This Is Why You Should Always Test Your Kid's Halloween Makeup Before Using It

dangerous halloween face paint
Alexandra Leigh Carter/Facebook

Choosing your kids' Halloween costume is almost always a super dramatic experience. The pressure to make them look as cool and perfect as possible is very high, and it's never fun to learn that some of the accessories you've invested your money in may be dangerous for your kids. After some run-of-the-mill Halloween costume makeup harmed her son's skin, one mom is issuing a warning that you may want to play close attention to.


Alexandra Leigh Carter used her Facebook page to spread the word about a common danger that many may not know about. After purchasing a Halloween makeup kit for her son at the Australian department store Woolworths, she carried on as usual. First, she performed a skin test to assure that it was "okay" to use, and when the makeup didn't cause a negative reaction, she went ahead and painted her son's entire face.

halloween makeup harms skin
Alexandra Leigh Carter/Facebook

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Even after the initial skin test, the makeup ended up harming her son. "This was only on him for 3 minutes and then [I] had to immediately take him for a shower," she wrote. "It has severely burnt his skin."

In her short open letter to the department store, Alexandra requested that the product she bought be discontinued for the safety of other children. She also wanted her post to serve as a warning to all parents. 

Unfortunately, the mother's experience with seemingly harmless Halloween makeup may not be a fluke. Research conducted by the Breast Cancer Fund in 2016 found that more than 50 percent of commercial face paints and cosmetics found in Halloween makeup kits marketed to children contain harmful ingredients. 

The research found that around 20 percent of the 187 products tested contained lead and pigments of black and gray that contained high concentrations of heavy metals. Also, cadmium, a poisonous metal that can cause neurological, reproductive, and respiratory damage in certain levels, was found in 30 percent of the paints. 

Similarly, in 2009 the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics conducted an identical experiment and concluded that all products tested had "dangerous heavy metals and toxic substances that are banned or restricted in other countries."

Of course, it is highly possible that Alexandra Carter's son had an allergic reaction to one or multiple ingredients found in that specific makeup kit. 

More from CafeMom: Elementary School Banned Halloween Over These 'Culturally Offensive' Costumes

No one is saying that painting your kid's face one time is going to lead to permanent health problems, but it is always good to do your research. Make sure you always read -- and look up -- the ingredients listed on the makeup kits you buy, ensure that you perform a skin test before you paint your child's entire face, and use plenty of discretion while you're doing your last-minute Halloween shopping this season.

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