Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Truth About Face Paint Safety: A Follow Up

I've received some new pieces of information regarding face paint safety.

The first is the most recent MSDS sheet (dated 2008), from Snazaroo UK, the company that makes Snazaroo face painting products. It's located here.

The second is a statement released by Ben Nye Company. Ben Nye is a professional theater makeup company whose products were "tested" by the CSC. Here's what they have to say:

Ben Nye Makeup has been committed to the highest standards of product quality and safety for over 42 years. We adhere to responsible manufacturing procedures to meet the rigorous safety standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Several reputable organizations and experts have issued opinions regarding lead in cosmetics. As the CTFA states below, lead is unavoidable. It is present in our environment, in foods that we eat and even in water that we drink. There is no conclusive evidence to confirm how much lead is actually absorbed through contact with cosmetics. Further, there is not one single recorded case in U.S. medical literature substantiating lead poisoning through cosmetic use

CTFA Statement regarding Lead and Cosmetics (from the CTFA Website):

It is impossible to live in a lead-free world. Lead is ubiquitous in the environment. It is in the air, water, soil, in short, it is unavoidable. However, compared to the amount of lead a person would ingest from eating and drinking ordinary foods, the amount expected from the use of cosmetics would be extremely small.

Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the responsibility to take action if it finds a product to be unsafe and has abundant legal authority to do so.

Cosmetics are safe products that millions of consumers use and enjoy every day. It is alarmist and irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

Below are links to websites with useful information that specifically address and invalidate the concern that lead content in responsibly manufactured cosmetics are at hazardous levels.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration

In addition to the statements from the face paint companies the Chief Scientist of an independent group, the Personal Care Products Council has the following to say, in part:

... parents can enjoy Halloween festivities with their children without unnecessary worry about the safety of these novelty products.

Although CSC is recommending to parents that they should mix up their own children's face paints, parents should note that since heavy metals are ubiquitous in food, water, air and other consumer products, there is no guarantee that homemade face paints are safer or as safe as those that may be purchased in stores.

You can read the full text of his statement, which has even more information, here.


  1. I just discovered you today, but I am so glad to have found someone who is gathering evidence and responding with science! It helps to prepare myself for any questions that may come up during a festival I'm painting at on Saturday.


  2. Thanks! I'm now editing this post again to add another link. Check it out - it's a great one.



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