Your Say: How early is it to introduce little girls to beauty pampering sessions?

by Paris B on · 51 comments

in Beauty Services,Discussions,Musings

Last week, when I was getting my haircut, I took the time to browse through the beauty magazines of the month. I don’t usually read mags unless I’m at the hairdressers, where I have lots of time to catch up icon smile Your Say: How early is it to introduce little girls to beauty pampering sessions? Anyway, while browsing, I saw an article about mother-daughter bonding sessions with beauty treatments. I was all prepared to flip away until I noticed that the daughters in question were under 10.

beauty kids Your Say: How early is it to introduce little girls to beauty pampering sessions?

The article is in Her World magazine (can’t remember if its the Sept/Oct edition) so you can read it in its entirety if you like. (found the link to the online version here)

I was curious what you think about beauty pampering for kids. The article had references to a facial session, mani-pedi session and a spa. If you have little girls, I would be even more interested to know what you think.

I don’t have kids, much less daughters so I probably am not the best person to offer a view.

However, I did feel a bit perturbed. I understand little girls wanting to play with nail polish like their mothers. If the nail polish is child friendly and washes out easily with water (it exists) then I don’t think there’s a problem with that as a fun rainy day activity. At 9 years old, I think a child friendly nail polish is good fun for both mother and daughter. I’m not quite sure about putting them into a full mani-pedi session, especially one that involves the whole cutting of cuticles and stuff. I had one recently and I think it spoils my nails. I wouldn’t mind playing at nail polishes, with my daughter but I’d balk at spending 2 hours in a nail salon.

I am however, not for a child undergoing a facial. Children have delicate skins that are at their prime. Few of us will see the skin we had as a child. When I was a kid, I had poreless peaches and cream complexion. I’m not just saying it, it was a fact. It all deteriorated when I grew up (damn puberty!) So, I’m not for allowing a kid of 5 years to undergo a facial because I go for facials and it really is too much for children’s skin.

Above all, I think whilst playing at beauty can be fun, beauty pampering is a whole different thing altogether. I’m not saying anyone was wrong. I just don’t think little kids should be overly exposed to the beauty world. There’s lots of time for that when they grow up.

Just my 2 cents, which probably isn’t worth too much these days icon smile Your Say: How early is it to introduce little girls to beauty pampering sessions?

What do you think? When is it too early to introduce little girls to beauty pampering sessions?

Beauty pampering would include facials, spas, manicures and pedicures and horrors! waxing (there was a big furore over a mother of a kiddy beauty pageat in the USA, who waxed and botoxed her little girl, but that is really taking things far to the extreme.) Mothers’ thoughts are very welcome!

Paris B

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[ 51 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Tine October 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I’m happy for little girls to play with makeup on their own. If they want to put nail polish on each other, or draw up each other’s faces, go ahead. It’s all part of growing up. But I draw the line at pampering services for children. They already get their bums wiped, mouths wiped, showered, fed, etc. How are they not pampered enough?!


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Haha! Yeah, kids are already pampered and if any beauty pampering is to be done, it should be for the mommies right? Then again, maybe for some, its a way for them to feel like they’re sharing the “good times” together? I dunno.


Tine October 11, 2012 at 5:29 am

Sharing good times together with mum is essential, but not necessarily at a salon. I think it gives little girls the idea that in order to make yourself look beautiful, it has to be done at a salon (ie spend a lot of money). Wouldn’t it be nice if mum and daughter do it at home, with mum doing up girl’s hair, and girl trying to paint mum’s nails? :P


ksuan October 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

One of my guy friends called in a rage a few years ago, saying that his mother had taken his two sisters, aged 11 and 14, for facials and hair waxing. He insisted it was too young.

I have to concur.

And I can’t even imagine girls going through this even younger (bless all those Toddlers and Tiaras babies and their slightly psycho parents).


