10 Tips for Halloween Makeup Eye Safety

Kid Dressed as Witch with Face MakeupHalloween makeup can be a safe alternative to a mask, but cosmetics can also pose unique hazards to your vision.

If you choose to use face paint or cosmetics this Halloween, follow these safety tips to prevent eye redness, irritation, rashes and swelling:

  1. Only use products that are intended for the skin.
  2. Read the directions carefully before using the product.
  3. If you have never used a certain product in the past, test it on a small area of your arm for a few days before Halloween. If your skin feels itchy or develops redness or bumps, don’t use it on your face.
  4. Avoid the eye area when applying face paint or make-up, even if the packaging includes a picture of people with makeup applied to their eyes.
  5. Do not use old makeup or face paint from last year because products expire and go bad. Throw away the old makeup and purchase new products.
  6. Pay attention to odor. If a product has a strange smell, don’t put it on your face. Even new face paint and cosmetics can get contaminated.
  7. Check the color additives in your makeup against the Summary of Color Additives on FDA’s Web site. Look for the section on cosmetic colors. If there is a color additive that is not approved by the FDA, return the product to the store for a refund.
  8. Be especially careful with fluorescent (neon) makeup. Eight colors are approved, but none of them may be applied near the eyes: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10 and No. 11; D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27 and No. 28; and D&C Yellow No. 7.
  9. There is only one luminescent (glowing) color that is FDA-approved, and it is luminescent zinc oxide. It also is not safe to use in the eye area.
  10. Look on the makeup packaging for instructions on how to safely remove the product. As soon as trick-or-treating is over or the Halloween party has ended, remove your makeup. Never sleep in your makeup.

If you experience eye redness, sensitivity, itchiness or pain after using cosmetics or face paint, call an eye doctor. You could have an eye infection or chemical irritation, so don’t ignore your symptoms.

Make your eye health a priority as you enter the holiday season. Even if you aren’t having eye problems, you may still want to call an eye doctor. You might be due for a comprehensive eye exam. A full eye exam with dilation can detect eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma at an early stage when they are most treatable. Click here to Find a Physician in your area.

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