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A Reminder About Halloween Make-Up

Halloween is just about here and the excitement over what to wear and what to trick and treat is in the air. We all enjoy getting dressed up and taking part in the festivities but there has been some reported news lately over one of the fun aspects to this holiday; halloween make-up.

A few weeks ago, a story came out of a young girl named Haily who attended her first Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. She was dressed as a peacock and used Fright Night eye shadow tattoos as part of her costume. 48 hours after the party, her eyes became red, swollen and raw. The emergency room doctors stated some of Haily's skin had been removed due to a chemical burn. It is unclear as to what specific ingredient or ingredients exactly caused her horrible skin reaction (how terrible and crazy right?!#$%^&!).

The tattoo packaging showed no ingredients, but only listed dyes that were possibly in the product itself. After researching the product, it was determined 4 out of the 9 dyes listed were not approved for eye use.

The dyes listed include: Green#3, Red#6 + #7, Yellow#6

The FDA maintains a list of approved color additives for use in cosmetics. If you look at this list, these 4 are not allowed for use around the eyes. Can you believe this?? It does upset me that something like this can happen, and in particular, to little ones, at a fun time like Halloween! (Sigh) So here we are again, where the consumer has to be the self informed advocate and always be on the lookout in E V E R Y T H I N G. Some of you who read my blog know, I am a big advocate of reading ingredient labels, not just for skin care products but everything we use, consume, slather on or put in our body. Anyone who goes shopping with me will tell you I read all the labels of every product I pick up. I want to know what's in it so I can have the choice of whether or not I use it.

I know we're talking about Halloween make-up here and no, I don't want to take the fun out of anything or be a Daisy downer. I want to take this opportunity to remind ourselves to incorporate this healthy habit of always advocating for ourselves and self care by doing one simple thing, reading a label.

How do I read a label you ask? Start by picking up your products and read the ingredients. If you take just one product and remember one ingredient off the label and research it, you'll be on your way to self advocacy. Another thing to do, you can research the basic formula to products you use in the house. This could be lotions, creams, shampoos, butters etc...After some time, looking at the ingredients will be a cinch, I promise, but you need to start somewhere.

Here's an example of how I began to learn about the ingredients in theater makeup.

After googling high quality halloween make-up, I chose one website company that had been in the business for over 80 years (I'm thinking they must know something about theatrical make-up). After some review, I clicked on a product and thankfully, the site lists ingredients. They also show a MSDS sheet so I would have to clarify with the company as to which list of ingredients is the latest. For example sake, let's just say this is the latest ingredients list for 'Mehron Liquid Make-Up For Face, Body & Hair':

Water/Aqua/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Bis-PEG-15 Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate/IPDI Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Talc, Disodium EDTA, Decylene Glycol, Methylisothiazolinone. May Contain [+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77489, CI

Right off the back, I see the first ingredient is water so thats the ingredient in greatest concentration in this product by weight. When there's water, there will be preservatives in the product. The second ingredient propylene glycol is an odorless alcohol used for for its humectant, solvent and preservative qualities. Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a natural mineral used as a thickener. Glycerin is known for its humectant qualities. I see Methylisothiazolinone as a preservative and the color additives are listed at the end. 

(I'll let you finish researching the rest ;@)) My goal for you is to choose just one or two ingredients to research, so you can slowly expand your knowledge base and get the hang of reading labels.

(Okay, I digress) getting back to Halloween make-up, here are some helpful pointers:

  • Don't buy products without ingredients list
  • Look for reputable, high quality brands 
  • Read the label for ingredients
  • Confirm to see if color additives have any restricted uses such as around the eyes (highly recommended)
  • Check for other ingredients you know you or your child may be allergic to such as preservatives
  • Check packaging for warnings or caution labels
  • If possible, perform a skin patch test in advance to check for any sensitivity
  • Be sure to remove make-up after festivities are over
  • Contact your doctor if any irritation, itching, inflammation or other signs of discomfort are noted during or after use

I hope you found this information helpful. Please share it with your friends, family and anyone who plans to use Halloween make-up as part of the fun.