Have a Non-Toxic Halloween


This week, a Grand Rapids news station aired a story sharing a warning about Halloween makeup.

A recent study done by the Breast Cancer Fund analyzed a variety of Halloween makeup kits from across the country — makeup marketed to kids.

Of the nearly 48 makeup palettes it tested, the group found at least one toxic heavy metal in nearly half of them. (view the story here)

The scariest thing about Halloween shouldn’t be toxic metals in your child’s facepaint. You might think, “This is 2016. We know better than to put toxic materials in kids’ paint!”, right? Wrong.

What to do? Not to worry! LDA America’s Healthy Children Project has been working on this for a while. We have resources for you so your children can have a fun but non-toxic Halloween!


Recipe: 10 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp white flour, 5 tsp vegetable shortening and 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerin. Mash together with a fork until the mixture balls up. Once this is mixed together, you can add a bit more glycerin as needed. This will make a white base. Separate into different white blobs and add the necessary color. I’ve made a tan (for a lion or cat) using some water collected from coffee crystals. This mixture is relatively “pasty” and will not give you clean lines, but it works.

Another option is to add basically equally parts lotion and cornstarch. ex: 1 tblsp baby lotion and 1 tblsp cornstarch. The white made with lotion will still be a little translucent, but if you make colors, it will give you cleaner lines, particularly if you use a cosmetic brush to paint.

Another recipe is 3 tblsp cornstarch, 1 tblsp flour, 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup corn syrup (light). The corn syrup makes this sweet, so it may be too attractive for little ones. To make this, add the cornstarch and flour in a bowl. Stir in the corn syrup and water until smooth. Once it is mixed together, divide as needed and add colors. NOTE: Homemade doesn’t have consistency of store bought but with homemade, you know what is in and you know there is no heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.


Use aloe vera gel (you can get at almost any natural food store), and mix in some fine glitter. This should be kept away from the eyes. Alternatively, use mineral makeup.


Use light corn syrup, a dash of castile liquid soap (to make clean easier), and red coloring. Easiest to use is red food color. If you want darker blood or more realistic blood, add a dash of blue or some chocolate syrup.


(Wounds, Warts, and More): You can use edible goop to make scars, warts, wounds, etc.

To 1 oz. gelatin (not Jello, but plain, unflavored old-fashioned gelatin, usu. located right next to the Jello), add 2 tablespoons boiling water and stir, let sit for 3 minutes. As you stir, the gelatin will dissolve. Tip: The gelatin doesn’t smell all that great, so you can add 2 to 4 drops of an essential oil if your child doesn’t like the smell. If you do add an essential oil, make sure it is suitable for skin contact.

Then pour mixture onto natural waxed paper or other surface. You need to shape the gelatin to make what you want – a wart, a scar, whatever. You need to work fairly quickly, particularly if you are going to mix in some color.The picture on the right is what the gelatin looks like when poured on natural waxed paper.

Add in what you need to create the effect that you want. If you want a wound, add some red coloring. If you want the wound to look old, consider adding some chocolate syrup. If you want a witch’s wart, add some green coloring and perhaps some hair (some bristles from a brush perhaps). For a ghoulish effect, add cornstarch or flour. For a swamp thing, perhaps dill weed or tarragon. For dead skin, add oatmeal. Get creative! For the leech looking effect below, I added some instant coffee crystals and some brown coloring from water added to coffee crystals.

Let your creation cool and gently peel off the waxed paper. Once dry, adhere using corn syrup – you just need to let the corn syrup dry. These look best made the same day that you are going to wear them – they dry out and shrink a bit.

For cleanup of your bowl, just peel the gelatin out – it will all stick together. If some gets stuck, just use hot water to dissolve it a bit to get the dish clean.

Facepaint tips thanks to The Smart Mama: www.thesmartmama.com/?s=Halloween


Some creative ways to deal with all that Halloween candy: specialchildren.about.com/od/halloween/tp/usingcandy.htm

A BOOklists for Halloween like this one: www.readingrockets.org/articles/books/c361

Download a full list of Halloween Tips from LDA of America halloween-tips