As October rolls around, the excitement of Halloween and the joy of dressing up in flamboyant costumes is on everyone’s mind. However, the fun can take a toll on your skin, especially for those who opt to use Halloween-specific makeup. Unlike standard makeup products, Halloween cosmetics often contain harsh ingredients that can lead to skin irritations requiring dermatological attention.
Renata Block, a seasoned dermatology physician assistant, shares some vital tips and best practices to help you avoid any skin-related issues during this festive season. She emphasizes that first-time makeup users or those who do not typically wear heavy makeup should be particularly cautious. “The sudden shift from no makeup to a heavy compound can be quite shocking for the skin,” Block warns.
She advises against the use of harsh soaps and exfoliation as they can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier, potentially leading to increased irritation, redness, acne flares, and clogged pores. Instead, she recommends a gentle skincare routine that includes a mild cleanser, patting the skin dry, and applying a small amount of hyaluronic acid serum followed by moisturizer.
For those attending outdoor events, sun protection is crucial. The application of costume and Halloween makeup can be quite heavy, making its removal more challenging than with regular cosmetics. Block advises against vigorous rubbing or scrubbing to remove the makeup as it can further irritate the skin. Instead, she suggests double cleansing and soothing any resultant erythema with a gentle serum.
“Halloween makeup is a completely different creature,” Block explains. “It’s much heavier and often mass-produced for the season. Unfortunately, these products may contain artificial dyes and fragrance oils that can irritate the skin.”
More worryingly, these novelty cosmetic products may contain toxic ingredients such as arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, and toluene. A 2016 study by the Breast Cancer Fund discovered a widespread presence of heavy metals in such products, particularly those with darker pigmentation.
Manufacturers may list these toxic components under different names, making it difficult for consumers to identify them. For instance, lead may be referred to as “kajal,” “kohl,” or “surma.” While the FDA regulates cosmetic ingredients such as color additives or harmful chemicals, the ambiguity in labeling makes it difficult for consumers to make informed choices.
To avoid any adverse skin reactions, Block strongly recommends patch testing. “A week or two before Halloween, apply a small amount of the product on your inner forearm. These products can cause irritation, redness, dryness, and even peeling. You could also have an allergic reaction, especially if you’re applying it to your entire face,” she explains.
If you experience any type of reaction, Block advises a visit to a dermatology clinic. “Any reaction warrants a visit or a phone call to the dermatology clinic,” she concludes. “You don’t want to lead to more irritation. If the skin barrier is compromised, I don’t want it to lead to an infection.”
This Halloween season, while you’re busy planning your costume and scouting for the perfect makeup to match, remember these tips from Block. Whether you’re opting for eyelash extensions or eyebrow threading in Scottsdale Arizona Lashes, or choosing a makeup look that complements your women’s beauty aesthetic, make sure you prioritize your skin’s health. After all, Halloween is about fun and frights, not skin frights!