Liyeun October 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! I’m a mother of 1, and I dont think I would bring her for waxing or facials before 18!!!! Lol


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I’m with you. Playing at home is fine but what is there to wax when they are are 11 and 14? Sorta morbidly curious coz wouldn’t that be puberty and thus hair will be growing in the most unfortunate of places anyway?! LOL!


jk October 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

My 2 girls are 9 and going to be 12. They have experienced playing with their mummy’s make up at home and taking mummy’s (more dispensable) make up to their school for concerts. Played with nail polish all at home.
D-a-H (*Do at Home) facials effectively to wash and clean their faces – been there and done that. That’s all fine. However, there is no way I will allow them much less underwrite at their ages to be pampered with outside spas/facials/mani/pedi.
Even their hair cuts are generally by grandma (their mummy here cannot cut a straight fringe). Only once a blue moon, their hair cuts are at the salon – by the by when mummy gets her hair cut. Admittedly on this, that’s just me. My mum was cutting my hair till I was in my early 20s) :-)


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I remember when I was little, when I was due for a haircut, my mom would take me with her when she gets her hair done and the hairdresser would snip a little off as a trim, complimentary. I loved it! It was the reason I could never keep long hair because I always wanted my hair cut LOL! No hair wash or anything, just a little snip. I think hair cuts are fine (few of us can cut hair and I wouldn’t want my kid looking like Edward Scissorhands took to his head ;) ) but like you I’d play at facials or nail polish or makeup at home, if I had little girls. If they wanted to go for a manicure/facial/spa, they can go when they start earning their own keep :P


Sze Ling October 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I don’t have kids of my own yet. Personally, I think beauty pampering sessions for kids is just taking it a little bit too far. I’m fine with them playing with makeup at home, but getting a full on facial and mani is just too much. My philosophy is – don’t messed with their perfect skin, hair and nails until you absolutely have to.

For mother-daughter bonding time, you could always paint each other’s nails at home. Or put makeup on for each other at home. It’s still a lot of fun, and not to mention way less pricey.

Which reminds me, I saw a mother who brought her daughter for waxing once. And the kid looks like she’s barely 10!


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I think the same way you do – its fine to play a little at home. That is what I’d call bonding time because you are spending fun times together. However, I”m curious about the little girl who came in for waxing. What on earth was she waxing?! o_O


kuri October 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I totally agree!
I feel like beauty pampering together would be a lot more fun if the daughter is also an adult, anyway.
It would depend on what my daughter wanted to do, too.


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I think you’re right. As an adult, I have gone for a spa with my mom and I loved it. Its different when you grow up, I feel.


Jen October 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

My girl is 2 yrs. old now and I plan to expose her to those kind of things when she’s already 13.. But of course I can’t stop her mimicking me on my beauty rituals.. Whenever she sees me patting my face when I’m applying moisturizer she slaps her face too! Haha!


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Oh its alright to mimic, Jen – its probably a good thing because she will know how to properly take care of her skin when its time to :)


anis October 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

i’ve got a friend who sponsored 3 14y.o girls at our old boarding school, and mentioned that none of the girls know anything about moisturizers! i was like omagadthehorror!!! until i realized, at their age, i knew nothing about it too ;) but i guess secondary school is a good age to start, especially when they actually personally voiced their skin concerns to you.

i mean, only basics, yes. but all the pampering and the works? let them try it on their own when they earn on their own, or at least 20 ;)


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

LOL I thought about myself at 14 and realised I wasn’t bothered either. Still had good skin then and a year later, my mom introduced me to face wash and moisturiser although I can’t remember what it was! For myself, skincare is something to share, that’s for certain, but not pampering. Like you, I say they can enjoy whatever pampering they want when they can afford it! :P


MK October 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I love home spa treatments for my girls, they are 14 and 15, even my son at 11 joins in for fun. However, this is where it stops. Home spa. Bonding time between me and the girls (husband and son also likes it), but I will not spoil them at salons. I don’t even go to the salon myself haha! It may sound fun, but isn’t it super expensive. If bonding is what mothers want, do it with the kids at home. The girls come to me daily for their facial thing-y because mummy has a whole load of stuff on her dresser, but not everything suits them. They can play with make up at home only. I think it’s a wee too pampering for kids, we all want bonding, but seems like some prefer paid services…, so not for me ;)


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I like what you’re doing with your kids, MK – teaching them about taking care of their skin and spending time with them doing fun stuff. That for me, is what bonding is all about. I’m fine with mothers going off to the salon – we all need our own time too I guess – but taking their little kids along doesn’t sit too well with me. Maybe I’m just conservative :P


Petrina October 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Interesting article – I can’t read it coz I’m not in KL but under 10 is def too young an age to expose girls to spas, manis pedis and facials.

