Halloween Makeup: Toxic Chemicals Found In More Than Half Of Face Paints And Cosmetics For Kids


A new report has revealed that more than 50 percent of face paints and cosmetics that are marketed for kids have at least one toxic ingredient.

Dangers Of Using Face Paints And Cosmetics For Kids

The Pretty Scary 2: Unmasking Toxic Chemicals in Kids' Makeup report, which is based on lab tests conducted on 187 products marketed for kids, revealed that more than half of children's cosmetics and face paints, most of which will be used for dressing up on Halloween, are contaminated with an ingredient associated with developmental delays, hormone disruption, learning difficulties and even cancer.

Toxic Chemicals In Halloween Products

Among the harmful ingredients found include styrene, formaldehyde, lead, cadmium and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene and benzene.

Cadmium, a hormone disruptor, is linked to breast cancer. Lead is strongly linked with neurological and intellectual impairment that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared there is no safe blood lead level in children.

Lab testing revealed the presence of cadmium and lead in face paints. Lip balms and nail products, on the other hand, were found to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which is linked to different kinds of cancer.

Products To Watch Out For

Among the products that were found to be contaminated with VOCs include Hershey's Reese's lip balm, Disney Frozen stick-on nails, Disney Frog Lip Gloss, Minions Nail Polish Pink and Killer Clown Makeup Kit. The complete list can be found in the report.

The authors of the report raised concern over children's exposure to toxic chemicals since their young and developing body is vulnerable to the side effects.

"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," the report reads.

The report likewise warned about darker face paints because they tend to have higher concentration of heavy metal particularly lead and companies are not required to test them.

"They make these pigments out of things that come out of the ground, and lead is sometimes in the ground," said Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science of the Breast Cancer Fund, which published the report.

What Parents Can Do

Parents can keep their children safe from toxic chemicals by skipping the use of face paints and cosmetics regardless if these are marketed for kids to avoid exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals.

For those whose kids are wearing make up, organic, plant-based cosmetics are preferable. Make sure that the kids wash off their make-up as soon as they get home and that they do not fall asleep with the cosmetics still on.

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