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Blog By Donna

A Knoxville Lifestyle & Mom Blogger

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Healthy Halloween! Natural Alternatives for Your Child’s Halloween Makeup

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Healthy Halloween MakeupImage Source

Halloween is just around the corner, folks!  Moms and dads everywhere are gathering pumpkins, decorating their front doorstep, and trying to keep up with their children’s millions of costume ideas.  Does Tommy want to be Woody from Toy Story or Venom from Spiderman?  How about Lucy?  Just yesterday she wanted to be a princess, but today she wants to be Chef Amanda Freitag from Chopped!

Whoever they choose to be, chances are your child will be sporting some form of Halloween makeup to help them transform into their dream characters.

Here’s the thing: Not all Halloween makeup is created equally.  In fact, most brands contain extremely harmful ingredients that could be detrimental to your child’s health, such as:

  • Lead
  • Nano Particles
  • Bismuth Oxychloride (known for causing skin irritation, breakouts and redness)
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals

These additives are harmful to your growing child, not to mention unpleasant if a reaction does occur.  However, there is good news!  You can make your own non-toxic alternatives at home with items from your kitchen cabinets and enjoy a truly healthy Halloween with your children.

Here are a couple of recipes for healthy makeup alternatives you can make yourself.

*NOTE:  Homemade makeup should never be stored.  Make only enough for your child’s face and then discard the rest.


  • 2 tsp white vegetable shortening
  • 5 tsp organic cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white all-purpose flour
  • Glycerin (ask your pharmacist)

Mix shortening, cornstarch and flour until well blended.  Add 3 or 4 drops of glycerin to make a creamier texture.  Apply to face and neck as a base coat.


  • 1tsp organic cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp filtered or bottled water
  • 1/2 tsp cold cream
  • 2 drops food coloring (or as desired)

Mix together all these ingredients to create your own DIY healthy Halloween face paint costume makeup.

You can alter the consistency based on your needs by adding a few more drops of water (thinner) or cornstarch (thicker). If you wish to spread the color over a larger area, make it thinner by adding some more water. For more precise or detailed design, make it slightly thicker with a bit more cornstarch.


To 1 oz. gelatin (not Jello, but plain, unflavored gelatin), add 2 tablespoons boiling water and stir, allow to sit for 3 minutes.  As you stir, the gelatin will dissolve.

Pour mixture onto natural waxed paper.  Here you’ll need to shape the gelatin to make what you want – a wart, a scar, etc.  You need to work fairly quickly, particularly if you are going to mix in some color.

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, add some chocolate syrup.  If you want a witch’s wart, add some green coloring and perhaps some bristles from an old brush.  For dead skin, add oatmeal.  Get creative!

Let your creation cool and gently peel off the waxed paper.

Once dry, apply using organic corn syrup – you just need to let the corn syrup dry really well.

*NOTE:  These look best made the same day that you are going to wear them.


  • 16 ounces organic corn syrup
  • 1 ounce red food coloring
  • 1 or 2 drops blue food coloring
  • 1 ounce filtered or bottled water
  • evaporated milk (optional)

Mix water, food coloring and corn syrup together.  Add milk until you get a blood-like consistency.

*WARNING:  This will stain your clothes and skin so be sure to layer over a cold cream base.  If applying to clothing, make sure it is clothing that you do not want ruined.

The best part about these recipes (besides being a safe and healthy alternative) is that you can get your children involved in the process.  Have some play time and pretend you’re mad scientists while you conjure up dead skin and zombie scabs!  Have fun!

As you can see, keeping your children safe from toxins and enjoying a healthy Halloween is possible.  With just a few common household ingredients, you can transform your child into whatever their little hearts desire!  They may change their minds a million times, but at least you will have peace of mind knowing that you did your job as their parents.

Enjoy a safe, happy and healthy Halloween!


 This guest post was contributed by Gianna Caucci – a copywriter and social networker at Essentia Natural Memory Foam Mattresses. Gianna loves to learn about natural healing, nutrition, and sustainable living, and enjoys blogging about the environment, natural remedies, and great sleep on Essentia’s blog.


35 Responses to Healthy Halloween! Natural Alternatives for Your Child’s Halloween Makeup

  1. Thank you! This is great as I do not like outing all that commercial stuff on my kids.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Love the face paint recipes, definitely will be using those for the boys this year!

