Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Halloween Face Paint Can Be Scary
The Food and Drug Administration is warning parents to be wary of Halloween face paint, which the agency has limited jurisdiction over.
Halloween costume makeup is recommended as a good alternative to masks for kids who will be walking the streets trick-or-treating, since masks can obscure vision.
But Halloween face paint can have toxic ingredients (like lead and mercury) if not formulated according to the law; it can cause reactions in those who are allergic to certain ingredients; and it can cause reactions if applied to the wrong parts of the body.
The FDA recommends these simple steps to keep safe:
Follow all Halloween face paint directions carefully, including warnings against using around the eyes.
Don't decorate your face with products, paints, and colorings that aren't intended for your skin.
If your Halloween face paint has a very bad smell, this could be a sign that it is contaminated. Throw it away and use another one.
Before using new Halloween costume makeup, perform a simple simple patch test, particularly if you or your child are prone to allergic reactions, a few days before Halloween.
Read ingredient lists and don't buy any product that has non-approved colors. The FDA lists coloring agents approved for use in cosmetics.
Don't use products with fluorescent colors (D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28; and D&C Yellow No. 7) near the eyes.
Don't use luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) colors (zinc sulfide) near your eyes.
Wash thoroughly (and follow label instructions) once trick-or-treating or the party is over; don't go to sleep with Halloween costume makeup on your skin.
Before using older products, check it against these two May 2009 recall notices for Fun Express children's face paints.
If you have a bad reaction to Halloween face paint, report the incident to the FDA, so that other consumers can be protected.
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