Warning Out on Unauthorized Halloween Make-Up Products

With Halloween just around the corner, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded parents to be extra careful when buying make-up products for their children as some face paints and the like have not been evaluated for quality and safety by national health authorities.

“Unauthorized make-up products marketed for children’s use during Halloween and special occasions may contain hazardous chemicals banned or restricted in cosmetics and toys,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “It’s better to avoid such products than expose your child to potential threats to their health and development.”   

In its latest effort to promote consumer awareness and vigilance against potentially hazardous Halloween items, the group purchased 20 samples of make-up products costing P25 to P250 per set from school supply and toy stores in Mandaluyong, Manila and Quezon Cities.

Out of these 20 Halloween make-up products, 14 are sold without proper authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These unauthorized products mostly “made in China” did not pass through the government’s mandatory notification process for cosmetics or for toy and childcare articles before being placed in the market. As such their quality and safety have not been verified by the FDA.

Among the products without the required notifications are: Face Paint Party Set, Face Paints, Fanka Family Make-Up Kit, Fashion Trend Fluorescent Lip Gloss, Feizuan Makeup Fantasy (Cream Make-Up),Guirca Halloween Scar Effect Set, Hua Ba Face Paints, Hua Ba Face Paint Sticks (Push-Up) bright colors, Hua Ba Face Paint Sticks (Push-Up) neon colors, Hua Ba Sports Fan Face Paint,  Mango Cosmetics Face Paints, Pavonine Hair and Body Glitter (Cream Make-Up), Peng Cheng Face Paints, and Rainbow World Face Makeup.

Six variants of “made in Taiwan” Lucky Art face paints and body crayons are notified with the FDA as indicated on the product labels.  

Hua Ba Face Paint Sticks (Push-Up) was the subject of FDA Advisory 2021-1650 warning consumers against the purchase and use of this unauthorized cosmetic product, while Hua Ba Sports Fan Face Paint looks exactly the same as Zhu Ting Sports Fan Face Paint that was banned through FDA Advisory 2021-1649 for being an unauthorized toy and childcare article.

According to the FDA, the use of unauthorized cosmetics and toys and childcare articles “may pose health risks to consumers.”
  • For unauthorized cosmetics: “Potential hazards may come from ingredients that are not allowed to be part of a cosmetic product or from the contamination of heavy metals. The use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result in adverse reactions including, but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and organ failure."
  • For unauthorized toys and childcare articles: “The use of substandard and possibly adulterated toy and childcare article products may result in health risks including, but not limited to, endocrine disruption and reproductive or development effects; or may result to injury, choking or suffocation due to its small or broken parts.” 
The EcoWaste Coalition’s warning on unauthorized Halloween make-up products came on the heels of the article “Halloween Face Paint Can be Toxic to Kids” published last week by the US-based Consumer Reports.

The article cited a study by the US Breast Cancer Fund that detected toxic metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury in 21 out of 48 face paints. Twenty-one face paints tested positive for at least one of the said chemicals, and some had as many as four.

The EcoWaste Coalition has already informed the FDA about its findings.