by Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND October 04, 2016

1 Comment

I'm really happy to have found a few sources for safe Halloween face paint. It quite literally makes me cringe knowing that the vast majority of face paints used on children contain harmful heavy metals that are readily absorbed into their skin. 

Face paint

I had been on the hunt for nontoxic Face Paint for years! Back in September 2011 my husband and I were in Whole Foods asking if they were going to be carrying any nontoxic face paint for the Halloween season and they said they had a very hard time sourcing a lead-free, non-toxic product. We were looking for body paints for a Belly-painting party at our midwives for our yet-to-be-born Bubs (now 4 years old ). At the time we couldn't find anything and my trials in attempting to make my own from scratch were pretty disappointing.

face paint 

The lack of safe face paints on the market was confirmed by the Ecology Center in independent testing they did in 2011. In this testing, at least 2 heavy metals contaminated all of the 31 Halloween makeup sampled.  A majority of the samples contained cadmium, a toxic heavy metal linked to cancer, birth defects and brain damage. Other toxic metals including mercury and arsenic were also found. I am appalled by the lack of standards in makeup and am so thankful to have groups like the Ecology Center.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Pretty Scary Report in 2009 found 10 out of 10 face paints tested contained lead - which is a known neurotoxin and harmful to a child's developing brain.

In May 2011, a study  by Environmental Defence (Canada)  of adult cosmetics found that all of the 49 cosmetics tested were contaminated with hazardous metals including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. 

Mini Halloween Party

Enough with the scary stuff!! You have options that are safe. Here is what we are recommending for your nontoxic Hallow een:

  • Glob Colours Natural Face Paints:in six colours (Red, Yellow, Blue, Black, White). They are made with botanical extracts, natural colours, and organic ingredients. They are non-nano, paraben-free, cruelty-free.
  • Tips: If you are making fine lines, wet your brush lightly before applying, this makes the lines much smoother. You can use makeup brushes or makeup sponges for details.
glob natural face paint
    • Natural Earth Paint - Natural Face Paints: in six colours (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, White). These paints are clay and mineral based.  I used this face paint when Bubs was 3 for our Mimi Halloween party.
    • Tips: Easiest to apply if you wet the applicator with water before dipping into the face paint, this makes it much smoother to apply.  Let each colour dry before adding the next colour layer; you can use a cool hair dryer or dust over the colour with a little corn starch.
    Natural Earth Paint Natural Face Paint

      If you are looking for some ideas or additional makeup application tips, check out the links below.

      Tutorials for using Natural Earth Paint Face Paints:

      We would love to see your Halloween makeup creations!!

      Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND
      Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND


      1 Response

      Vicky Rizothanassis
      Vicky Rizothanassis

      October 05, 2016

      Great article Dr. Hawco! I can’t wait to read more of your blog posts!

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