This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.
My daughter often has her eyes on my make up products and always wants to try them on her dolls. She finds it so entertaining to apply makeup on her dolls and pretends to get ready before going to a party. However, I didn’t really want my daughter to use my own makeup products as a toy. There must be kids makeup products that are safe for kids right? Therefore, I decided to research further about non toxic kids makeup. While researching, I came across a 2018 article about a toddler in Georgetown, Illinois was hospitalized after using a children’s toy makeup kit that was bought at a local Family Dollar store. She had an allergic reaction and got severe hives and blisters. Family Dollar spokesperson said the kids makeup kits were non toxic. The mom of a toddler also thought the makeup kit was non toxic. However, she found later that there were six different chemicals that are commonly known to cause an allergic reaction in this makeup kit and her daughter was allergic to them. What I also realized while researching for non toxic kids makeup kits is that some kids makeup that say they are non toxic still may contain harmful chemicals. One very popular kids non toxic makeup kit I saw on Amazon, for example, contained talc, parabens, FD & C colors and mineral oils which are ingredients to avoid. However, the kids makeup said it was non toxic and washable. Some chemicals can lead to serious long-term health problems such as endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity or cancer. You really can’t be sure until you actually read the ingredients. In this post, I share with you what toxic chemicals to avoid in kids make up products and what non toxic kids make up options are available.
Children’s Vulnerability To Toxic Chemicals
One of the reasons that I didn’t want my daughter to use my own makeup products is that they are made for adults. Although I do buy natural make up products for myself, I feel that they are still made for adults and I would like to be cautious. Makeup products that are made for adults shouldn’t be used for young kids unless they are recommended by the manufacture that they are also safe for kids. Some adult makeup products contain a lot of toxic chemicals.
Toxic chemicals are toxic to both adults or children and can cause serious health issues. However, children are more vulnerable when they are exposed to toxic chemicals. Children’s bodies are still growing. Their organs have not fully grown. They have thinner skin than adults. Children have a higher surface area to weight ratio. They have smaller lungs and their lungs can be damaged easily when exposed to harmful substances. Their bodies do not process hazardous chemicals the same as adults’ bodies can. Harmful chemicals such as endocrine disruptors can alter kids’ hormones when their bodies are still developing and growing. Scientific evidences show that even very low doses of some chemicals can cause damage. Children are also more susceptible to exposures to toxic chemicals from the makeup products than adults. They may inhale fumes more, forget to wash their hands and put their fingers in their mouth. They can accidentally ingest toxic chemicals from a product. Trying on mom’s lipstick for fun may not be a good idea especially if the lipstick contains harmful substances.
Toxic Chemicals In Kids Makeup
A study was done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly the Breast Cancer Fund). Toxic chemicals such as ethylbenzene (possible carcinogen), styrene (possible carcinogen), toluene (reproductive toxicant), vinyl acetate (possible carcinogen) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found in kids makeup products and nail polish. Kids makeup or nail products purchased for testing were from Target, Toys R Us and Dollar General and brand names included Disney, Hershey’s and Minions. Here are common toxic chemicals that can be found in some kids makeup products.
According to the tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, asbestos has been found in a talc-containing eye shadow in a kids toy makeup kit. The lab found that the Princess Girl’s All-In-One Deluxe Makeup Palette marketed by IQ Toys contained more than 4 million asbestos fiber structures. EWG stated on Jan 28, 2020, both Amazon and Ebay have removed the makeup toy kit from their website. However, there are still many similar make up kits currently being sold. EWG advises parents to avoid any toys that contain talc as an ingredient.
Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetics including eyeshadow, foundation, blush even baby powder. It is used to give makeup products a softer, better texture, prevents caking, absorbs moisture and reduces the appearance of oily skin. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral but it is often contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cosmetic products and ingredients, with the exception of color additives, do not have to undergo FDA review or approval before they go on the market.
Asbestos can cause short-term or long-term health issues. Even when symptoms or illnesses don’t show up after the exposure of asbestos, the illness can develop later in life. 2,000 workers and residents of Wittenoom, a former asbestos mining town in the Pilbara area of Western Australia have died from asbestos-related diseases. Children exposed to the asbestos at the time lived healthy lives up to 50 years before the sudden symptoms of mesothelioma appeared later in life. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that forms in the lungs, abdomen or heart. The tumor is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there is no safe level of exposure for any type of asbestos fiber and even exposure of a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans.
According to a research done by FDA in 2010, lead was found in over 400 lipsticks ranging from 0.9 to 3.06 ppm. However, lead is usually not listed as an ingredient but small amounts of it can still be ingested and absorbed through the skin. Lead can accumulate in our body and cause lead poisoning. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the neurological and behavioural effects of lead are irreversible. Also, there is no known safe lead level in the blood. Lead is especially dangerous for infants and young children. Even low lead concentrations of 5 µg/dL may be associated with decreased intelligence in children, learning problems and behavioral difficulties. A study by the University of California found that 24 out of 32 lip products (75%) they tested contained nine toxic heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Therefore, adult lipsticks should not be given to young children even just to play. EWG recommends a beeswax-based lip balm for children instead of a lipstick.
