Beginning With Halloween.
Have you ever considered what kind of hidden toxins are lurking about in costumes and Halloween makeup? Case in point – years ago my mom dressed up in a full-body white rabbit costume which resulted in a horrific skin outbreak lasting for months. What could have caused it? Possibly dyes, phthalates or any number of other chemicals detected in costumes.
Pirates And Princesses.
Healthy Stuff studied over four dozen children’s holiday costumes. Results showed a “High Level of Concern” for the Disney Princess Cinderella Costume and the Pirate Costume Kit (among others) due to elevated levels of polyvinyl chloride (PVC); with lead being measured at 120 ppm in the lining of the mask of a Toddler Batman Muscle Costume!
It’s More Than Rashes.
Phthalates, for instance, are considered endocrine disrupting. This means that repeated exposure and accumulation in the body can lead to any of our glands not functioning properly –ovaries, testicles, thyroid, pancreas, etc. And skin absorption of phthalates has been shown to be 10-times greater on the face than the arm.
Which Brings Us To Halloween Makeup.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics issued a report on toxic chemicals found in kids’ Halloween makeup. They found lead, toluene, formaldehyde and cadmium, for starters. Another endocrine disrupting chemical, parabens were found in 34% of makeup. The Environmental Working Group also warns parents on the dangers of toxic metals in Halloween makeup.
Make Change organization has a great YouTube video showing how to make your own fake blood, face paint, liquid latex, and hair color. (If you prefer, natural coloring is available to use in place of artificial coloring.) If you don’t have time to make your own, Huffington Post editors suggest four brands of theatre makeup.
Other Practical Ideas.
No time to make your own costumes? When shopping at least avoid those indicating they are flame resistant. And if it smells – like plastic or chemicals – air it out before wearing. Adding a layer of clothing between skin and the costume can also help inhibit skin absorption of chemicals.
If you’re feeling creative and do have the extra time to make Halloween costumes, Rookie Moms has terrific ideas for creating toddler costumes using pajamas. For other DIY costume ideas, Good Housekeeping features over 55 simple ideas.