Avoid a face paint mishap this Halloween

Our resident skincare expert urges parents to go ‘old-school’ for a scarily good time.

CarePlus Pharmacy Brand Ambassador and Dermatology Nurse Specialist, Selene Daly, has issued a call for parents to ditch the face paints this year and protect their children’s vulnerable skin. Her appeal comes as children, parents, teachers and clubs around the country gear up for this year’s spooky season.

Selene, who runs a clinic in Sligo says: “The aftermath of using face paints can be scary. Many of these products contain metals and chemicals which can be harmful, especially for children’s skin. Those with chronic conditions like eczema should stay away from face paints as they are likely to suffer a flare-up.”

The trend towards stick-on face jewels or nails for kids is also a concern for medics like Selene, she informs us: “The glue has caused problems in adults recently as it’s the same one used for false nails and false eyelashes. This has caused a spike in the number of cases we’ve seen of allergic contact dermatitis. False nail or skin glue of any kind should not be used on kids.”

As a parent herself, Selene says she understands the excitement that can go with Halloween preparations: “As a mum, I know all about peer pressure to dress up at Halloween. But as a nurse, the risk of skin damage, infection or allergic reaction is simply too high for me. I strongly advise parents to consider buying their children some of the great Halloween masks that are out there. Alternatively, if you’re crafty, why not spend an afternoon with the kids making your own masks?”

If parents do decide to allow their kids wear face paints, Selene has these tips for minimising the risk of damage:

  1. Do not wear it for too long and never wear it to bed.
  2. Use make-up remover for sensitive skin to clean it off – avoid using baby wipes.
  3. Moisturise the skin after you have cleaned the paint off to help it recover.
  4. If your child suffers any irritation from the face paints, don’t take any chances, remove it from the skin and don’t use it again.
  5. Consult your CarePlus Pharmacist or doctor if you have any concerns about a reaction to face paints.


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