Parabens are used as a preservative in cosmetics to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and are linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. In the study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, about a half of 187 products for kids (cosmetic products such as face paints, makeup and personal care products), contained fragrance and propylparaben as an ingredient. 34% of 39 kids make up products tested contained at least one paraben.
Fragrance is in so many cosmetics, personal care, cleaning and house hold products. Although it is listed as a ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ in the ingredient list, fragrance is made of mixture of hundreds of chemicals. What is included in the fragrance is proprietary information. Therefore, manufacturers do not have to disclose the list of ingredients in fragrances. That means even if tons of toxic carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, skin irritants, organ toxicants, allergens are included in fragrance, we, the consumers, wouldn’t know what exactly is in it. In the same study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition which was mentioned above, about a half of 187 products for kids (cosmetic products such as face paints, makeup and personal care products), contained fragrance as an ingredient.
Toluene is used as a solvent in cosmetics. According the California Proposition 65 list, toluene is known to cause reproductive toxicity. It is also an endocrine disruptor. Toluene was found in 11% of 39 makeup products marketed to children, including lip balm, nail and makeup kits tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition. Toluene was the most common detected volatile organic compounds in kids makeup products tested. Disney Princess Lip Gloss that were sold in Target in California contained 143 milligrams/kilogram of toluene. Just to compare, the toluene limit set by EPA for drinking water is 1.00 mg/L. (In water mg/kg and mg/L are equivalent and equal to 1 ppm. In other materials, such as the products they tested, the measures are not equivalent, and the conversion will vary depending upon the density of the material.)
Styrene is classified as a Category 1 endocrine disruptor by the European Commission and a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is also toxic to red blood cells, liver, and central nervous system. Styrene acrylates copolymer may have styrene residue. According to the study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, Disney Frozen stick-on nails purchased from Target in Colorado contained 22.4 milligrams/kilogram of styrene. Drinking water limit of styrene by EPA is 0.1 mg/L.
Ethoxylated ingredients are listed as ingredients ending in –eth (e.g., laureth, steareth, ceteareth), PEG or PPG or polysorbate. The process of ethoxylation involves ethylene oxide which is a known carcinogen. Ethoxylated ingredients can also be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which is a possible human carcinogen. 28% of 187 products marketed to kids contained ethoxylated ingredients just from reading the labels according to the study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition.
Ethylbenzene is used in making of styrene and it is also used as a solvent. It is listed as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a possible carcinogen and listed as a known carcinogen in the California’s Proposition 65 list. Hershey’s Bubble Gum lip balm and Hershey’s Reese’s lip balm contained ethylbenzene as an ingredient in the study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition.
Mineral oil is used to prevent moisture loss in skin care or cosmetics. It has a low cost for a manufacturer to use mineral oil than other types of oils so the manufacturers often use mineral oil. Mineral oil is derived from petroleum. Highly refined mineral oil used in cosmetics is considered safe. However, some studies suggest the potential side effects of regular use of products with mineral oil. There are concerns that regular use of mineral oil can cause the molecules to accumulate in the body. Use of mineral oil in lip balms or penetration of mineral oil through broken skin can cause accumulation. Mineral oil can also block the pores and the skin’s natural respiration. In addition, mineral oil may be a human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen.
FD&C colors are synthetic dyes that are permitted for use in food, drugs and cosmetics. Most synthetic pigments and dyes are derived from coal tars and other petrochemicals. Coal tar is a known human carcinogen. Some FD&C colors such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40 are contaminated with carcinogens. Impurities in Red 33 could cause cancer when applied on skin. Red 3 cause cancer in rats. Some FD&C colors are allergens or skin toxicants. Some FD&C colors are also associated with hyperactivity or behavioral changes in children.
Bismuth oxychloride provides a shimmery look or a silky texture in cosmetic products. It is also used as a filler. Bismuth is found naturally in the rare mineral bismoclite. However, in order to remove impurities, bismuth goes through refining and altering such as being chlorinated or treated with a dilute nitric acid solution. Also, bismuth is a heavy metal so it requires repeated buffing on the face for the makeup to stay on the face. This can cause irritation and inflammation.
Non Toxic Kids Makeup
Klee Kids Luna Star Natural Mineral Makeup – Non Toxic Kids Makeup
Klee Kids Kids make up has no harsh chemicals such as mineral oil, talc, phthalates, FD&C colors, synthetic fragrances and paraben-based preservatives. It is non toxic. It is also gluten-free. It only has natural minerals and other organic and natural ingredients. In addition, it is never tested on animals.
