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The Sephora Kids Epidemic

Has the influence of social media gone too far on Gen Alpha?

Sephora kids
Photo-illustration by Oleksandra Nazarova

Gen Alpha has been a huge social media topic lately. The term Gen Alpha is used to describe the generation of people born between 2010 and 2025.

One of the latest trends on TikTok has been people discussing the Sephora kids’ epidemic. Employees who work at these beauty stores, as well as shoppers, have been sharing their experiences when coming across a Gen Alpha. The three main points of discussion are the mess, the behavior/ treatment, and the age.

In this article, I am going to talk about people’s complaints about the Sephora kids’ epidemic.

1. The Mess

Beauty store workers have been complaining about the mess that young people leave behind when using the testers. Many employees have posted videos on TikTok through which they show the damage that the 12-year-old girls do in the stores.

Credits: TikTok / Justin | Skincare + Laser

The products that Gen Alpha seems to have been highly influenced by are Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, Rare Beauty, FENTY, and Charlotte Tilbury. These are also the product testers that are getting ruined on a daily basis.

This is an issue for stores because it can have an impact on the store’s clean look as well as hygiene. Many people on social media believe that there should be a certain age restriction for who can and can’t go into beauty stores such as Sephora.

2. The Behaviour/ Treatment

The main point of discussion is that the 12-year-old girls who shop in the store treat the staff and other customers in a rude manner.

Much of the content online about the Sephora kids’ epidemic is of adults sharing how they got interrupted whilst serving a customer or talking with a worker or how they got pushed and shoved out of the way by these young kids.

It was quite astonishing listening to the way that of the young customers behave with the adult customers.

A TikTok account called shared her experience with a Gen Alphas behavior whilst queuing up in Sephora. She mentioned how she got shoved and was spoken to in a rude manner.

3. The Age

I remember months ago coming across a video of a young girl on TikTok who looked no older than 14 or 15 years old. In this video, she was showing her skincare and makeup routine. I was surprised to see her using pricey products, but I was more shocked that she had more skincare steps than I do as a 20-year-old.

I have a younger sister, and I would hate to see her feel like she needs to use any form of products on her face. Especially expensive products. When I spoke with her more recently, she said that she really wanted some of the Rare beauty products, as well as the glow recipe skin care. It felt quite sad hearing my nine-year-old sister know these names. I had to explain to her that she is too young to be using those products.

Many dermatologists have posted on TikTok listing skin products that young people should or shouldn’t use for their age. For example, Dr. Brooke Jeffy posted on her TikTok account saying:

”I just died a little. Why does this adorable 11 year old need makeup, and the skincare routine which is more complicated than mine.”

Dr. Brooke Jeffy, TikTok

I agree that children do not need any form of cream or serum for their faces. Nor do they need any makeup.

Who is at fault?

The debate of whether social media or parents are at fault for the Sephora kids’ epidemic is ongoing. Some individuals say that it is due to the Gen Z influence on Gen Alpha, but others think that it is due to people’s parenting skills.

Whilst social media is at fault for having such an influential power on children, the blame should not entirely be shifted to the online content produced.

I do believe that influencers have an impact on how children behave, but I also believe that parents have the power to influence the type of content that their children should consume at their age.

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Written By

Hi! My name is Maria and I am a final year Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University.

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