Research has revealed that the overwhelming majority of female children in the UK ask their parents to wear makeup - with the average age for this to first happen at just six years old.

Social media is among the reasons why girls feel pressure to wear make-up

Social media is among the reasons why girls feel pressure to wear make-up

The study was carried out by beauty discovery site

The top reasons that girls as young as six ask to wear makeup included ‘being bullied for not wearing it’, ‘social media’, or ‘feeling ugly’. What’s more, 89% of the parents polled had previously caught their daughter wearing makeup without their permission, with the average age found to be seven years old.

Asked for their opinion, 77% of respondents said that they thought there was societal pressure for children to wear makeup. Expanding upon this, 27% of parents said that celebrities were the biggest reason for this pressure, followed by their children’s friends and influencers.

The average age that parents were comfortable letting their daughter wear makeup items was found to be ten years old, though 14% said they would allow it from the ages of five or younger. When asked when they first let their daughter use certain makeup or beauty items, the results (from oldest to youngest) were as follows:

  • Foundation – 14 years old
  • Eye liner – 14 years old
  • Lipstick – 13 years old
  • Mascara – 12 years old
  • Eyeshadow – 7 years old
  • Lip gloss – 6 years old
  • Nail varnish – 5 years old

For comparison, all respondents were asked what age they personally started wearing makeup. The average age mothers started wearing makeup was found to be 13 (more than twice the age that daughters currently ask). Asked if they had permission from their parent(s) or guardians to wear makeup when they first did so, 50% said ‘no’.

Finally, almost a quarter of parents said that they had been shamed by others for allowing their daughter to wear makeup in the past, with the most common offenders revealed as ‘other parents’, their own parents and teachers.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Isa Lavahun, Digital Brand Manager at said:

“It’s no surprise that peer pressure and social media are leading to young girls wanting to wear makeup at a much younger age, but being bullied for not conforming or worries about appearance are heart-breaking reasons.”

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