Avoiding the Horrors of Halloween Makeup

Woman with Day of the Dead Halloween Makeup

Halloween is a top time of year for young trick-or-treaters, but they're not the only ones celebrating. In fact, statistics show that Americans spend $1.55 million on adult costumes, compared to $1.24 million spent on children's costumes each Halloween season. Many of these disguises involve elaborate makeup - and that's where the true horror can happen.

Many makeup products marketed for Halloween contain ingredients that can irritate your skin or trigger allergic reactions that can range from mild to severe and occur in two forms, irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. The first form happens when a product damages your skin, causing symptoms like burning, stinging, itching, redness or blistering. The latter affects your immune system and leads to redness, swelling, itching or hives.

To protect your skin while donning your Halloween look, Avanti Medical Spa offers these tips:

  • Check the labels: The most likely culprits of skin irritation or allergic reactions are fragrances, preservatives and pigments, particularly those found in red dyes. Opt for more natural products instead. See the US Food & Drug Administration's list of approved color additives and skip any product that has an additive not listed. Also, make sure that any product you choose is well within its expiration date. Many cosmetic products that aren't sold one Halloween season go back to the warehouse for another year's storage. With time and improper storage, ingredients can degrade and products can lose their protective qualities. 
  • Performa patch test: Before applying your full look, dab product on a small patch of your skin. Wait a few minutes to make sure that it won't cause an adverse reaction. If you notice any symptoms, cleanse your skin immediately. 
  • Prime up: Once you're sure that a makeup product won't harm your skin, apply a high quality primer before applying your full look. This provides a protective barrier between your skin and the product, plus helps assure your look will last throughout your Halloween celebration. 
  • Cleanse: Once the reveling comes to an end, be sure to thoroughly cleanse, tone and moisturize your skin before heading to bed.

If you do experience symptoms of a skin irritation or allergic reaction, call 904-461-6797 and schedule an appointment for treatment by Avanti Medical Spa in St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra.