Kids Face Paint - What's Safe?

Halloween is coming up.  Even here in Denmark, this traditional American 'holiday' has become quite popular. The shops are displaying pumpkins and ghosts, and children are excitedly planning what they want to be for Halloween. Meanwhile, parents are worrying. Many Halloween costumes involve some sort of face paint.

I've had several questions about what's safe when it comes to face paint for kids. If you're not a hard core ingredients label reader (it's ok, you're still a good parent!!) – check for approved markings and safety labelling. In Europe, we've (more or less) gotten together and agreed on a set of standards for consumer products and created marks such as the CE marking.

Here's What Danish Government Websites Recommend When Choosing Children's Face Paint

The Danish Environmental Board Says

  • Look for the CE marking 
  • Avoid butylparaben and propylparaben for small children
  • Look for the Swan Label 
Visit the page here

The Danish Ministry of Foodstuffs, Agriculture and Fisheries Says

  • Check for the CE marking
  • Try to avoid parabens and perfumes 
  • Avoid the preservative known as MG (Methyldibromo glutaronitrile)
They finish their recommendations with this info:
'We used paint from the chainstores BR Toys, which carries one of 5 products recommended by 'The Information Center for Environment and Health' (a nongovernmental organization)
Visit the page here

LisaLise on The Prowl

I was in a BR toystore the other day and couldn't help checking out their face paint. There was a pretty large selection, and I didn't get through all of it, but every package I checked had a CE marking and every single ingredient was safe for use on children.

So, Where is The Confusion Coming From?

My research on this subject brought me to several sites. Among these was the nongovernmental organization mentioned above: The Danish Information Center for Environment and Health = (

Of all of the Danish websites I have seen offering guidance on choosing and using childrens face paint, these folks get first prize for spreading doubt, creating confusion and pretty much scaring the crap out of you. No wonder I've been getting so many questions!

Overall, this organization cherry-picks information and mixes it with innuendo to create a picture to suit their needs (read: they can't exist without continued governmental funding, so goodness knows what they would do if they should run short of chemicals to warn the public about). My previous experiences with them echoes this. Read about it here.

It's Not Just Me

These folks have also been under scrutiny by Danish beauty bloggers Pudderd̴serne (The Powder Tins) in this post titled: Рvildledning eller vejledning? (The title is a clever play on words, but translates roughly to " Рmisinformation or guidance?")

Maybe should get some kind of award for best Halloween scare. **


I'll leave you with a couple of tips:

About Face Paint for Kids

  • Before painting, apply a thin layer of a neutral, unscented cream
  • Don't paint on broken skin (no cuts, scrapes etc) or skin that has a rash
  • Remove face paint completely as soon as possible after the festivities

How to Remove Childrens Face Paint With No Tears

Douse a cotton ball/cotton pad with vegetable oil and use this to soften and remove the makeup. Almost any vegetable oil will do. For example: almond, thistle, safflower, olive, or coconut

Have a Happy Halloween.

** Update: as of 2015, the site has been closed down.