider commented that Gen Alpha tweens “are already obsessed with expensive skincare they don’t need”.

The current trend has ignited intense debates regarding whether it is suitable for young individuals to follow elaborate skincare routines and the possible dangers of using anti-ageing products too early.

How Did Gen Alpha’s Interest in Skincare Come About?

Credits: @garzacrew/TikTok, @emma_droog/TikTok, @generationahead/TikTok

In short, this trend is truly taking influence to the next degree. Social media is flooding the internet with beauty content that can sway the opinions of impressionable tweens.

While we may not advise tweens to use potent acid-based serums, it’s important to recognise the impact of social media and numerous beauty influencers on the product preferences of young individuals.

A report by Cosmetic Business highlights this connection — 66% of girls aged 12 to 14 who use social media, say those platforms introduced them to new beauty brands and products.

In the modern era, social media reigns supreme in content consumption, with influencers serving as significant entertainment providers.

It’s only logical for these youthful spectators to emulate the beauty rituals they come across on the internet.

For some, according to a short documentary by NBC News, using skincare products or having elaborate routines is just a way to be like their mothers. A form of love, respect, and adoration, maybe?

Emma Chiu, Global Director of global advertising agency VML, shared with Hypebae that other than learning about what the brand is saying about their products, Gen Alpha is also learning what influencers are saying, learning from customer reviews, and learning from experts.

Gen Alpha is maturing at a quicker pace compared to their predecessors. Some are even turning to their millennial parents and Gen Z siblings for guidance and access to various products.

Made Even More Popular by Pint-sized Beauty Influencers

@kimandnorth

Goodnight ⭐🌙@Kim Kardashian

♬ original sound – Kim and North

One famous tween who’s leading this trend is none other than North West (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s firstborn).

North shares everything from skincare routines to hairstyle how-to’s and product recommendations on TikTok — a readily available source for fellow tween peers to gaze upon or obsess over.

Shoppers can conveniently purchase their preferred influencers’ products instantly through online platforms such as Ulta and Sephora.

While this trend towards complex skincare routines may be new, the desire to experiment with beauty products isn’t.

Millennials and Gen Z may recall their fond memories of playing with Barbie styling head toys, experimenting with makeup designed for kids or teens, and even sneaking a few tries with their mother’s beauty products.

Why is This “Trend” Concerning and Controversial?

@marketing.juliana

#kidsinsephora #drunkelephant #genalphatok #marketing #consumerbehaviour #skincareroutine #beautyindustry #fyp

♬ Mysterious and sad BGM(1120058) – S and N

Teenagers on TikTok are showcasing intricate skincare regimens and makeup assortments, often featuring expensive, high-end, and adult-focused products.

Here’s the kicker: this trend raises concerns about the influence of social media on young people’s self-image and spending habits. Dermatologists warn against the use of harsh chemicals on young skin, while psychologists worry about the pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards.

As described by The Ticker, “the liberating spirit of girlhood has surrendered to a cosmetic craze”.

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Credit: Evereden

I remember shopping around in Sephora and regularly seeing tweens looking at the same products I did (mind you, I’m 26).

Honestly, I’m not worried about the demand or consumption. Instead, I’m more fascinated that the generations have evolved this much — I barely had a lot of pocket money and I spent that on meals with friends at KFC or McDonald’s after school.

If only I had known about Sephora and the wonders of beauty products sooner, maybe?…

@brookejeffymd

Is your tween obsessed with Sephora? Here’s what they should actually be using: ✅ Start with a gentle cleanser. It’s fine to choose one with cute packaging, but make sure it’s kind to your skin. ✅ Next, use a moisturizer. A simple one is great, but if you want a bit more, look for options with antioxidants or microbiome support. ❗Just steer clear of acids, vitamin C, and retinol.❗✅ Don’t forget SPF! It’s the most important step to prevent aging skin changes, yet often overlooked by Sephora tweens. If you want an extra product, consider a hypochlorous acid spray or an HA serum, but limit it to one. ❗Skip the toner or any unnecessary face mist.

♬ original sound – Dr. Brooke Jeffy

Maybe a change in viewpoint is necessary. The older generations might have been a little late in adopting sunscreen or the “correct” skincare routine. On the other hand, the younger generations and Gen Alpha are beginning early due to abundant resources and education.

Is it really that bad? Social media could be a powerful tool for more education rather than criticism.

We could embrace and support Gen Alpha’s curiosity about beauty products in a manner that is safe and suitable for their age. Since they are easily influenced, it is crucial to steer them towards products that are gentle on their youthful skin.

17 Skincare Products for Tweens and Gen Alpha

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Credit: Evereden

If you’re a parent or guardian and you’ve noticed your Gen Alpha kid showing interest in beauty products or using them already, we urge you to take a supportive approach and help guide them to navigate the world of cosmetics.

Here’s a list of age-appropriate products Gen Alpha can start with!

