Halloween without ’scary’ chemicals

15. okt 2015

Halloween makeup is very popular and therefore the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has checked the ingredients in 43 makeup products. Half of them are ”good choices”, which makes it possible to send monsters and witches in to the night without unwanted chemicals on their skin.


Halloween makeup
Photo: Istock

Makeup can contain substances of concern

Every year Halloween is a chance for everyone to scare each other silly. The American tradition has been picked up by the Danes and scary people now wander the streets in the month of October. The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals went shopping in toy stores and stores which sell costumes and makeup, to find out what people apply to their faces and bodies.

43 makeup sets have been assessed, varying from zombie makeup with scars and blood to witches or tattooed scary monsters.

The children love the spookiness of Halloween, but unfortunately the reading of the ingredients can also be ’scary’. 18 products cannot be recommended, and receive an 'A’ in the test. 15 of these fail the inspection because they contain substances that can have endocrine disrupting effects.

”We are a bit surprised over the findings, especially because we have found substances that have shown endocrine disrupting effects in animal studies. It is not the first time we check these kinds of products. These products are used at Halloween, but also at birthday parties or other events. Children should not be exposed to substances that are suspected of affecting them in a negative manner,” says Claus Jørgensen, Senior Project Manager at Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are suspected to cause several ailments such as declining semen quality in boys and early puberty in girls

”One product in itself may not pose an immediate risk, but it is the total exposure which could be problematic. Present regulation does not take the cocktail effect into consideration and this is why we focus on the chemicals and fight for a better regulation,” says Claus Jørgensen.

Choose the ’good’ makeup

The test shows that it is possible to make-over the children without using unwanted chemicals. Half of the products are awarded with the ’A label’ and therefore they are a good choice for the transformation of the kids.

”The many ’A’ products show that unwanted chemicals are not necessary. This is a strong signal to the producers, saying that they can and should take out the problematic chemicals. As long as the regulation does not cover endocrine disrupters, we should avoid any exposure as consumers, and luckily the test shows that it is possible,” says Claus Jørgensen.

Facts about the test

43 Halloween products were checked for unwanted chemicals.

  • 22 contain no unwanted chemicals and are given the “A label”
  • 3 receive a “B label” because they contain perfume or substances that can be a problem in the environment.
  • 18 contain one or more unwanted substances and cannot be recommended – “C label”

In this test unwanted chemicals are substances that have shown endocrine disrupting effects in animal studies, certain allergenic substances (not perfume) or substances which are banned in cosmetics.

For more information, please contact Claus Jørgensen on cj@fbr.dk or +45 22 22 74 55.