I totally agree with you, Paris that playing around with nail polish and maybe a bit if tinted lip balm is fine for this age group ( though my mum would always refuse my request to try her red polish! Play time only with the pinks and pale shades). I received my first basic skin care set (cleanser toner moisturizer) at 12 and I think maybe 16 when my mum introduced the idea if facials and this wasn’t even for me – only my younger sis and only because she was battling acne!

I to think the harsh chemicals in mani pedis can be harmful and should be delayed in exposure to young skin as long as possible. What is wrong with a mum n daughter chemical free mini mani pedi session at home?


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Sorry Petrina, I totally forgot about international ladies so I hunted down the online version and included the link :) I have the same views as you. I remember my mom going for her facial sessions, but I never asked to go – never crossed my mind! – and she taught me about skincare when I was in my teens. I only went for facials when I started earning my keep and I think that’s when kids are entitled to their beauty pampering sessions :P


Sherry October 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

It sure sound fun too bad i have boys no gal


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm

So if you had a little girl, would you introduce her to beauty pampering sessions outside too?


Claire October 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I always ask myself: isn’t it nice to have dreams as a kid? Let’s say you are nine or twelve and play with your mother’s makeup, clothes, shoes and dream to wear beautiful things when you get older. And maybe, finally, with sixteen or so, you go to the mani- and pedicure for the first time and later you dream of a facial (or just beeing at a salon, etc). What happened to all those dreams a kid should have? Nowadays, a lot of young girls already experience things, they should have when they are older (in my opinion). I have nothing against some simple home spa treatments though. I remember the time when my mum and I had a wonderful time together, with lots of laughing, DIY masks and some simple mani. I wouldn’t be as happy, if my mum took me to a salon, it was more about beeing with her, learning from her, talking, etc.


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Nail on head, Claire! I think these days, kids are just a wee bit too spoilt for their own good, with parents anticipating their wants before the kid even know they want them! I saw this at Disneyland, where the child was nonchalant and really uncaring about the whole experience, but it was the parents who were giddy with excitement. Makes me wonder sometimes. Kids should have something to aspire to, as you have said. I’m not fussed about home pampering – as you say, its the time spent that matters, not leaving your child in the hands of a stranger. That said, maybe some people feel that taking their kids along to their beauty pampering sessions is time spent since so many people say they have so little time these days.


Ting October 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I was stunned (in an unpleasant way) to learn about this article!! I am a mother of TWO girls under age of 4. NEVER in my life will I take them to spa for a bonding session (as claimed by the article) before their 21st birthday!

There are many ways bonding can happen, even in the comfort of your home. By giving your kids your undivided attention (yes, not punching in the phone or checking at Facebook feeds) you are in fact bonding with them.

The principle of giving a child facials, mani/pedicure as an excuse for bonding is simply WRONG! The beauty products most often than not contain harmful chemicals to young delicate skin, as Paris has pointed out. They really don’t need these craps to look more beautiful.

I have the same repulsive reaction when I see little girls in heels. WHY??!?? Their feet structures are still weak. Wearing heels will seriously have a long term damage on their growing bones!! Why can’t parents see that?? Obviously, I’m not talking about playing with mummy’s high heels, but actually walking in heels in the department store!!

That said. I am a very conservative mother. Why spend so much money on obvious marketing rubbish when you can spend quality time free of charge? :)


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Hi Ting! If I were a mother, I think I would be exactly like you. I want little girls to stay little girls – there’s lots of time to grow up. I have something about little girls in heels too! Its not only their feet, but their back too. I feel the effects of wearing heels and I can’t imagine what a strain it is on young bones and back. Heels aside, have you seen kids fashion these days? I sometimes think boys are a safer bet because their clothes aren’t as “adult” as some of the little girls fashion out there. There’s so many ways to spend quality time bonding, I don’t think beauty pampering outside is really the way. But then, there will probably be people who disagree too :)


Esther October 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I don’t have kids… but I have 2 younger brothers waaaay younger than me (believe me, boys nowadays are no less vain! Hahahha) And I agree! I don’t even encourage washing face with cleansers till you really need them! One of my younger brothers decided to go with the trend of using facial products at the age of 13 when his skin was still perfectly fine and could do with mild cleansing with water. Not to say that it’s bad to use facial products but it also depends on your age and skin type! even at 13 my brother’s skin was still baby smooth and didn’t really need anything really harsh… until his friend said “use this to provide future pimples!”

