Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses Halloween makeup with HuffPost Style
When you’re celebrating Halloween, the last thing you want to worry about is your costume giving you a breakout, rash or allergic reaction. Most people don’t think twice about picking up a costume makeup kit in the Halloween aisle. However, this low-quality makeup isn’t exactly gentle on your complexion. In a recent article for HuffPost Style titled “Beware, Your Halloween Makeup Could Be Toxic To Your Skin,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses costume makeup and how it could be harmful to your skin.
When choosing makeup to wear on Halloween, Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests taking a closer look at the ingredients.
Costume makeup often contains artificial dyes, fragrances, waxes and oils, all of which can clog pores, cause breakouts and irritate skin. Dr. Joel Schlessinger suggests staying away from the same ingredients you wouldn’t want to find in your everyday makeup. He also warns against applying costume makeup that’s made with inexpensive ingredients, since the pigment in these cosmetics can often cause skin irritation.
“It’s not unusual to see severe reactions to these cosmetics, specifically around the eyes, nose and mouth,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “Additionally, some Halloween face paint could contain color additives that aren’t FDA-approved, such as certain fluorescent or luminescent dyes.”
To make sure the makeup you choose won’t irritate your skin, he suggests performing a patch test on your neck or the underside of your arm. If you see signs of irritation, remove the makeup immediately and don’t put it on your face. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends applying FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone to any affected areas, which will help minimize irritation and heal skin.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares other aspects of your costume that could irritate your skin.
If you’re opting for a mask or prop to complete your look, the costume shop might not be the best place to look. Many of these items are make from rubber and vinyl, and could contain lead paint or chemical plasticizers.
“Even if the props aren’t constantly in contact with skin, there is still a risk of absorption,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. “It’s better to use makeup to create your desired look or make your own mask with papier-mâché.”
Fake blood and prosthetic skin are also on the list of things to avoid whenever possible. Dr. Joel Schlessinger says the fake blood sold in stores is often made from a red dye that could cause irritation in a petroleum base.
“As for prosthetic skin, it’s better to find something that is higher quality, which is less likely to cause skin irritation or inflammation,” he continues. “Look for theater props instead of something you can find in the Halloween aisle. Because these accessories are often made of latex, you’ll also want to make sure you’re not allergic first.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger also warns against wearing costume contacts. It’s important to remember, he says, that contacts are a medical device and require a prescription from your eye doctor.
When in doubt, choose theater makeup over costume makeup, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.
If you can’t achieve the look you want with your everyday cosmetics, theater makeup is a safer bet.
“Theater makeup is made with higher quality ingredients and has less risk of skin irritation,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. “Most theater makeup has the same high pigment payoff, but it’s designed to sit on the skin for long periods of time and tends to be gentler on skin. These cosmetics are also FDA-approved and free of harmful ingredients like lead.”
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