Social media has been dominated with no make-up selfies for the past couple of days with people hoping to raise awareness for Cancer Research – but whilst many women might be wiping off their make-up for a picture, new research shows that we start putting it on from age 11.
Eleven is now the average age that girls start wearing make-up, and the vast majority of women don’t think this is a good thing.
Girls are now wearing cosmetics over three years earlier than they did back in the previous decade.
Previously pre-teen girls were unlikely to be experimenting with cosmetics but nowadays it is seen to be the norm for girls as young as 11 to be wearing some form of make-up. Peer group pressure on social media and at school, and trying to emulate girls on reality shows like TOWIE’s Sam and Billie Faiers are key drivers for the drop in age.
The survey by online beauty retailer Escentual.com asked 1,000 women when their experiences of their daughters, younger sisters or other female family members using make-up.
Nearly two thirds of the women questioned said girls were at least three years younger in starting to use make-up than their generation were, and now pre-teens using cosmetics was the norm.
They said that girls should wait till 14-years-old to wear foundation, 13 ½ years old to wear eye make-up, and 12 ½ to wear lip-gloss. Over 89% of women said under 13s should not wear make-up unless it was a very rare special occasion – only once or twice a year at most.
Escentual.com Beauty Editor Emma Leslie who commissioned the survey said: “Most women were against pre-teen girls using make-up regularly but said they realised that the majority of under 13s were doing it anyway. They said the average age of starting to use make-up had dropped significantly in recent years and that they regularly saw girls as young as 11 wearing cosmetics.
“They were concerned that these pre-teen girls might develop an unhealthy obsession with their appearance - over 62.6% thought this was the biggest risk from younger girls starting to use make-up.”
And Emma added: “Most women thought it was acceptable for girls start using some make-up by 13, and that by 15 it was acceptable for girls to be wearing make-up regularly in public.”
The women surveyed said the key drivers for the drop in age was put down to peer group pressure at school and the desire to feel more grown-up, but also reality TV shows like TOWIE were blamed for girls wanting to grow up too fast.
But what do you think is an acceptable age to start wearing make-up?