Are Cosmetics Safe For Young Children? (4-9 years)

Is there a right age to start using makeup? Read this article to know why it's OK to let your child use make-up occasionally

By Kumudam Berkin  • 7 min read

Are Cosmetics Safe For Young Children? (4-9 years)

Did you catch your little princess trying on your lipstick or rouge? By the time your daughter is 4 years old, her own nails don’t look to her as impressive as your painted ones. Watching you do your face in front of the mirror is something that every girl has grown up with. It is no surprise then that your little princess now wants her own make-up to try on. The following article gives you a low-down on whether cosmetics are safe on your child and if yes which kinds can be permitted.

With many international cosmetic brands for adults now available in India, there is also a pretty impressive line-up of cosmetics for children. When you find girls as old as just 6, wearing lip-gloss and rouge, you begin to wonder if it is OK for them to wear it so early.

Girls in the age group of 6 to 9 are very intrigued by make-up. This is absolutely normal. As a mother it is normal to freak out when you initially realize your daughter has been secretly using your lipstick and other make-up

Make-up, hairstyles and fashionable clothing are areas in parenting which are neither black nor white. Every parent must set the parameters and boundaries when it comes to the cosmetics that will be used and clothing that will be worn. It is paramount that your child knows what is expected out of them at the appropriate age. It is also important that as a parent you are not too hard on your child about wearing make-up. This could ruin your relationship with your daughter.

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Approach your daughter with understanding. Tell her that you understand that she is curious about make-up and cosmetics. You can give her the permission to experiment with make-up and costumes at home but it is a definite no-no to try these on when going to school or elsewhere. It is important for you to let your child know that she is beautiful without make-up.

You could also let your daughter have a touch of lip gloss which might appease her initially. You could also let her paint her nails over the weekend or for a special occasion. Make sure you tell your daughter that when she is old enough she is allowed to wear make-up. What can make this whole journey interesting is when you accompany your daughter to buy cosmetics. This will also help you guide her on what to choose and identify how safe it is.

Safety of cosmetics

A lot is being spoken about the ingredients that are used in manufacturing common cosmetics and the results are alarming. So if your daughter has sensitive skin make sure you check the following things:

1. Read about the ingredients: If you see a lot of words that you cannot pronounce, it just might be the stuff that can cause an allergic reaction. Try choosing products with natural and organic ingredients. Also make sure these are not tested on animals. There are very popular brands that are natural and organic.

2. Make-up should be restricted to special occasions: Make sure you tell your child that she could use make up only for special occasions like a birthday party or a family get-together.

3. Less is always more: Start with one cosmetic, for example, just lip gloss or nail polish to start with. This will help your daughter go slow with the whole exploration process and make her value the experience as well.

A final word of caution – Note that it is very normal for young girls to be intrigued by make-up and cosmetics. If you as a parent are not comfortable with your child wearing make-up at such a young age, go ahead and ban it. However, even if you make this rule in the house, be prepared for the fact that your little brat may still sneak a tube of lipstick into her bag from yours. Don’t go overboard and punish her for this because dressing up is natural and wearing cosmetics is part of it. Continue, however, to draw the line as to how much she is allowed to use. Whichever route you choose to follow, let your daughter know that she is beautiful just the way she is – without make-up.

The author is a professional German translator, interpreter, foreign language instructor for schools and visiting faculty for colleges and corporates.