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How tweens are transforming the beauty industry in Malaysia and around the world

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Tweens are significantly influencing the beauty industry, driving trends and product offerings.
  • The "Sephora Kids" trend highlights the growing market for tween-specific beauty products.
  • Parental guidance and open discussions about beauty standards are crucial in navigating this trend.

The beauty industry has witnessed a remarkable shift driven by an unexpected demographic: tweens. These young consumers, often referred to as Gen Alpha, are not only influencing beauty trends but are also becoming a powerful market segment. This phenomenon is particularly evident in Malaysia, where the "Sephora Kids" trend is gaining momentum.

The rise of tweens in the beauty industry can be attributed to several factors, including the pervasive influence of social media, peer pressure, and the increasing availability of beauty products tailored specifically for younger skin. Brands like Sol De Janeiro, Glow Recipe, and The Ordinary have become household names among tweens, as evidenced by the popularity of these products in tween-centric beauty hauls and social media posts.

Aaisyah, a young beauty enthusiast, exemplifies this trend. In a video uploaded last year for her birthday, she confidently listed her favorite skincare brands, including Sol De Janeiro and Glow Recipe, when asked by her mother what she wanted. This level of brand awareness and preference among tweens is unprecedented and highlights the growing importance of this demographic in the beauty market.

The "Sephora Kids" trend is characterized by tweens flocking to beauty megastores to stock up on Gen Alpha-approved beauty brands like Evereden, Sol De Janeiro, Elf Cosmetics, and Drunk Elephant. This trend is not just about purchasing products; it represents a broader cultural shift where beauty routines and self-care practices are becoming integral parts of tween life.

However, the increasing interest in beauty products among tweens has sparked a debate about the appropriateness of such practices at a young age. Skin experts caution against the use of adult beauty products on young skin, emphasizing that children's skin has different needs. "Children have more physically demanding days than adults. They go to school, have sports practices, move and sweat more, and are even exposed to more sunlight. Their skin needs are different," says Ho, a skincare expert. He suggests that a simple routine consisting of a face wash, moisturizer, and sunblock is sufficient for tweens.

Parents play a crucial role in navigating this trend. Mazlin, a mother of two, acknowledges the impact of social media and peer influence on her daughters. She and her husband have open discussions about beauty standards, encouraging their children to be confident in their natural appearance. "We encourage them to be confident naturally and always remind them that their worth is in who they are, never how they look," she says. This approach helps balance the excitement of exploring beauty products with the importance of self-esteem and body positivity.

Jeremy Ong, CEO of Treo Capital and owner of Jac & Ivy, a nail spa catering to children, views the interest in skincare and makeup as an opportunity for parents to bond with their children. "With the 'miniaturization' of things, including products and services once marketed for adults, parents have a chance to engage in the conversation early on. It gives them the opportunity to talk about body image, what beauty means, lipstick colors, even ingredients," he explains. This engagement can foster healthy attitudes towards beauty and self-care from a young age.

The influence of tweens on the beauty industry is undeniable. As this demographic continues to grow, it will be essential for brands to create products that cater to their unique needs while promoting healthy beauty standards. The "Sephora Kids" trend is more than just a market shift; it is a cultural movement that reflects the evolving relationship between young consumers and the beauty industry.

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