Whether it be The Walking Dead or one of Lady Gaga’s many identities, the hunger to discover our alter egos is strongest at Halloween. Makeshift costume stores, online shops and cosmetics galore really make dressing up seem like an art form rather than mere celebratory tradition. As the well-informed fashionista knows, a well-tailored outfit can go a long way, but every seasoned product fiend knows better; a well-tailored face can take you even further. However, the dollar store face paints, cheap pigments and seemingly well-made masks can actually cause more skin problems than you’d think.
Not only are allergic reactions common, but skin immunity can be compromised. Most masks are made of latex, and many adhesives are of a latex base; including eyelash glue. Perspiring skin becomes both warm and damp, and is more susceptible to hives and yeast infections. Think of a wet bathing suit or pleather pants on a hot day. Many thick cream foundations that are meant to totally coat and change the color of the skin will asphyxiate the skin and can deposit ingredients like trace metals, harmful preservatives, and pore-clogging oils. A report/list (PDF form) of hazardous makeup can be found here.
After reading this, if you are still a glutton for punishment and a hardcore Halloweenie, research and test drive any products a few days beforehand. Makeup Forever offers a wide range of products that are meant to be dramatic and showcased on the face without negative effects on the skin. Check out “Dracula”, a webseries about makeup artists, to get some ideas. Also, be sure to thoroughly cleanse your skin before going to bed. Sleeping with makeup on can inhibit your skin from “breathing” and repairing itself, so leaving an extremely synthetic material on the skin overnight will ravage your complexion.
Don’t let your skin be the scariest part of Halloween; Research, test and completely wash off any products applied to the skin. See Ghosts, Goblins and Glycation to be fully prepared. Beware of what you see in the mirror on November 1st!