6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Halloween Face Paint can be Toxic

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Halloween is just around the corner, whether you’re getting a costume for your kid or are putting the final touches on one, be aware of face paint.

Halloween is a time for spooky thrills, but toxic ingredients in some of your kids’ face paints and powders are the REAL scare.

Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and lead were found in Halloween face paint kits as part of a 2016 investigation by The Breast Cancer Fund. And in 2020, the Environmental Working Group found asbestos in a toy makeup kit.

“Even small exposures to these toxins are dangerous! Lead affects brain development, asbestos is a carcinogen, and cadmium is an endocrine disruptor, linked to certain cancers and other health problems,” Lauren Kirchner from Consumer Reports said.

Make-up and cosmetics are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. So how do these dangerous toxins make it onto store shelves?

“Unlike its oversight of food and drugs, the FDA has very little power to regulate the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The agency surveys products that are already on the market, but it does not approve their safety beforehand,” Kirchner said.

So, what should parents do when a kid wants to be Dracula for Halloween? – If kids insist on using face paints and powders, avoid ones with the darkest pigments, as The Breast Cancer Fund study found those to contain a higher concentration of heavy metals

Consumer Reports says your best bet might be to skip the store-bought stuff altogether – There are lots of DIY make-up recipes online that use face moisturizer, cornstarch and natural coloring so you know exactly what’s on your child’s skin. Happy Halloween!