We are nearing Halloween. Did you buy a costume yet? If you haven't, it would be worth your time to consider which costumes and makeup use the most safe ingredients. Many Halloween costumes and makeup contain chemicals that are toxic for everyone....allergy or not!
WebMD predicts that approximately 10% of the people will experience an allergic reaction to cosmetics in their lifetime. Parents need to carefully consider that the quality of Halloween cosmetics is more important than a low price. The lower the price for Halloween cosmetics, the greater the risk that toxins may be present.
HealthyStuff.org tested many Halloween costumes and related products. And the findings were interesting:
"We found that seasonal products, like thousands of other products we have tested, are often full of dangerous chemicals," according to Jeff Gearhart, research director at HealthyStuff.org. "Poorly regulated toxic chemicals consistently show up in seasonal products. Hazardous chemicals in consumer products pose unnecessary and avoidable health hazards to children, consumers, communities, workers and our environment."
Our testing found heavy metals and other additives are commonly found in Halloween costumes and accessories. These chemicals include lead, flame retardants, tin compounds and phthalates -- harmful chemicals that are linked to asthma, reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer.
Halloween costumes and makeup may contain lead, bromine (brominated flame retardants), chlorine (vinyl/PVC plastic), phthalates, arsenic, and tin (organotins).
What Kind of Allergic Response Can Happen
With Halloween Costumes?Mayo Clinic, reports that allergic contact dermatitis happens when a person comes into regular contact with a substance they are sensitive or allergic to. In the case of Halloween costumes, metal accessories that rub on the skin could present a problem for some people. This also must be considered for Halloween makeup, which goes directly onto the skin (the largest organ in the body).
In other words, parents really MUST consider the quality of the products they choose for Halloween costumes and accessories. One other tip MayoClinic suggests is to wear such accessories over clothing (to avoid skin contact) or to avoid purchasing such items at all.
Halloween Makeup Risks
Joel Schlessinger ia a board-certified dermatologist and adviser. Schelssinger says that costume makeup often contains artificial dyes, fragrances, waxes and oils, all of which can clog pores, cause breakouts and irritate skin.
"Theater makeup is made with higher quality ingredients and has less risk of skin irritation. Most theater makeup has the same high pigment payoff, but it's designed to sit on the skin for long periods of time and tends to be gentler on skin. These cosmetics are also FDA-approved and free of harmful ingredients like lead"As with any unfamiliar makeup, you'll always want to perform a patch test on your neck or the underside of your arm to make sure you won't have a negative reaction," he added. "If you see signs of irritation, avoid putting the makeup on your face. Don't hesitate to see a doctor if the costume makeup gives your skin an itchy or blistering rash."
P.S. from Pam-Iron Oxide is one of my allergic trigger ingredients. MOST cosmetics and makeup contain Iron Oxide as the coloring agent. So if you have the same allergy as I do, AVOID Halloween makeup!!! The same goes for face painting.
Alternatives would be to use paint and pencils made from clay or other natural ingredients, or make your own.
Answer this question: Would you put Crazy Glue or Elmer's Glue on your face? NO way! Those glues can damage your complexion. Buy only glues and adhesives that are approved for stage and theater use. When you apply fake eyelashes, be careful to keep the eyelash glue out of your eyes AND to avoid gluing your eyelids shut. A surprise trip to the emergency room would certainly ruin Halloween!
Fake Blood and Skin
Fake blood is often made with red dye and a petroleum base that can cause irritation to the skin. A better bet would be to make your own fake blood by using corn syrup, flour, and food coloring.
As far as fake/prosthetic skin, you can avoid skin irritation by buying higher quality theater props. The fake skin or prosthetics you will find in the party store will probably cause irritation. Be aware that most of these products contain latex. So be sure you aren't allergic to latex before you buy them.
Read more of Joel Schlessigner's advice here.
Do you want to check to see some of the costumes HealthyStuff.org tested? Use this link.
Have a happy and healthy Halloween!