Swedish pharmacy chain limits sales of skincare products to minors

Swedish pharmacy chain limits sales of skincare products to minors

One of Sweden’s main pharmacy chains, Apotek Hjartat, said Thursday it was limiting sales of certain skincare products to those under 15 in order to combat unhealthy beauty standards for youth.

“Today there is an unhealthy and unnecessary use of advanced skincare products among young people and we want to be a voice that says stop,” Monika Magnusson, CEO of Apotek Hjartat, said in an email to AFP.

“As a major retailer of skincare products and as a pharmacy we want to take responsibility for the use of skin care according to need,” Magnusson added.

Inspired by influencers on social media networks, more and more children, some as young as 10, are turning to anti-ageing products, according to the company. “As one of the links in the healthcare chain and a retailer of skincare products, Apotek Hjartat is concerned about the growing trend of children using, or being encouraged to use, advanced skincare products,” the company said in a statement.

Anti-ageing products

The products in question, most of which are anti-aging products, are listed on the pharmaceutical group’s website. They include products with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), vitamin A and vitamin C.

To purchase these products, customers must be at least 15 years old, have permission from their parents or be able to produce a medical certificate justifying their use.

Annika Svedberg, chief pharmacist at Apotek Hjartat, stressed the importance of choosing skincare products based on needs, not beauty ideals. “Skin care needs are highly individual and depend on skin type and condition, not age,” she said in a statement. “Using products aimed at reducing wrinkles and evening out skin tone is not something a child needs.”

The age limit is currently being rolled out, both online and in Apotek Hjartat’s some 390 pharmacies in Sweden.

“We hope that this age limit will make more people stop and reflect, and that it can lead to important conversations between parents, within families and in society, around ideals and norms,” Magnusson said.


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