We all know face paint is the safe alternative to Halloween masks, but parents “beware”, lab tests show face paint may not be safe after all. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported that some children’s face paints contain lead, a neurotoxin that can harm the brain, even at low doses. Tests also showed traces of heavy metals including nickel, cobalt and chromium which are known to be skin allergens, even in products labeled “hypoallergenic” and “non-toxic”.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent 10 children’s face paints to an independent lab to test for heavy metals, here are the results:
- All 10 of the children’s face paints tested contained lead at levels ranging from 0.05 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).
- Six out of 10 children’s face paints contained skin allergens including nickel, cobalt and/or chromium at levels ranging from 1.6 to 120 ppm, far exceeding industry safety recommendations of one ppm.
- Snazaroo Face Paint, labeled as “non-toxic” and “hypoallergenic,” contained some of the highest levels of lead, nickel and cobalt found in the study.
Even worse, it’s totally legal for face paints sold in the U.S. to contain unlimited amounts of lead without listing the substance on the label, now that’s scary!
To keep your kidlets safe this Halloween try these ”eek-o-friendly” alternatives, and create your own face paint using a few simple ingredients right from your own kitchen…
Homemade Face Paint Recipe:
1 1/2 Tablespoons shortening (we use Earth Balance) or the same amount of natural cold cream
3 Tablespoons cornstarch (we use Bob’s Red Mill All Natural Cornstarch)
Food color (we use India Tree Natures Colors)
Combine the shortening (or cold cream) with the cornstarch until you have a thick paste. Divide into a paint dish, egg carton, baby food jars, etc. and add a small amount of food color to each container until desired shades are achieved. Apply to the skin using small paint brushes, sponges or cotton swabs. This recipe will take a while to dry on the skin, so warn the kidlets to keep their hands clear of the design for a while.
Food Based Facepaint Recipe:
*Children should not eat these paints unless you make them without the base. If child is prone to food allergies, test a small patch of skin first to make sure the child isn’t allergic to the ingredients.
Start with a “base” of un-scented lotion, natural cold cream (search Skin Deep for safe options) or pure cocoa butter, then add the food ingredients below to create desired color.
Yellow: Add 1/4 tsp. and a large pinch of stale turmeric to base.
Pink: Using a sieve, mash the juice from 3 fresh or thawed frozen raspberries, blackberries or beets directly into the base. Or, use a deeply colored berry juice or puree.
Mint green: With a fork, mash 1/4 of a small avocado until creamy. Mix this into your base.
Emerald green: Add small amount spirulina or bright green chlorophyll to base.
Purple: Using a sieve, mash the juice from several fresh or frozen blueberries into the base. Or, use blueberry juice.
Brown: Add cocoa powder or chocolate sauce to base.
Black: Use a small amount of squid ink in base for true black.
White: Mix powdered sugar and water.
Fake Blood Recipe:
Create your own fake blood by combining light corn syrup, a dash of castile liquid soap, and red coloring. If you want darker blood or more realistic blood, add a dash of blue or even some chocolate syrup.
Body Glitter Recipe:
To create homemade body glitter simply combine aloe vera gel (found at any natural food store), with fine craft glitter. Always take caution using any type of glitter around the eyes.
Get older kidlets involved in making their own face paint, and use it as a learning opportunity to teach them to be cautious about anything they put on their skin. I recently introduced my two older kidlets to the Skin Deep Database and they were amazed to learn how many products sold in stores are rated un-safe, and even cause cancer!
Have you tried making your own face paint before, or talked to your children about the dangers of toxic products? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!
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