When Should You Start Using Makeup?

94

Design Pics/Thinkstock

Beauties, do you remember when you first picked up a lipstick or sprayed your mom’s perfume? With so many websites, magazines, and television shows, it can be quite confusing for young girls—and their mothers—to decide when it's appropriate to start using makeup (Toddlers and Tiaras, anyone?). We spoke with Clinique's global color director Jenna Menard (who also has a background in psychology), and dermatologist and psychologist Amy Wechsler M.D., to found out the right age to start experimenting with beauty products.

Every little girl wants to feel special, and for some, that means trying out their mom's lipstick. But at what age should younger Beauties wear makeup daily or start a skin care regimen? “This is a question that I am frequently asked by my patients, not to mention something I have considered as a mother myself," says Dr. Wechsler. "It’s a fine line between wanting to encourage experimentation, confidence and taking pride in ones appearance, and also wanting to preserve innocence and youth." Jenna agrees. "I come from a family of four girls, and all of us have had different experiences. My youngest sister wanted to wear lipstick when she was five!” she shares.

For some girls, makeup can seem daunting, for others, it can be a fun experience that they want to join in on. Deciding the appropriate age for your child to use makeup is tough. "Start by easing your daughter into it—let them watch you get ready, and explain to her why you use various products. Beginning around 10, allow them to play with lip gloss, tinted balms and nail polish," says Dr. Wechsler. Skin care is another area to be careful with, as many teens can be embarrassed by blemishes and breakouts. "Reinforcing healthy skin habits such as moisturizing and washing your face is important for girls that are heading into puberty and becoming more aware of their appearance," says Dr. Wechsler. While makeup may not seem suitable at a younger age, a proper skin care regimen can boost a young girls confidence and encourage good grooming habits later on in life. And sometimes, reverse psychology is the best way to go. By trying to convince your daughter it's not appropriate to wear makeup, you'll only push her into it more, explains Jenna. "As young women start to experiment with makeup I think it is most important for them to be reminded of these mantras:

  1. You are beautiful with or without makeup.
  2. You can use makeup to enhance features rather than completely change your look.
  3. Makeup can be used as an accessory and means of expression, and you can always change your style with the times.

For the best introduction to skin care, Beautylish recommends Willa. Created by a mom and her daughter, Willa is an all-natural skin care brand, designed for girls under the age of 18. Each product comes in adorable, easy to use packaging and with nothing over $17.50, it's accessible for younger girls. Developed over three years, the natural ingredients ensure that younger Beauties aren't putting harmful chemicals on their skin, but are still learning how to achieve clean, clear and beautiful skin. We love the Foaming Face Wash and Clear Face Moisturizer.

Featured Brands