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Mild Bubble Foam Facial & Body

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

For the uninitiated, legendary Korean makeup artist Jung Saem-mool has a range of vegan skin and body care products for kids!

This cleanser is hypoallergenic and serves as a safe prescription for kids with sensitive skin. It has soft, rich bubbles in a weak acidic form (pH5 to pH6) to cleanse and moisturise the skin without causing irritation.

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Mild Bubble Foam Facial & Body retails for about RM128.10 (SGD 37) at the JUNGSAEMMOOL flagship store in Singapore, jsmbeauty.sg, and for RM182.14 at Shopee.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Cetaphil’s famous cleanser is a creamy, non-foaming daily wash that is ideal for dry to normal and sensitive skin.

Utilising micellar technology, it effectively removes dirt, makeup, and impurities while hydrating the skin. Formulated with glycerin, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), and niacinamide (vitamin B3), it hydrates, soothes, and maintains the skin’s natural moisture barrier for up to 48 hours.

This hypoallergenic, soap-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free cleanser ensures a gentle, irritation-free clean that leaves the skin soft and smooth.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (500ml) retails for RM61.24 at Shopee, RM57.63 at Watsons, and RM64.30 at Guardian. Discounts are offered at the time of writing.

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Known as Vanicream’s mildest cleanser, this one’s specifically formulated for daily facial use. It helps remove makeup and excess skin oils without drying or stripping the skin.

The soap-free formula is gentle to even the most delicate and sensitive skin — so much so that it was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance!

It’s also non-comedogenic, pH-balanced, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and dermatologist-tested.

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser (237ml) retails for RM55.71 at Shopee and for RM59 at Lazada.

Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

If your Gen Alpha kid is fascinated with Glow Recipe, they can stick to this gentle, hydrating cleanser.

Enriched with ceramides and colloidal oatmeal, it’s perfect for removing SPF, makeup, and excess oil while nourishing the skin.

This milky lotion-to-foam cleanser also features prebiotics and postbiotics to hydrate, rebalance, and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser retails for RM145 at Shopee. It’s also available for RM73 (50ml) and RM145 (150ml) at Sephora.

btwn The Duo Kit

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Developed by dermatologist Dr Brooke Jeffy, who is also a mum to a tween-age boy, btwn is a brand that can encourage healthy skin habits for tweens and teens.

This kit offers a simple, effective skincare routine that was formulated with ages 6 and above in mind.

  • Daily Cleanser: A no-nonsense, lightly foaming cleanser that gently whisks away impurities, promoting a balanced skin microbiome. It’s enriched with youth-friendly antioxidants and gentle exfoliants to strengthen the skin barrier, boost acne resistance, and protect against environmental stressors.
  • Daily Moisturizer: A lightweight moisturiser that hydrates and calms to keep skin healthy and nourished while protecting your skin barrier from everyday stressors. It’s packed with antioxidants and gentle exfoliants to help fortify the skin’s defences against acne.

btwn The Duo Kit retails for about RM211.62 (USD 45) at btwn. Currently, they only ship within the US so you can consider using a parcel forwarding service like vPost and MyUS.com.

Forest MD Teen’s Blemish Rescue Set

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

If your tween’s dealing with redness and pimples, try this rescue kit that contains a gentle yet powerful solution packed with medical-grade botanicals.

  • Blemish Control Essence: Powered by effective ingredients like salix nigra bark, succinic acid, witch hazel, clove oil, bakuchiol, and sodium PCA. This essence helps unclog pores, reduce unhealthy bacteria and fungal growth, and balance oil production for a healthier and clearer complexion.
  • Blemish Clarifying Lotion: This lotion heals blemishes while soothing inflammation and reducing the risk of scarring. It also encourages the regeneration of healthy skin and strengthens the skin’s defences against future breakouts.

Forest MD Teen’s Blemish Rescue Set retails for about RM605.90 (SGD 175) at Forest MD.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is designed with dermatologist-recommended ingredients like ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin, and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water.

This lightweight cream repairs the skin’s natural barrier within one hour and offers up to 48 hours of hydration! It also supports a healthy skin microbiome, providing immediate comfort and restoring a healthy appearance.

Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, it absorbs quickly and helps maintain a balanced and hydrated complexion.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer (75ml) retails for RM74.38 at Lazada.

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Essential Facial & Body Lotion

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

This moisturising lotion has cera ecto components (ectoin and six types of ceramides) to provide healthy moisture care and a hydration power that is constant for 100 hours.

Its texture is refreshingly lightweight and gets absorbed easily without any stickiness, leaving the skin super soft and hydrated.

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Essential Facial & Body Lotion retails for about RM141.93 (SGD 41) at the JUNGSAEMMOOL flagship store in Singapore, jsmbeauty.sg, and for RM186.54 at Shopee.

BYOMA Moisturising Gel Cream

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Experience instant and lasting hydration with this lightweight, oil-free daily moisturiser. Its unique gel-cream texture combines the cooling effect of a gel with the deep hydration of a cream, absorbing quickly to soften and hydrate your skin!

