too far?

California Bill Targets 'Sephora Tweens' With Skincare Ban For Children Under 13

"Kids don’t need anti-aging products."

A California congress assembly member is trying to ban anti-aging skin care products from getting in...
Angel Renee / TikTok

A California congress assembly member is trying to ban anti-aging skin care products from getting into the hands of tweens.

The bill under consideration would ban selling certain anti-aging skincare products to kids younger than 13 years old.

California bill AB 2491 was introduced by Assemblymember Alex Lee, a Democrat representing a district outside of San Jose.

"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 news release.

However, there are doubters.

“But trade association Personal Care Products Council, which represents the parent company of Sephora, Ulta and approximately 600 other cosmetic and personal care products, 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," Personal Care Products Council said in a statement, adding that member companies are trying to educate tweens and pre-teens about using age-appropriate products.

The bill aims to stop tweens from being able to purchase over-the-counter cosmetic products advertised as anti-aging and that contain either Vitamin A derivatives like retinol or alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, ascorbic acid, or citric acid.

At an initial hearing on the bill, Lee was joined by a 10-year-old girl who used skincare products that gave her an adverse reaction.

“Children do not need anti-aging products. Using these powerful products can result in serious harm. Scarlett is a 10-year-old 5th grader who shared her story today about how she thought using these products would make her "glow," but instead caused painful reactions,” Lee tweeted.

At the hearing, Scarlett told her story.

"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 a chuckling room full of legislators.

The girl said she developed a rash on her skin that was so painful she couldn't sleep without pain-relieving medication. She still has bumps and redness on her face, which makes her feel self-conscious, she said.

"I really wish that I would have known these would have affected me, because if I did, I would have never have used them," she said of the products. "I didn't know I could buy something that sounded so good but would actually hurt my skin."

If the bill were to be signed into law, businesses would take "a reasonable step" to ensure customers are 13 years or older. That could include signage, asking customers for their date of birth, or asking for ID.