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Halloween Makeup - Don't Get Tricked

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

It’s that time of year when little (and big) ghouls and goblins are running all over collecting as much candy as possible and showing off their favorite character.

Parents might be dressing up too and they are most certainly helping their little superhero or kitty cat get into character. Makeup can be a big part of completing the look. Masks pose other issues like plastic resin, latex, and not being able to see properly.

You can get your cheap zombie paint at the Halloween store but have you looked at the ingredients? Costume makeup has things like waxes, oils, heavy metals, and artificial dyes that can wreak havoc on the skin, and worse. Yes, even one night can cause issues. Some packages actually say not for children under 12.

In a 2009 study “Pretty Scary”, they sent 10 face paints to an independent lab to be tested. 10 out of 10 tested positive for lead, 6 out of 10 had cobalt, nickel, chromium, and other skin allergens.

In another study in October 2016, “Pretty Scary 2”, looked even farther. They took 187 face paints marketed to kids and tested 51 of them by independent labs.

“First, we looked at the labels and found ingredients of concern, like parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. Next, through lab testing, we found heavy metals such as lead, a neurotoxicant, and cadmium, a hormone disruptor, in face paints. In lip balms, nail products, and more we found volatile organic compounds (VOCs) linked to a wide variety of cancers. Our net takeaway: the presence of these chemicals marketed to children is of serious concern, especially since children are highly vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals during critical windows of development."

Your skin will soak in these chemical concoctions that can be contaminated with carcinogens and be endocrine and neurological disruptors.

Some words of caution:

  • Always read the label.

  • Opt for theater makeup or just regular makeup.

  • Never use super glue on your skin.

  • Use eyelash glue with caution, you could glue your eyelids together.

  • Red dye can cause irritation. Fake blood can be made with flour, corn syrup, and natural food coloring.

HOT TIP: use a regular makeup primer first and the colors won’t stain the skin.

Harley Quinn - all that deep red and blue. This was my costume two years in a row. I was worried about all those bright colors smeared all over. I looked at Halloween makeup but in the end, both years, all my makeup was just regular everyday makeup. It felt better, lasted longer, didn’t rub off, and didn’t mess with my skin.

harley quinn halloween makeup

For all those colors and that mess, this is my all-time favorite eye makeup remover.

harley quinn halloween costume makeup

It's so smooth, works great on lip stains, glue from eyelashes, or even sticky bandaid goop.

As parents, we can do our children a big service just by doing some quick research on what we use in our daily lives. Manufacturers can add some crazy stuff so we have to be aware.

“Parents shouldn’t have to be organic chemists to make safe choices for their family - manufacturers can and should do better.” Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D., Director of Science for the Breast Cancer Fund

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