Safe Spooky Makeup


Safe Spooky Makeup

Halloween\’s a scary time, with all the ghosts, ghouls, and mummies lurking around – not to mention all the butylated hydroxyanisol and the triethanolamine!

Halloween’s a scary time, with all the ghosts, ghouls, and mummies lurking around—not to mention all the butylated hydroxyanisol and the triethanolamine!

No, these aren’t the names of cool new cartoon characters. These are potentially damaging substances sometimes found in makeup and personal care products, including the Halloween makeup sold in novelty and drug stores. Halloween makeup can also contain parabens, formaldehyde, and phthalates. Preliminary evidence suggests that these ingredients could contribute to long-term health problems such as cancer or hormone disruption.

Nontoxic makeup solutions

To get away from scary-sounding chemicals, try these suggestions for safer Halloween makeup:

  • Use natural makeup, found in many health food stores, to paint your face. This makeup is usually free from harmful substances and preservatives.
  • Use a natural eyeliner to draw whiskers, to create shadowing for the nose, or to make ghastly dark circles below the eyes. Blend natural eyeshadows in shades of deep blue, grey, and green to create realistic-looking bruises.
  • Try healthy mineral makeup. Check out for natural Halloween makeup.
  • Create your own makeup, using ingredients from your kitchen and bathroom—see sidebar for the recipe.
  • Avoid chemical-laden coloured hairsprays; choose a wig instead. To make your hair look grey, apply some natural hair gel, then dab on some talc-free baby powder or cornstarch using a cotton ball.
  • To avoid allergic reactions, remember to test any makeup by applying it to your inner arm the day before you plan to wear it, to make sure that no skin irritation occurs.

Now go on, and make a safe scary face!

Homemade halloween makeup

Natural cold cremes contain no petroleum byproducts and can be purchased at many health food stores.

6 tsp (30 mL) organic cornstarch
3 tsp (15 mL) water
3 tsp (15 mL) natural cold creme
Natural food colouring in different colours
6-cup muffin tin

In each cup of the muffin tin, mix 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch, 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) water, and 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) natural cold creme.

Place 1 drop of a different colour of natural food colouring in each of the cups. Add another 1 or 2 drops of colouring as necessary to achieve the shade you’d like. (Be careful not to add too much colouring, or the makeup may stain skin.)

Mask madness

Avoid wearing a mask this Halloween. Masks are often made of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, a substance that is damaging to the environment. Mask wearers are forced to breathe in potentially damaging off-gassing fumes from the phthalates in these masks. All-latex masks are available, but some people have severe allergic reactions to latex, and any mask worn over the whole face limits visibility, breathing, and talking.


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