The ingredients found in Halloween makeup will make you scream

Oct 26, 2015 at 1:22 a.m. ET
Image: Kate Wu/Moment/Getty Images

'Tis the season to paint your face with store-bought costume makeup in preparation for all those Halloween parties, but do you really know what's in that paint?

Probably not, and that's a problem.

"Parents are totally clueless as to what they’re putting on their child’s face. If they see it on the shelf, they think it’s safe, but it’s not," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said recently. "When you buy makeup for your kids, make sure it doesn’t say 'made in China.'"

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That goes for the makeup you buy, too. Schumer pointed to costume makeup from Rubie’s Costume Company, Wet N’ Wild Fantasy Makers and Fun World as examples of makeup made in China listed as "hypoallergenic," "skin friendly" and "non-toxic" but actually containing skin-irritating or even toxic ingredients like chromium, nickel, cobalt — and even lead.

The problem is that there is very little regulation when it comes to cosmetic products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report recently that recommended the FDA "require that raw materials be tested for purity, that ingredients in cosmetics be shown to be safe for children and other vulnerable populations, and that all chemical constituents in personal-care products, including fragrance ingredients and contaminants, be listed on ingredient labels."

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But that won't help for this Halloween. So, what should you look for? Makeup that doesn't contain any ingredients not recommended by the FDA.

"As with any unfamiliar makeup, you'll always want to perform a patch test on your neck or the underside of your arm to make sure you won't have a negative reaction," Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist, told The Huffington Post. "If you see signs of irritation, avoid putting the makeup on your face. Don't hesitate to see a doctor if the costume makeup gives your skin an itchy or blistering rash."

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