The Halloween parties have already begun and, while it’s always cute to see the little face-painted tigers, vampires, and fairies, it’s a good idea to be mindful of makeup and face paint. The topic has garnered headlines in recent weeks thanks to New York Senator Charles Schumer’s public warning about these products.
“Kids dressing up as ghosts, witches, clowns, black cats and more are likely using these toxic novelty cosmetics all over their faces. And since the [Food and Drug Administration] does not conduct routine testing of these types of products, the toxic ingredients that can make a child very, very sick are never listed on the packaging,” Schumer said in a recent press conference, saying the government needs to do more to ensure the safety of such products. “Parents are totally clueless as to what they are putting on their child’s face.”
About six years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 10 popular brands of face paint. Alarmingly, all 10 came back positive for lead, the much maligned metal which could cause brain damage in children. Six of the products also tested positive for other dangerous metals, including nickel, cobalt, and chromium, which could cause anything from allergic reactions to respiratory problems to longer term health problems.
Does reading labels help?
Reading ingredients labels still helps but it may not do it all. One problem, as Schumer stresses, is that there’s no governing body that controls the labeling of these products, so some of these toxic face paints are labeled as “non-toxic” and “hypoallergenic,” when they’re not.
Luckily, there are safer choices. Research more natural, green options online and then check out the Environmental Working Group’s web site at ewg.org to check out ratings of products before purchasing. And after the festivities are over, use a gentle, face wash like California Kids #superclear Face Wash, which is allergy tested and contains no synthetic ingredients.
And trick or treat!