A new study in Canada found heavy metals in children's face paints that exceeded the government's safety limits. According to the study, researchers found that the levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium in several brands of children’s face paints were way higher than the limits proposed by the government.
The heavy metals identified in the survey are known toxics that can cause damage to the brain and kidneys as well as the nervous, reproductive and immune systems. Cadmium is also classified as a human carcinogen. Under government regulations, these ingredients are prohibited in cosmetic products sold in Canada, but they are still found in some makeup and face paints through trace amounts present in raw materials. In addition, the Health Canada study found that some face paint products contained the heavy metal barium at a level that would warrant an immediate recall if the same amount were detected in the surface paint of a toy.
So, how can you tell if your child’s face paint contains toxins? One way is to look over the ingredient list on the products package. Better yet, try your hand at making your own face paint so you’ll know exactly what is in them. Just mix a little non-toxic cold cream with cornstarch to the desired consistency. Add a little bit of nontoxic food coloring until the face paint is a few shades darker than you want it. Grab the closest kid and paint away!