Formulated with our barrier-boosting Tri-Ceramide Complex — a blend of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids — alongside niacinamide and antioxidant-rich green tea, this moisturiser effectively enhances skin barrier function.

It’s also clinically proven to increase skin hydration immediately while helping to reduce skin sensitivity.

BYOMA Moisturising Gel Cream (50ml) retails for RM115.00 at Shopee, RM130.40 at Zalora, and RM125 at BeautyVault.

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

This whipped gel cream, packaged in a refillable jar, hydrates and visibly balances unpredictable skin for that dewy-looking glow.

It has a blend of multi-weight hyaluronic acids to hydrate the skin and keep it plump and bouncy. Meanwhile, polyglutamic acid, a hydrating peptide, helps boost the efficacy of hyaluronic acid and lock in moisture.

Lastly, the plum and ice willowherb ingredients present brighten and visibly balance the skin.

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream retails for RM109 (20ml) and RM207 (50ml) at Sephora.

Evereden Kids Multi-Vitamin Face Cream Cool Peach

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

This moisturiser is specially formulated to provide essential hydration, balance, and soothing properties for vulnerable facial skin.

Enriched with niacinamide, it helps retain the skin’s moisture throughout the day. There’s also a MegaVitamin Complex™ which delivers a combination of amino acids and Omega 3, 6, and 9 to specifically address a kid’s facial skin.

Although it’s made for children aged four and above, it can also be used by the whole family!

Evereden Kids Multi-Vitamin Face Cream Cool Peach (50ml) retails for RM180 at Sephora.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

This moisturiser offers an ideal solution by combining hydration and sun protection in a non-comedogenic formula that won’t clog pores or trigger acne!

Featuring three essential ceramides to lock in moisture and restore your skin’s protective barrier, this lotion also includes hyaluronic acid for hydration and niacinamide to soothe.

The patented MVE technology ensures a slow release of ceramides throughout the day, while broad spectrum SPF 30 with InVisibleZinc™ provides effective sun protection without a chalky residue, making it perfect for morning skincare.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30 retails for RM76.90 (52ml) at Watsons and for RM110.40 (60ml) and RM156.80 (88ml) at Zalora.

Evereden Protective Mineral Face Cream SPF 20

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

This versatile face moisturiser offers comprehensive protection against sun, blue light, and pollution all year round.

Ideal for children aged three and up, this 4-in-1 product is suitable for the entire family, including pregnant women, babies, and adults with sensitive skin.

It’s also non-comedogenic and formulated with nourishing sunflower seed oil and provitamin B5 to ensure your skin stays protected and hydrated at the same time.

Evereden Protective Mineral Face Cream SPF 20 (50ml) retails for RM210 at Sephora.

Bubble Solar Mate

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Made to be a revolutionary sunscreen that tackles all SPF issues effortlessly, this mineral SPF 40 UVA/UVB sunscreen offers full spectrum protection with a sheer, lightweight texture that blends seamlessly into all skin tones.

The formula includes ginseng extract to help brighten the skin’s appearance, cocoa seed extract to balance the skin’s hydration without feeling heavy, and glycerin to offer smooth application without sticky or greasy residues.

It’s also non-comedogenic, making it perfect for sensitive and acne-prone skin!

Bubble Solar Mate (50ml) retails for about RM89.37 (USD 19) at Bubble.

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

For an extremely hydrating and lightweight chemical sunscreen from Korea, try Instree’s!

It features eight types of hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and prevent any moisture loss caused by external factors.

There are also beneficial ingredients like astaxanthin for nourishment, ceramide for moisturising power, fig fruit extract for moisturising, and centella asiatica extract for soothing properties.

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel (50ml) retails for RM71.50 instead of RM93.94 at Shopee, at the time of writing. It’s also available for RM59 at Captain Beauty and RM43.20 at Lazada.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

Loved by many adults as well, this sunscreen is completely invisible, weightless, and scentless.

Although it’s more often used as an antioxidant-rich primer to prep the skin for makeup, it also provides broad spectrum SPF 40 and protection from blue light (the light emitted from our phones and computers).

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ retails for RM108 (20ml) and RM186 (50ml) at Sephora.

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Mild Lip Balm

gen alpha skincare, skincare for kids

JUNGSAEMMOOL even has a lip balm made just for kids! It can transform any lips from dry and weak to soft and moisturised.

Formulated with pure, safe, and clean ingredients, this lip balm provides all-day moisture and even gives a bright sheen without any of the stickiness.

JUNGSAEMMOOL KIDS Mild Lip Balm retails for about RM79.64 (SGD 23) at the JUNGSAEMMOOL flagship store in Singapore, jsmbeauty.sg, and RM88 at Shopee.

Feature image credits: @candycrush91169/TikTok, @brookejeffymd/TikTok, @taylaajacksonn/TikTok

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