Halloween is my favorite time of the year. Every Halloween, I go all out when coming up with the perfect costumes for my little ones. Last year, my babies went as Arya and the Hound — complete with burned face. This time of year, parents are scouring their makeup bags to find the perfect eyeliner to make whiskers on their 3-month-old's cheeks so the cat costume isn't in vain, but can you put makeup on your baby for Halloween?
Babies are freaking cute enough as it is, but man, you put that baby in a strawberry costume, or dress them up as a little kitten, and every ovary in a fifteen click distance will explode in a wash of simultaneous fertility. They're just so precious. But it's normal to worry about the safety of the cosmetics you may use. Who isn't concerned about using lipstick to make the perfect bunny nose on a newborn? I know that my skin is sensitive to just about everything, so why wouldn't my brand new baby's skin be just as sensitive? And if you decide to go the route of using makeup that's created specifically for Halloween and costumes, you're probably still sketched out. I mean, if the makeup smells like the combo of a heated backside of a bull and a zombie orgy, it's going to worry you.
It's important to keep in mind that cosmetics aren't regulated by the FDA. That means there are no spot checks on ingredients like there is for food, there aren't industrial inspections mandated, and everything the cosmetics company shares is voluntary.
More and more studies are showing that the fly-by-night Halloween cosmetics companies aren't something you want to put on your child's face. However, using nationally recognized brand name makeup that you'd use on yourself, and only for a few hours, is something else entirely. Yes, there's always a risk your child will be allergic to it, but that could be the case with anything. A little eyeliner on their nose or blush on their cheeks probably isn't going to do much harm.
But something else you may not think about when you're considering turning your little one into a pumpkin this halloween is the brushes you'll use to paint your baby orange. Those brushes, if they're not brand new and you've been using them for any length of time, may be harboring colonies of bacteria. That bacteria could lead to infection or even something gross like pink eye, noted Good Housekeeping. While pink-eye is fairly easy to treat according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it's not comfortable, and it's highly contagious. Having contracted it myself from my son several years ago, I can tell you that it itches something fierce, and the drops that babies are given are expensive, even with fantastic insurance.
I spoke with makeup artist Carlii Kline about the best way to disinfect your brushes before use so that no one needs a trip to urgent care. She buys the best products and uses them on many faces, and I — well — I haven't cleaned my eyeshadow brush ever.
Kline tells Romper that it's important to use ridiculously hot water and a soft, mild detergent like a sulfate-free shampoo on natural bristle brushes. "On the fake bristles, like the brushes you have (it's true, mine came in a gift with purchase from Esteé Lauder), you can use basic Dial antibacterial soap. Wash and rinse them gently under running water and then lie them flat between several layers of paper towels."
So now that you have clean brushes, if you're using quality cosmetics, is it safe to use your makeup on your baby's sensitive skin? I spoke with Dr. Clay Jones, MD, a pediatrician from Science Based Medicine about using makeup on babies. He tells Romper, "It shouldn't be a problem." He recognizes that parents worry, but for a few hours at Halloween, he says that we may be worrying too much. Illnesses that may be derived from cosmetic usage like lead exposure occur over a prolonged period of time with extended exposure, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Provided you're using a brand you trust, and washing their chubby faces clean of their Halloween makeup in a reasonable period of time, your baby is most likely completely safe. Your ovaries, however, will be a different story when you see a 6-month-old with a Harry Potter scar.
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