Imagine yourself putting on makeup at your vanity table when your daughter tugs at your sleeve, asking you to put makeup on her as well. For some, it could be an amazing bonding opportunity. But where do you draw the line when your child consistently wants makeup to be put on her, especially if her age is below a double digit?
When is it okay?
Firstly, ascertain why she feels the need to have makeup on. Is it because she feels it’s a way to feel closer to you? Does she like playing pretend? Or has she been influenced by the increasing pressure on young girls to look a certain way? If it’s the last, you’ll need to have a proper conversation with her regarding body image issues and confidence, as it could have a lasting impact on her as she grows up. If it’s the first two, as long as you make it clear that there is no pressure to do so and it’s a way to have fun once in awhile, then it should be fine.
What sort of makeup should you look for?
Just make sure you pick those that are either catered for children or organic, so they are void of harsh chemicals. Also, let them know they don’t need foundation or skin tints given their clear skin and that such products may lead to clogged pores. Just a wash of shimmer on the eyes or a light layer of lip gloss should do the trick in satisfying your child’s innate curiosity.
When could it be a problem?
Now, the problem could be a little different if your child were a little older and experiencing breakouts. Their eagerness for makeup could be to cover up acne and a multitude of self-esteem issues. They could be very self-conscious about the matter, but if you notice their skin worsening or that it troubles them, ask them gently if they would like to go to the pharmacist to get acne treatment products. As Professor Rodney Sinclair, a dermatologist, suggests, “Bring it up sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets.”
He also recommends, “If nothing is working [after] five or six weeks, then go to a doctor. If it’s severe, a pharmacist will guide you as to when it’s time to see a doctor.” Makeup, in this case, could exacerbate the situation. So, you need to have a talk with your child as they could be very reluctant in giving up the one thing they believe can help with their confidence.
Dr Sinclair recommends starting off with benzoyl peroxide cream and in the lowest strength, as those with a higher concentration could cause more irritation. “Girls start [getting pimples] about two years before or two years after [the start of their] period, so typically around eight to 14 years old. At the end of the day, pimples are normal, everyone gets them.”
It may be a difficult topic to tackle, but make sure you get your child the help they need with a dermatologist should there be a need for it.