Facial spas, mani padi’s are no less different I guess. at such a young age when you don’t need it, it not only harms the child’s skin and nails by providing too much of unneeded stress onto their skin…. why would you even waste so much money to do something unneeded that even causes harm (hard truth) O_o I think the question should be “At what age should they be allowed to go for these sessions”~ Hahahha and that would be a very subjective question~ ^_^


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Oh I can answer that question, Esther – they will be allowed to go for these beauty pampering sessions when they can pay for it themselves :) I guess I’m just conservative :P


Samantha October 10, 2012 at 10:45 pm

It is scary….think of how these girls will grew to be extremely high-maintenance n young skin r in a good enough condition.teaching kids basic skincare is good when they r reaching puberty but facial is a definite no-no imo.


Paris B October 10, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I think there’s a difference between teaching them the skincare basics and taking them for pampering sessions. I think it just sends the wrong message to someone so young – its like taking them to eat out in restaurants everyday. There’s nothing special left about the experience, health and skin aside :)


Emy Shin October 11, 2012 at 8:18 am

I don’t yet have children, but based on my own experience as somebody who did not discover skincare and make-up until their twenties — I would definitely introduce my own children to sunscreen (and the basic daily cleansing) early (waay before their teens, because their skin has already accumulated damage then).

However, for facial spas? Not until they’re past their teenage years. :)


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Oh teaching children about skin care and the importance of sunscreen is a must! Especially these days when we are more knowledgeable. But I think the pampering can wait :)


Becca October 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

This was a great post Paris–I’ve always been a little disturbed when I hear about mothers taking their young daughters to spas or salons. I think that playing with nail polish and makeup (every once in a while) at HOME is more than okay, but (in my opinion), anything under about 12 is just too young. When you are in middle school/around 12 years old, having a mother-daughter mani/pedi done at the salon as a treat now and then is nice. Maybe a gentle facial if your daughter already has moderate to severe acne…but you’re absolutely right–young girls have such BEAUTIFUL skin that it’s completely pointless to do a facial anytime before that. I also don’t like seeing really young girls walking around with lipstick/makeup. I get that little girls will want to play, but play at home. I have seen pictures of Tom Cruise’s little daughter walking around with red lipstick and heels and a purse and I just think it’s a shame. Let little girls be little girls!

Ok…that is all. :P


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I’m like you Becca. When I see the mothers primping their kids for fashion shows, song contests and beauty pageants, I get terribly disturbed. When I was in Hong Kong Disneyland, I saw a special room where little girls (the oldest was only about 6) could dress up as Disney princesses and have makeup put on, hair done, and have their photos professionally taken. Little 3 year olds were being made to pose and they did it. They looked like they have been doing it all their lives with their proud mamas looking on. I was traumatized :P I wish kids could remain kids and not be made to be mini adults.


giddy tigress October 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

Mother-daughter bonding session in a spa?! I’d say that’s for moms who want to shirk the responsibility of actual bonding at home and handing it to the people at the spa instead. Well, not with a daughter at age 10 anyway!
Like you, I would welcome bonding sessions at home but definitely not in a spa! Maybe when she’s 21 or something, then let’s talk :)


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Haha like you, 21 sounds like a good age… or when she’s earning her own money and treats ME to a spa? :P


Lily October 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

When I was probably 16, my mom took me to get my zits professionally extracted, that’s about it. I started using cleanser, toner and moisturizer when I was 18, got my first facial in my early 20s. I have 2 girls, aged 3 and 5. Girls nowadays mature surprisingly fast, and since I blog, they are also exposed to “my toys” much earlier in life.
I don’t think I will bring them to a spa for bonding session. I’d rather we go to a park and play or when they’re older, we take up exercise classes and work up a sweat instead.
That said, I might take them to one for their 21st birthday?


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Its sort of funny. I used to see my Mom getting ready for work, putting on her makeup, and in the evening putting on her skincare but I never once thought to ask her to let me try LOL! Then again, I was a really late bloomer so yeah, kids these days definitely mature much faster than before.


Monstro October 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Definitely a NO for me. What in the world would a kid need a pampering session for? They have nothing in terms of stress to begin with! And agree with all the ladies above about kids growing up too fast these days. I’m trying to prolong my kid’s childhood as much as possible!