Contains: All natural mineral eyeshadow, all natural mineral blush, certified organic lip shimmer
Made In: USA
Ingredients are as follows.
All Natural Mineral Eyeshadow: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Kaolin Clay, Magnesium Stearate. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet and Ultramarine Blues.
All Natural MIneral Blush: Mica, Kaolin Clay, Zinc Oxide, Magnesium Stearate. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Carmine and Titanium Dioxide.
Certified Organic Lip Shimmer: Organic Extra Virgin Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Lanolin, Natural Flavor, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinailis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Organic Eupatorium Rebadianum Bertoni (Stevia). May Contain: Carmine, Iron Oxides, Mica and Titanium Dioxide.
No Nasties Kids Make up – Non Toxic Kids Makeup
No Nasties Kids make up is made of 100% natural ingredients. It contains no FD&C colours, synthetic dyes, talc, mineral oil, bismuth oxychloride, ferric ferrocyanide or paraben preservatives in any of their products.
Age: 4 +
Made In: Canada
Contains: 3 eye shadows – 1 shimmery pastel turquoise, 1 shimmery pastel blue and 1 sparkly white 1 dusty rose blush 1 pinky rose lip balm, 1 shimmer balm, 1 applicator sponge 2 double-sided brushes A sheet of custom transferable tattoos
Eyeshadow and Blush Mineral Powder: Mica, Zinc Oxide, May Contain (+/-) Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide
Lip Balm: Organic Australian Beeswax, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Tocopherol (Vitamin E),
Eupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni (Stevia Herb) Leaf Extract Sweetener, Mica,Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Essential Oil
Shimmer Balm: Organic Australian Beeswax, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Mica, Tocopherol (Vitamin E),
Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Essential Oil
Prim and Pure Real Natural Organic Makeup Kit For Kids -Non Toxic Kids Makeup
Prim and Pure Real Natural Organic Kids Makeup is non toxic. It is made without the use of bismuth, gluten, parabens, talc, corn starch, rice powder, fillers, mineral oil, glycol ethers, BPA, synthetic FD&C Dyes, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, soy, and GMOs. It is also cruelty free.
Starter Gift Set includes (1) Full Sized Mineral Eyeshadow, (1) Full Sized Nail Polish, and (1) Mini Lip Gloss. Accessories include: 1 nail file*, 1 nail sticker sheet*, and 1 eyeshadow applicator wand (*Design/Color Patterns Will Vary)
Mineral Gift Set includes (1) Full Sized Mineral Eyeshadow AND (1) Pink Mineral Blush. Accessories included in this set are: 1 Unicorn Mirror*, 1 Blush Brush*, and 1 Eyeshadow Applicator (*Accessory colors may vary based on availability)
Made In: USA
Mineral Eyeshadow: High Quality Mica, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxides
Mineral Natural Blush: High Quality Mica, Titanium Dioxide, and Iron Oxides
Mini Vegan Lip Glosses: Organic Castor Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Mica and Enviroglitter Mineral Pigments, and Certified Natural Flavor Oils (made from only natural ingredients, such as real fruit extract).
Natural Veggie and Fruits Nail Polish: Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Water, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Powder, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Powder, Sucrose, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Powder, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Powder, Maldighia Glabra (Acerola Cherry) Fruit Powder, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, (May Contain +/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide Green)
*I like their products. However, although Prim and Pure Natural veggie and Fruits Nail Polish is made of veggie and fruits ingredients, I do not like that it contains Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer.
As some studies show many kids makeup products contain harmful chemicals including endocrine disruptor, carcinogens, organ toxicants and skin irritants. I would avoid buying random kids makeup products unless I research the ingredients first. I would also avoid using adult makeup products on my daughter unless it is also recommended for young kids. For my daughter, I decided to get her Klee Kids Luna Star Natural Mineral Makeup Kit and No Nasties Makeup Kit for her to try. She is still very young so I absolutely do not want her to put on a makeup on her skin on a regular basis although these makeup can be used for 3 or 4 years olds. She is eager to put makeup on her dolls so she can use these products instead of mine. She can also have fun playing and applying makeup on herself just like mommy once in a while. Maybe I will also try them for myself. 🙂
For non toxic art supplies for kids – ‘Non Toxic Art Supplies For Kids – Which Art Supplies Are Safe?‘.
For non toxic toys for toddlers, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Gifts For Toddlers.’
For non Toxic toy brands, please read my post, ‘Best Non Toxic Toys – What Are The Best Non Toxic Toy Brands?‘
For healthy toddler shoes, please read my post, ‘Toddler Shoes Guide and Review – Toddler Shoes That Promote Healthy Foot Development‘.
For what foods to avoid for kids ‘Harmful Chemicals In Children’s Foods – What Foods To Avoid For Children‘.