Planning a Halloween look with face paint? Protect your eye health with these 5 tips

28 October 2021

Author: Kate Green

Protect eyes at Halloween

Look after your sight on Fright Night


Halloween is almost upon us and anyone who is into celebrating Fright Night has probably already planned their costume from the outfit right down to the make-up look or face paint. Whether you’re opting for a ghost, witch or zombie look, you’re probably going to rely on some kind of decorative substance for your face, be it a bit of glitter or even fake blood. Something you might not have planned for quite as closely, however, is how to protect your eye health with all these chemicals around your eyes. We’ve also previously written about how to take care when using coloured contact lenses at Halloween, which is perfect to have a read of now if you’re planning on wearing some this weekend.


1. Do a patch test beforehand

Today is the 28th October, so we’re giving you a couple of days’ notice. Now is the perfect time to sample some of the face paint that you plan to use for Halloween, just to ensure you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients. For patch tests, it is generally recommended that you apply some of the product to your arm. This is well away from your face in the event of an adverse reaction or flare-up and therefore shouldn’t affect your vision in any way if something were to go wrong.


2. Clean your brushes well

We’ve written previously on our blog about the importance of keeping your makeup brushes clean, and the same certainly applies to face paint brushes for Halloween. Deposits from your makeup or face paints can stick in your brushes and lead to infections like blepharitis. This is particularly true if you share brushes with a friend (which isn’t recommended!) as you can spread bacteria from one person to the next when doing so.


3. Avoid product in your eyes

If product gets directly in your eyes, it can be a cause of great irritation. There were reports of a woman in 2016 who had a reaction to her Halloween makeup, giving her superficial corneal scratches. She believes that sweat running down her face carried the paint into her eyes, provoking the adverse reaction. What began as a slight foreign body sensation turned into the feeling of shards of glass in her eye, rendering her unable to open her swollen eyes. She now wears glasses due to the corneal damage having changed her prescription.


4. Remove everything thoroughly

The longer you leave your face paint on for, the higher the chances of infection are. This is particularly true if you sleep with it on, or if you don’t remove it thoroughly before bed. When your eyes are closed for a number of hours, your meibomian glands can become blocked, leading to dryness and irritation. You are also at greater risk of developing blepharitis. On top of this, you’re also likely to ruin your pillow cases! Be sure to remove your makeup gently as the skin around your eyes is more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face.


5. Seek medical help if needed

This last one is fairly simple but if you feel like something is wrong with your eyes or vision following using face paints or makeup, you should go and have your eyes checked. If there is a problem, be that a scratched cornea or an infection, the sooner you can get it checked and treated, the better.


Take care this Halloween and ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect your eye health. Steer clear from known allergens, practice good hygiene, and do a patch test beforehand if you can. Following these tips will go a long way to ensuring you’re being as safe as you can.

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