The scariest thing you will see this Halloween won’t be the little ghosts and goblins knocking at your door. It will most likely be in the costume section of your nearby department or drug store.

During this time of year, many of these stores sell face paint to help parents transform their children into anything imaginable for Halloween. But, how safe is this stuff? If you read the packaging and ingredient list carefully, some of these products aren’t recommended for children, and contain several hard-to-pronounce chemicals such as parabens (an estrogen-mimicking chemical with suspected links to breast cancer. Yikes!). This is a frightening fact for trick-or-treaters of all ages – kids and grownups!

The good news is that there are safe alternatives. One is to make your own face paint. It’s really easy to do (your kids can help). And bonus: it won’t have any ingredients that will make your skin crawl. Here are two recipes:

Homemade face paint

  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • ½ tsp. milk
  • ¼ tsp. water
  • Natural food colouring (e.g. beet juice – red, turmeric – yellow)

Mix the milk, water, and cornstarch together. Add colouring to create your desired shade. To apply, use a small paint brush. To remove, simply use a damp cloth.

Simple fake blood

  • Clear corn syrup
  • Beet juice (red)
  • Milk – optional

Choose the desired amount of corn syrup. Pour it into a bowl and mix in some beet juice. Add a small amount of milk for thicker looking blood.

What can you do with your old store bought face paint? Keep it off your face. Instead, use it to paint some spooky murals to raise awareness about toxins found in every day cosmetics products.

Also be sure to visit Environmental Defence’s website to learn more about our Just Beautiful campaign to give cosmetics and personal care products a makeover and how you can take action. We also have a shopping guide which lists the toxic ten ingredients to look out for while shopping all year long.

Have a happy and toxic-free Halloween!