Did you know that Halloween face paints labeled as “safe”, “FDA-approved”, “hypoallergenic” or “non-toxic” can still contain dangerous, skin-irritating metals such as lead, nickel, cobalt, and chromium? Just what you want seeping into your kid’s pores as they run around from house to house collecting their sugary treats, right?
To be fair, these face paint makers don’t add harmful metals on purpose. They’re an unfortunate by-product of low-quality ingredients that weren’t tested for safety and purity… and yet they (irresponsibly) use them anyway.
But while those by-products may have been unintentional, most face paints also contain other (intentional) ingredients that you wouldn’t want in your own makeup, let alone your kid’s face paints. Common examples include parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic dyes, and petroleum-based ingredients.
Not only does this stuff sit on your kid’s skin, but it can (and does) get into their eyes and mouth as well. Agh!! Let’s make sure they’re using natural face paints that don’t have toxic ingredients!
Natural Face Paints
Overall, you’ll want to look for face paints that are tinted with natural pigments from fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other botanicals. It’s also a good idea to check the brand’s website to make sure they have all their ingredients independently tested for safety and purity.This clay and mineral-based face paint by Earth Paint is the safest and cleanest I could find. It’s handcrafted in Oregon and is free from all the nasties including heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petroleum-based pigments, and nanoparticles. It also comes with a bamboo applicator, which is convenient, and it washes off easily with water.
Ingredients: distilled water, natural clay & mineral pigments, organic castor seed oil, organic beeswax, shea butter (organic & fair trade), glycerin (from coconut oil), Cetearyl alcohol (from natural vegetable oils), carrageenan seaweed, olive-mulse (olive-based emulsifier), and 1% Optiphen (formaldehyde-free & paraben-free preservative)
Earth Paint (Natural Clay & Minerals)
Or Skip the Face Paint Altogether
Another option is to find Halloween costumes that don’t require any face paints at all. Pinterest is a great place to find fun costume ideas for the kids. Look at these. I mean, come on! 😆No makeup needed.
You don’t even have to get super creative. (Life’s busy, we get it!) You can pretty much stick anything on babies and toddlers and they’ll look adorable. Burt’s Bees Baby has Halloween onesies for babies and top/bottom jammies for kids that are made from organic cotton. And Noble Carriage has fun animal hats and costumes made from alpaca wool that are warm and cozy… not to mention fair trade!
Organic & Fair Trade Halloween Costumes
Be Sure to Check the Label
If you do opt for Halloween makeup, just be sure to check the label. I spent several hours searching online for safer face paints and I can’t tell you how many times I found brands that will happily tell you what IS NOT in their makeup… and yet they don’t list what’s actually IS in it. That feels deceiving because, while claims like “free from formaldehyde, heavy metals, and parabens” is a great start, it’s only a start. Without knowing exactly what is in the face paint, it’s impossible to know for sure whether it is truly safe for kids.
If you can’t easily find the ingredients on the label or their website, consider that a red flag and choose another brand. Or skip the face paint altogether — kids will have fun on Halloween with or without it!