Business Categories Reports Podcasts Events Awards Webinars
Contact My Account About

Dove’s #Thefaceof10: Gen Alpha’s Blueprint for Age-Positive Beauty

Published March 10, 2024
Published March 10, 2024

When did retinol replace face paint? It's not a question you would expect to be asked when discussing consumers as young as 10 and their relationship with beauty, yet here we are. According to Dove, nearly one in two young girls (10 to 17 years old) expect to worry more about their appearance as they age, and one in three are predicted to have cosmetic work or plastic surgery to alter their appearance as they grow older.

In the past few months, the beauty industry has been paying close attention to Gen Alpha’s newfound obsession with all things makeup, skincare, and self-care. The consumer group, who are predicted to have an economic footprint of $5.46 trillion by 2029 (almost as much as Gen Z and millennials combined), shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to purchasing the latest beauty product, with a particular enthusiasm for all things anti-aging.

As previously reported by BeautyMatter, Generation Alpha's anti-aging fixation is fueled on TikTok, where in-depth anti-aging routines are being posted by those whose age has only just recently turned to double digits. In a now-deleted video, 14-year-old Carson Bradley outlines each step she takes to "slow down the aging process," claiming that she began her extensive beauty regimen at just 12 years old. The video, which accumulated over 4.4 million views before being taken down, shows Bradley applying retinol to her face twice daily while also adding it to her body cream, which she generously applies multiple times a day. The teen then explained that when taking long car rides, she tapes up her window, as she's terrified of harmful UV rays coming through, which she believes would leave her with irreversible fine lines and wrinkles.

Despite Bradley understanding her products' anti-aging capabilities, the issue with tweens sharing such content on TikTok is their immense influence on their peers, who suddenly feel they must follow suit to fit in with the crowd. For most young consumers, owning trending products feels like a luxury. Most do not care for the benefits such SKUs claim to give. Instead, they care that their collection of colorful products will make them stand out from the next person when it comes to posting their latest "get ready with me" video, showcasing their packed-out vanity. Many modern skincare products are formulated to treat multiple skincare concerns, from fine lines and wrinkles to acne and hyperpigmentation, with ingredients that are often too harsh for even adult skin. Still, the younger generation is unaware of this when slathering the product on, only to face the consequences later.

While several brands have come to market offering teens safer alternatives for their younger skin (see TWiiSH, JB Skrub, and Indu), TikTok's influence is continuing, and conversations about how to control the anti-aging craze are becoming prevalent. To educate young consumers who may fall into the rabbit hole of anti-aging beauty, Dove has taken to TikTok to present its #Thefaceof10 campaign, created to protect young girls' self-esteem from anti-aging skincare pressures. The beauty brand has partnered with Drew Barrymore, along with creators, dermatologists, and self-esteem experts, to help parents and caregivers navigate anti-aging conversations with young girls.

"At Dove, we believe beauty should be a source of happiness, not anxiety," says Firdaous El Honsali, Global Vice President at Dove. "For two decades, we have taken action to build confidence and self-esteem for millions of girls. Today, our girls are anti-aging before they've even started to grow up and need us more than ever."

The campaign features a pinned video on Dove's TikTok page, "The Gen A Anti-Aging Talk," including advice from Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs and body image expert certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, educating parents and caregivers on the best way to tackle the overhaul of content young people are exposed to daily. Tips include reminding children that content on TikTok is often focused on adult skincare, encouraging them to have fun with beauty (using tools such as face paint instead of harsh chemicals to express creativity), as well as guidance on how to build a simple teen-skin-safe routine for those who wish to allow their child to do so.

Under #Thefaceof10, influencers can be found decorating their faces with fun stickers, glitter, and face paint, explaining that expressing themselves with child-friendly products is more exciting than anti-aging ones, even though they are no longer in that age bracket. In one video, Drew Barrymore states that she feels anti-aging products are a harmful misconception for consumers of any age, as no one can actually reverse aging and consumers should instead embrace their natural skin.

"As a mom to two young girls, it makes me think differently about skincare for younger girls," Barrymore says in the video. "I've spent almost my whole life in a makeup chair, and as a little girl, I loved to play and express myself with things like glitter and stickers, and I would wear makeup to express myself. However, now there is a huge skincare movement directed at all ages, and some of the products on trend happen to be anti-aging. Not only can that damage young skin, I feel like the message should always be pro-age and age-appropriate."

Beauty businesses are responsible for prioritizing the well-being and self-esteem of their consumers, particularly when it comes to young girls experimenting with skincare products. Advocating against the use of adult anti-aging skincare for this demographic is crucial, as the skin of the younger consumer is still developing, and exposing it to potent anti-aging ingredients may lead to unforeseen consequences. Additionally, promoting age-appropriate skincare reinforces a positive message about self-acceptance and embracing natural beauty. By discouraging the premature use of anti-aging products, beauty brands can contribute to a healthier perspective on aging, emphasizing the importance of self-care routines that prioritize the basics: hydration, sun protection, and overall skin health, as opposed to unrealistic ideals. Dove believes that a 10-year-old's face should be a canvas for care-free fun, not anti-aging products, and encourages other brands to support their campaign.


2 Article(s) Remaining

Subscribe today for full access