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Girl-Grooming Trend on the Rise in India

In our image-obsessed culture, girls are grooming at younger and younger ages, making youth-targeted bikini waxes and toddler beauty pageants more and more common. Now, it looks like the disturbing trend of underage grooming is impacting the youth of India, as girls, and even boys, are making stops to the salon and spa more frequently. In fact, recent marketing studies imply that the hottest Indian beauty trends involve services targeted towards teens and tweens. (As if puberty wasn't already difficult enough.)

"Young children should not use beauty products at all, because their immune system is not fully developed," dermatologist Ajita Bagai told Mint. On the beauty industry side, however, some salon professionals would argue that body wraps on 11 year olds and minifacials using natural products on preteens are all right. But when it comes to the practice of juvenile primping, just how young is too young, and what is deemed appropriate by the medical side? Find out some guidelines from doctors interviewed in this article after the jump.

  • Hair removal: Most experts advise tacking hair removal around three years after puberty hits. Waxing is usually deemed the most gentle way to remove unwanted hair. Laser-hair treatments are advised only after the age of 18.
  • Acne: While it may be tempting to cover up adolescent acne with beauty treatments and makeup, a visit to the dermatologist for skincare advice is recommended.
  • Massage: According to Sabrina Hougaard of Serena Spa, youth may not be equipped mentally to deal with the intimate nature of massages. She recommends having a parent present, along with a massage therapist of the same sex.
  • Products: Sunscreen and gentle lotions are always OK. Paraben-free deodorant gets the go-ahead starting at the age of 12 to 13, when underarm perspiration becomes more prevalent.
  • Facials: Wait until after 18 or 21, when skin type becomes more settled.
  • Makeup: Leave lipstick and colored makeup to the adults.
  • Manis/Pedis: The experts say that nail polish with irritant-free formulations is acceptable, but advise waiting on manicures and pedicures until the age of 18.
Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
merie33 merie33 8 years
From the linked article. "Shaving may not damage skin but leaves a stubble that can trouble self-conscious adolescents." I'm sorry, but stubble isn't going to trouble the teens. Being made to wait until you're 18 (which this is suggesting) will. How many people seriously wait that long to shave their legs? That's ridiculous. I understand the bikini waxes, and the facials, and hell even the no makeup on acne part. But no shaving?? How many teenage girls would be content and not self-conscious about walking around with hairy legs?
Quirks4me Quirks4me 8 years
They have youth targeted bikini waxes?! That's disturbing. Why can't we let kids, be kids? Adulthood seems to be pushed sooner and sooner onto children.
stoopeed stoopeed 8 years
Umm.... while professionally this might be new, girl grooming has always been a norm in India. Only it is not always looked upon as grooming. Massaging is traditional - starting from infancy. So is hair removal via exfoliation eg. pumice stones, exfoliating scrubs let to dry and then peeled off every day to remove some hair every time. It seems to work.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I think it really depends on what the service is, the frequency of the service, the importance that's placed on it, etc. My sister recently took her 6-year-old soon to be stepdaughter for a manicure because she was a flower girl in a wedding. It was a fun day for them and a good bonding experience! But, she (the step-daughter) understood that it wasn't something that was going to happen regularly and that it was for fun/to pamper herself before the wedding. I think things like that are OK. I could even see giving a pre-teen or a young teen a mini-facial as a treat. But, some things (the bikin waxes come to mind) obviously go too far. In the end, with most situations, i think it comes down to parents knowing what's best for their child.
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