Sephora Universal City Walk
Sephora Universal City Walk store in Universal City, California.
(Photo : Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Sephora)

In response to the growing skincare trend among Generation Alpha, California lawmakers are proposing a ban on selling anti-aging skincare products to children under 13.

California Assemblymember Alex Lee introduced Assembly Bill 2491, which aims to prohibit the sale of these products to young children.

The bill targets over-the-counter skincare and cosmetic products containing vitamin A derivatives such as retinoids and retinol, as well as alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, ascorbic acid, and citric acid.

These ingredients, while effective for addressing skin concerns such as premature aging in adults, are considered unsuitable for children's skin and may cause adverse effects like irritation.

Meanwhile, some organizations, such as the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), while agreeing that children should not use anti-aging products, voiced their opposition against the proposed bill.

They argued that the bill's restrictions were overly complicated and could hinder the sale of safe, essential skincare products like sunscreens and moisturizers.

"While well-intentioned in its efforts to protect preteens, [it] falls short of addressing the real issue and instead creates restrictions so complicated that compliance or enforcement would be largely impossible," the PCPC said in a statement.

Under the proposed legislation, businesses would be required to take "reasonable" steps to prevent underage purchases. 

These steps include requiring age verification through a valid ID, placing prominent notices in stores and online, and restricting the use of prepaid credit cards for online purchases.

Despite the opposition from industry groups, Lee and supporters of AB 2491 maintain that the bill is necessary to protect children from the potential harms of using potent skincare products that are not meant for their age group.