Could Makeup Products Have Age Limits?

A California bill aims to prevent children under 13 from buying certain beauty products.

Could Makeup Products Have Age Limits? (Getty Images)

A California bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of anti-aging skin products to children under 13 failed to advance in the state Assembly. The legislation, introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Alex Lee, was brought forward at an Appropriations Committee meeting and did not progress. 

Here are the details from NBC News:

Lee proposed AB 2491 in response to the growing trend of young children being influenced by online skincare fads. Over the past year, there has been significant discussion on social media about “Sephora kids,” with viral posts depicting young children swarming stores like Sephora, creating messes, and even clashing with adults over popular skin serums and lip oils. These children, often still having baby teeth, have amassed large social media followings by sharing their skincare routines and shopping sprees.

Experts have raised concerns that some skin care products popularized on social media can harm young skin. In February, seven dermatologists told NBC News that they had seen a surge in pre-teens with skin issues such as red, dry, bumpy, and itchy rashes caused by unnecessary skincare products.

The bill, which had passed the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, sought to ban the sale of over-the-counter anti-aging products containing vitamin A derivatives (like retinoids and retinol) or alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic, ascorbic, and citric acids) to children under 13.

Despite the setback, Lee remains dedicated to protecting children from the adverse effects of anti-aging products. He highlighted that 20 California legislators had sent a letter to the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), urging the industry to take concrete steps to prevent children from purchasing these products.

Lee emphasized that the multibillion-dollar beauty industry has a responsibility to address this issue meaningfully. In response, the PCPC urged legislators to oppose the bill, arguing that it was a rushed attempt to counter a social media trend and would overregulate safe products like sunscreens and moisturizers.

If enacted, the bill would have required sellers to enforce the age limit through measures such as posting prominent notices, verifying ages at checkout, and prohibiting prepaid credit card purchases for these products online. The PCPC, while acknowledging Lee’s concerns, cited significant compliance challenges, including the practicality of cashiers verifying product claims and customer ages at checkout.

Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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