  3. Courtney says:

    With my daughter’s sensitive skin this was a HUGE concern for us! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Marcie W. says:

    This is great since my oldest will be Miss Freddy Krueger and wants some “burns” on her face!

  5. Theresa says:

    I love how easy this is to make!

  6. Stefanie says:

    Thanks for the face paint recipe!

  7. Wow, I didn’t realize how dangerous Halloween make up was. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Shell Feis says:

    Yeesh, that ingredient list is scary! I’m glad my son’s afraid of face paint. 😛

  9. What a fantastic share, Donna! While I don’t have children, I do have nieces and nephews, and I have a great appreciation for products that are more on the natural side of things for them. Plus, it would be a fun project to do with them.

    I’m wondering if coconut oil could be used in lieu of vegetable oil? I don’t cook with oil at all, and use coconut oil to clean and moisturize my face, so have it on hand.

    • Hi Ellen,

      Coconut is definitely a good replacement for vegetable oil, but just keep in mind that it solidifies if you are in a cool environment, so it may work better for lighter colors (since it turns white when solid) than for darker colors.

      I think your best bet would be to try it out ahead of time. I love to use Coconut oil as a cosmetic product (in my hair, on my skin – I even use it as sunscreen) so I can relate with the idea to use coconut oil!

  10. Angela says:

    This is such good info! I haven’t purchased makeup yet for Halloween and might have to try some of these instead.

  11. Lolo says:

    I like the idea of making homemade halloween makeup!

  12. Carrie says:

    It’s scary to think about the types of harmful chemicals companies put in face paint targeted towards children. Thanks for sharing this easy to make, safe alternative!

  13. Robin Gagnon says:

    The even cooler part is getting the kids to help mix up the make-up 🙂

  14. It’s so nice to have an alternative, especially if it’s something you are going to put on your child’s face.

  15. I appreciate those recipes! My boys won’t wear face paint at all, but my daughter loves dressing up for Halloween and really, any day we let her wear make up is her best day ever!

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this. I was actually looking for alternatives for Halloween makeup since the regular ones we buy sometimes give us rashes.

  17. Sandra says:

    Love this post! One year my oldest got a rash from the white creamed face paint, it was awful 🙁

  18. Heather Garcia says:

    I am so glad you posted these recipes, both of my girls have sure sensitive skin and can not wear any kind of makeup.

  19. Karen Glatt says:

    Great recipes to make my own Halloween makeup that is not full of chemicals. I like a lot of these recipes and want to make them!

  20. Amber says:

    Thanks! This is a really great idea!

  21. Corina Ramos says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us Donna. Those ingredients are scary themselves! I love the alternatives!

    My grandson probably won’t have his face painted but I know Adrian still likes to get his face done every year…going to try these!

    Happy Friday hon! Thanks again for sharing this with us!

  22. This is so cool! My skin is super sensitive as I’m sure many children are as well. Plus costume makeup is so expensive then you don’t use it again til maybe the next year. I like the idea of being able to make just enough for the day and that its not harmful!


    • I have to be careful what I put on my skin, too. I have contact dermatitis, so I look for natural ingredients. Although my son seems fine, I don’t want to put harsh chemicals and toxins on him.

  23. Sicorra says:

    Excellent face paint recipes. A creative person could have a lot of fun with that. And I love the idea of the gelatin warts and wounds. That would be a lot of fun.

  24. Kathy Lane says:

    I will be using these Halloween makeup recipes this year.My local grocery store has a costume contest every year,and they always pick the ones with the homemade costumes.This will come in handy,Thanks for sharing!

  25. Carol B says:

    Wow! I never thought to look at the ingredients of Halloween face paints. And seeing as this year my youngest is going as a Nerd – the candy Nerd – he wants to paint his face purple to match his Nerd box costume, your timing is perfect. Going to use that recipe on him.

  26. Love these recipes! Who needs all that stuff that could be harmful directly on skin?! Thanks so much & this indeed could be a lot of fun!

  27. I had no idea you could make your own halloween makeup! Thanks so much for sharing.

  28. Sarah K. V. says:

    Love this! Thank you!

  29. Those are some great ideas! Thanks!! We don’t need a ton of makeup this year because my kids are all pirates.

  30. Mer says:

    Ick! Thanks for the info, this looks like a much better idea. Plus it’ll be easier to get the desired colors in the right amounts.