CHILDREN’S mental health could be being harmed by retailers selling make-up kits to kids as young as THREE.
The cosmetics – sold by the likes of Argos, Asda, The Entertainer and Amazon could be a serious cause for concern – claim experts.
Make-up sets on sale to tots come from the likes of Argos and Asda
The products, which include eye shadow, lip gloss, blusher and even lipsticks, are described as ‘suitable’ for tots aged three and up who have not even started primary school.
And children’s groups and psychologists have raised concerns as the could encourage an unhealthy preoccupation with image.
Children’s toy store The Entertainer is just one of those selling the kits to children.
The brand – famed for its Christian ethics – has an entire section offering make-up.
TheToyShop.com The Entertainer is one of the stores selling make-up to tots
TheToyShop.com This Trolls make-up set is for ages three and up
The description online says: “Time for a makeover party! Little ones love to act grown up and we’ve got the safest, easiest to use kids makeup sets for pretending in style.
“Head to the Easy Nails Spa for funky colours and designs or try some Luscious Lip Gloss for winning smiles and fruity tastes.
“Why not take the role-play fun even further with something from our range of children’s jewellery sets?
“Whatever you choose, we put the fun in fashion!”
The Entertainer sells a Dreamworks Trolls make-up set, currently on sale at £7.50, which includes eyeshadows and lip glosses for kids as young as three.
Its website also offers a £12 make-up kit by YouTube star JoJo Siwa that is suitable for ages five and above, including lip gloss lollipops and lipsticks.
Another £12 set includes lipsticks and eye shadows for five-year-olds.
Its description reads: “Reapply your makeup wherever you are with the Compact Makeup Case from Unique Boutique.
“It’s full of fashionable makeup for you to use on the go. Glam yourself up with the eye shadow, lip gloss, lip sticks and blusher.”
Argos sells a Chad Valley B U Heart make-up set for £6.99 that says it is suitable for those aged five and above.
The set contains two nail polishes, 12 lip glosses, 11 eyeshadows, five blushers, eight lipsticks and five make-up applicators.
argus.co.uk Argos’ heart-shaped make-up kit is for five-year-olds
A description for the product – which says it shouldn’t be used by children under three-years-old – reads: “This creative set gives you everything you need to glamourise yourself.
“Everything you need to help give yourself a new look.”
Argos and Asda sell the Shimmer and Sparkle Ultimate Make-Up Studio marketed at girls aged eight and above. It even looks similar to some adult palettes.
asda.com George on the Asda website offers a make-up studio set
It says: “Design, dazzle and shine with the Shimmer and Sparkle Ultimate Makeup Designer Studio.
“Get the look by following the style cards, or experiment and create your own style.
“Comes with luscious lip glosses, 21 eyeshadows and 8 cheek colours to add highlight and glow. Design, dazzle and shine with shimmer and sparkle!
“Get your glam on!”
Amazon also sells a ‘My First make-Up Set’ for seven-year-olds.
Amazon.co.uk Amazon’s make-up set is aimed at slightly older children from age seven
Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said children often enjoyed playing ‘dress up’ because they love copying their parents or care-givers.
She stressed that harmless role play could help children develop socially and emotionally but could become an issue when it vastly altered tots’ appearance.
Honey said: “I do have some reservations about anything that encourages very young children to wear makeup in an everyday sense or as an actual means to alter appearance.
“My concern is that this could lead children to think about their appearance too much at too young an age, and may even contribute to the sexualisation of young children.
“It is hard enough in later childhood and adolescence when one’s appearance begins to be of concern and scrutiny by the peer group.
“Very young children don’t have the emotional or psychological capacity, and haven’t developed sufficient resilience, to cope with attention being paid towards to their appearance excessively.
“They should ideally be concerned with learning about the world, through play and educational opportunities.
“Their natural curiosity about everything they see needs to be encouraged and directed outwards. “They don’t need to be focused excessively on themselves or their own appearance at a very young age.
“Childhood is a time of innocence and a relative lack of concern over appearance can be liberating.
“It leaves children free to explore the world around them without being concerned by how they look or how they compare too much.
“I also think it’s important that they are not given a message by society that they don’t look good enough and should consider changing their appearance.
“Ultimately, childrens’ make-up marketed as a toy can be fun for role play, but I wouldn’t recommend makeup to be worn by very young children on a regular basis in order to alter their appearance.”
And Dr Emma Wedgeworth, Consultant Dermatologist at the British Skin Foundation, said putting make-up on children so young could cause body image issues.
She said: “I would certainly advise against using products like this on children on a regular basis.
“Products such as lipsticks contain a variety of chemical ingredients, including fragrances, which can exacerbated skin conditions such as eczema and lead to allergic reactions.
“In addition, I would have concerns about the effect of regular make up use on body image, which is a huge issue for many teens and young adults.
Argos said their make-up kits by Chad Valley are all about encouraging creativity.
A spokeswoman said: “Our Chad Valley collection offers a range of toys and games for kids which are designed to fuel creativity and enhance play time – from dolls and alphabet sets, to musical instruments.
“We regularly review our range and always welcome feedback.”
The Entertainer, Asda and Amazon did not reply to requests for comment.