Could your child be allergic to Halloween face paint?

Halloween is an expressive time for children. Anticipating and deciding what costume they will wear is as fun as trick-or-treating itself. Face paint may just be the finishing touch to make your child’s costume come together, but could you unknowingly be putting them at risk? According to A Report on Heavy Metals in Face Paints published in 2009 by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 10 out of 10 face paint products tested positive for lead and six out of 10 products tested positive for nickel, cobalt and/or chromium. Additionally, products labeled hypoallergenic, unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, contained known skin allergens. Earlier this month, a U.S. Senator also alerted parents of the danger of face paints. While some parents opt for face paints over masks, as they allow children to see better when trick-or-treating, what should you know before painting your child’s face?

Consider Making Your Own Face Paint

Choose a base of either fragrant-free lotion or pure cocoa butter and make sure the product is safe to use on a child’s face. Then, mix a few drops of natural food coloring to obtain the desired color. It is also a good idea to test face paint in a small area of the child’s skin a few days prior to Halloween, to make sure they do not have an allergic reaction.

Toxic-Free Face Paints

There are some products on the market designed for children. Do your research to ensure all the listed ingredients are safe for your child. Again, test the product in a small area of the skin prior to painting their face.

Avoid Eyes and Lips

Make sure to keep the area around your child’s eyes completely clear of any face paint. Also, children are likely to ingest anything that is painted on to their lips. Either keep their lips bare or use toxic-free lip stick. Sweat and rain can cause face paint to drip. Keep plenty of space around eyes and mouth and keep a napkin or handkerchief nearby to wipe away any dripping face paint.

Safely Remove Face Paint

Once the candy is all collected, searched and sorted and your scary ghost or goblin is ready for bed, try these safe ways to remove all the face paint.

Apply Vaseline to a washcloth and wipe away face paint completely.

Use a baby wipe to safely clean face paint.

If you have makeup remover, especially one that is for sensitive eyes, dap on to a wash cloth or cotton ball and wipe away face paint.

Baby oil and baby lotion also work as great alternatives to makeup remover and are safe for your child’s skin.