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Haha I thought of that too! What stress? Only stress is what they’re going to play with next! ;) Good on ya – I’m very sure Grace will thank you for a lovely fun childhood


plue October 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

i think such things can wait till children are old enough, say 16 or 18? or when they can afford it themselves. That’s what my parents taught me, hah! Spend your own money on luxurious things but never spend money that is not yours!

i don’t see the need for kids to be spoiled and pampered this way, there are always other ways of having a bonding session, not necessarily through spas, facials, mani pedi etc. What happen to good old play time or bedtime stories and things like that eh?


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I know right? We are probably all old fashioned LOL but I think we are on the right track. Kids should be kids.


Tammy October 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I read about mothers taking their daughters to tanning salons here in the UK as a TREAT. I find that really sick!


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Ooh ok, tanning is so bad for the skin especially for young skin! :( :(


Liz October 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I had acne when I was about 12 and I sort of wished my mom or someone could have helped me out with proper skincare products or a doctor’s consultation to deal with the problem. It could have helped made my teenage years a lot easier since my acne really brought my self-esteem down and I get comments from classmates about why my face is terrible. Seriously, kids can be cruel but we never really have control of our actions at that age. I missed out on a lot of school events and competitions just because I was very self-conscious of my acne. I rather just be the quiet, studious girl and avoided any chance to be in the limelight. I regret having so much missed opportunities from back then.

My mom only took me out for a facial when I was about 17 or so but that didn’t solve anything. Other than that, its just comments like “don’t pick on your pimples” (which was difficult) and “eat more fruits and vegetables”. I am pretty much self-taught with my skincare routine and I am still struggling at age 27 now. I have mild acne now and I’m somewhat satisfied with my current skin. I still have acne scars from my teenage years though.

I do think that beauty pampering sessions can be introduced at a young age, say after their primary school years? But I’m not suggesting manicures or facials. I think proper hygiene, basic cleansing and putting on sunscreen is a good start.


Paris B October 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I had bad acne later, in college. It was horrible because that’s when you are only really starting to grow up and wanting to be a bit more vain. I didn’t know and neither did my mom, about the various options available to us either. I sometimes think its different back in the day, especially when you come from a smaller town. Its hard to have access to services and knowledge, unlike today when we have the internet.

I am all for teaching children the benefits of taking care of their skin and getting treatments for things like acne or eczema. As for other forms of beauty pampering like facials or spas, they can enjoy all that when they get older :)


Kerrie October 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

In korea this is very normal. Their mother train their children to take care their skin at the very young age. I think that why korean people have beautiful skin.


Larry Yeong October 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

I feel its wrong to criticise the parents for the attention they put in their child. If you have paid more attention to the article, you would have notice that the treatments are specially designed for children. Using only organic materials. Did you research on the treatment or the spa they go to? In what sense that allows you to say it is harmful?

May as well you say shampoo is harmful for children, tooth paste is harmful.

Like your post, it is as baseless as your accusation.

By the way, i am the father of the children you wrote about.


Paris B October 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hello Larry, my apologies for upsetting you. I would however clarify a few points.

- I’m all for parents paying attention to their children and teaching them about skincare and personal hygiene, in particular about proper skin protection from the sun. What I disagree with is where it is done and in that regard, I hope we can agree to disagree.
- Organic or natural skincare does not mean it does not contain chemicals or that it is guaranteed to be safe. It means the ingredients are derived from natural sources, which can be as harmful or as safe as our skin can handle, and sometimes these ingredients can even be stronger than “chemical” products. I personally have negative reactions to some natural and organic skincare ingredients that necessitated a visit to the dermatologist and so have some friends; and dermatologists I’ve spoken to also caution against some ingredients which may be natural in origin but which can be abrasive to our skin. I have not been to the spa in the article but I have been to the facial salon featured but I went as an adult. That they have services and treatments for young children troubles me more than you realise.

Thank you for your input and my apologies again.


Kay October 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I am pretty aghast at the thought of beauty pampering for young children. They have small bodies and I don’t think they should be exposed to potential reactions to products used, potential infections, or having strangers manipulate their bodies. Yikes! I also think it can send a wrong message, that they should have these treatments done so they can be beautiful. Conditions like acne warrant medical attention but basic good looks come from healthy food, exercise, adequate sleep, daily hygiene, and a happy smile. Call me old fashioned but I think children should enjoy their time as children and not as mini adults.


Paris B October 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

It would appear, Kay that the parents don’t agree (but I do) ;)


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