The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Love Your Lines

Anti-aging creams and products distract young social media users from the beauty of aging.

Through one of my endless scrolls on TikTok, I received an ad, seamlessly squeezed in between videos on my feed. As someone who often gives in to the targeted ads, I buy a water bottle that has a straw built in. When I go to look at the comments, one reads, “Since this water bottle has a built-in straw, you don’t have to worry about smile lines!” Cue my eyebrow raise. Investigating further, I clicked on the commenters profile to see she’s a teenage girl, like me. When did adolescence become synonymous with anti-aging warfare?


AsI keep scrolling, eventually I come across another young girl, this time no older than 13, applying retinol, anti-wrinkle serum, and anti-aging moisturizer in those “get ready with me” videos.  Before this age-phobic craze, I never thought twice about the lines surrounding my lips or the creases that litter my forehead when I’m under stress. In a world where our beauty standards fluctuate as rapidly as the adaptation of a new TikTok trend, conformity becomes the currency of acceptance. Why chase after such an elusive ideal of youth when the process of aging is a privilege for only a fortunate few?


Of course, with this ever increasing pressure of beauty standards, you can’t blame teenagers for wanting to preserve their youthful look. We associate wrinkles with unattractiveness, when really, we should be correlating them with a life fully and well spent. However, aging has long been associated with decay and mortality, a reminder of our inevitable journey to an unchanging fate. To me there is no surprise that Gen Z, a generation raised in a digital era, surrounded by airbrushed images and the allure of cosmetic procedures, possesses a deeply ingrained obsession with youth and its extensive maintenance. Thrusted into a sense of forced maturity, many teenagers  were granted unfettered access to the boundless opportunities and dangers of the internet at a young age. Bypassing age restrictions with a mere click, I often inundated myself with content aimed at and created by those older than me and thus fostering an unhealthy obsession with the prevention of aging. 


Additionally, increased time on social media apps that provide face-altering filters can further drive the desire to conform to unrealistic standards. When adolescents internalize negative stereotypes regarding aging and indulge in the perceptions with youth they may engage in harmful behaviors such as extreme dieting or cosmetic surgery in an attempt to eradicate the inevitable, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD).


Our insecurities, carefully cultivated by a profit-driven industry, fuel the insatiable demand for the next ‘life-altering’ product to add to our ever-expanding skincare routines. And should we age poorly, the blame is squarely placed on our shoulders for not taking advantage of the exploitative preventive tools at our so-called disposal. This toxic cycle of comparison and aspiration fuels the demand for skincare products marketed as anti-aging solutions, despite their often exorbitant prices and questionable effectiveness. Despite this alluring promise of youth in a bottle, it’s essential to recognize the inherent beauty in aging. According to the Journal of Psychology and Aging, older adults report greater levels of life satisfaction and happiness compared to younger individuals, our wrinkles and smiles serving as testament. 


Growing old is a privilege, an opportunity many are denied from fully experiencing. Wrinkles, representations of our enduring nature, embody the laughter we share with friends. Creases we get as we study for a test remind us of our challenges, and the crinkles around our mouths serve as a reminder of our smiles. Often regarded as ‘unattractive imperfections,’ these are the actually true markers of a life well lived without the preconceived notions of beauty standards. So let’s raise a glass (preferably without a built-in straw) to the beauty of aging. 

When did adolescence become synonymous with anti-aging warfare?

— Yasmeen Ford

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Yasmeen Ford
Yasmeen Ford, Online News Editor

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