California bill would ban anti-aging skincare products for kids under 13

Tween girls laughing and putting on skincare

After tweens went viral for their Sephora shopping hauls, a California lawmaker wants tighter restrictions on products they can buy. California bill AB 2491, introduced by San Jose Democratic Assemblymember Alex Lee, would ban selling anti-aging skincare products to kids under 13 years old.

“Kids don’t need anti-aging products, and AB 2491 will protect children and preteens from the potential harms of using products that may lead to short- or long-term skin challenges they wouldn’t otherwise have,” Lee said in a press release.

If the bill is signed into law, it will ask business to take “reasonable steps” to ensure that customers buying anti-aging customers are 13 or older. That could include displaying signs or asking for their date of birth at checkout.

However, some people and companies are already pushing back. Trade association Personal Care Products Council, which represents Sephora’s parent company, Ulta, and around 600 other cosmetics and personal care brands, said the bill would be “largely impossible” to enforce.

“By proposing sales restrictions for a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products, including basic essentials like sunscreens, moisturizers, and cleansers, this bill threatens to overregulate products that are safe and essential for healthy skin care,” the association said in a statement.

After the bill was introduced, it received an initial hearing where one supporter was a 10-year-old named Scarlett, who spoke about how she experienced painful skin reactions after purchasing anti-aging products.

“I mostly looked for sheet-masks, cremes, and mists and other products with words like ‘glow,’ ‘hydrating,’ ‘brightening’ and ‘anti-wrinkling,’ cuz I didn’t want to get wrinkles, and, no offense, look old,” she said to the room full of legislators, who chuckled in response.

She added that some of the products made her develop a rash that was so painful she couldn’t sleep, and she still suffers from redness and bumps on her face.

“I really wish that I would have known these would have affected me, because if I did, I would have never have used them,” Scarlett said. “I didn’t know I could buy something that sounded so good but would actually hurt my skin.”