Clip of ’14-Year-Old’ Girl’s Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Sparks Concern

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  • A video of what appeared to be a 14-year-old girl with an elaborate anti-aging routine has gone viral.
  • It received widespread negative attention on Twitter, where it was posted by a user calling it “bleak.”
  • There is increasing concern that young people are feeling the pressure to conform to unattainable beauty standards.

A video of what appeared to be a 14-year-old girl engaging in a rigorous anti-aging routine was shared to Twitter, where viewers called out the “bleak” nature of the beauty industry and the pressures of social media on young women.

On June 14, a Twitter user who goes by @ycsm1n posted a video that was originally uploaded to TikTok which showed a person whose face had been blurred out sharing her skincare routine. The original video has also been re-posted across TikTok alongside people’s shocked reactions, although it appears to have been removed from the account.

“Here’s some things that I do to slow down the aging process as a 14-year-old,” the girl could be heard saying in the clip’s voiceover before she proceeded to list and apply a range of products. 

She went on to say that she takes two apple cider vinegar pills twice a day, uses a retinol twice a day, which, according to Healthline can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and applies two face masks a day, and said she pays attention to the skin on her neck as “that’s one of the main things that ages.”

Her lengthy regimen also included “three fingers’ worth” of sunscreen, and green tea with honey to tackle inflammation. She also said on long road trips she tapes construction paper to the vehicle window to block UV rays. At the start of the video she said she started “doing most of these things” at the age of 12.

The Twitter user who re-shared the video wrote alongside the post, “whole beauty industry is going to hell, this is so bleak” beside three sad face emojis. The tweet blew up, receiving over 7.1 million views on the app. 

Many comments beneath the video lambasted social media for the role it may have played in making kids fixated on their appearance. 

Others suggested it wasn’t all bad to have a skincare routine at that age if it focused on acne and sun protection, but expressed concern  the teen’s focus on anti-aging.

Over 3,700 quote tweets posted their take on the lengthy skincare list, many of which were both shocked and saddened by the video, and echoed similar concerns.

“I hate how so many girls are losing their childhoods to social media and the beauty industry. There’s something so sinister about 14-year-old girls obsessing over ‘slowing down the ageing process,'” one Twitter user wrote and received over 180 likes.

The backlash highlights a growing concern with how social media is impacting young people’s body image

The hashtag #skincareroutine is massively popular on TikTok where it has over 50 billion views, and individual creators can rack up millions of views per video. Anti-aging, in particular, is a specific niche on the app where users share tips and transformation videos after trying specific techniques.

CNN reported in 2021 that this messaging is reaching young consumers, who are increasingly preoccupied with signs of aging. When Kim Kardashian’s daughter North posted her skincare routing aged 9 on TikTok, some viewers said they were disturbed by the post, BuzzFeed reported.

While it may not be physically dangerous for young people to use these products — Dr. Debra Jaliman, a NYC-based board-certified dermatologist told it’s “never” too early to start, although she went on to specify “early 20s” as an age range — it seems people are instinctively worried about young people being self-critical about their appearance. The rising use of appearance-editing apps and influencers promoting cosmetic procedures have frequently been criticized for the same reason.

Elena Cavender, 23, wrote for Mashable in January that her TikTok homepage was filled with anti-aging videos, and that she believed the content on the app was “perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards.”

Beauty writer and author Jessica DeFino told her she was right. “A lot of beauty trends today are all about getting the skin in real life to look as filtered as possible, which generally means no deviation in tone, or texture, poreless, wrinkle free, no fine lines, just sort of this flat, reflective, shiny glow, which is not what a face looks like,” she was quoted as saying. “That’s what a phone screen looks like.” 

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

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