Being Safe with Halloween Makeup

As Halloween gets closer, many people are trying to finalize their child’s – or their own! – Halloween costume, and for many, that includes some fun makeup or face paint. Maybe you’re planning to use it as a safer alternative to visibility-reducing masks for the youngsters, or maybe it just goes with the theme, but in any case, take a few safety precautions first.

Most store-bought makeups will be safe for use by everyone, but doing a patch test can make a big difference in case you do have an allergic reaction: test the makeup on a small amount of skin a few days before the holiday, and if you notice a reaction – blistering, a rash, persistent itching – pick a new makeup.

Know that the FDA regulates color pigments used in makeup, so you can check the ingredient lists on a package against the list of approved ones on their website, if you’re willing to do a little bit of research. The FDA also notes that neither fluorescent (neon or day-glow) colors as well as glow-in-the-dark pigments are not meant for use around the eyes, so relegate them to other parts of the face.

When applying makeup or paints to kids’ faces and bodies, seek out brands best suited for them – it’s not a good idea to raid your own makeup bag, since this can transfer bacteria both ways and cause infection.

Use actual makeup and paint only! It can be tempting when you’re short on time to grab the nearest permanent marker or craft paint in the house, but this is a time when substitutions just won’t cut it; many household art supplies, even some that are labelled “non-toxic” or “kid-safe” are not intended for use on the skin, especially on the face, and can lead to bad reactions.

Unfortunately, the night has to come to an end sometime, and it’s important to properly remove makeup before bed, no matter how cool it looks. Remove makeup according to package instructions; some may advise plain soap and water, while thicker kinds may need cold cream. Prolonged wear not only poses a threat to pillowcases everywhere, it can also cause flaking and irritation or get into eyes, so go to bed with a clean face!


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