5 Tips to Keep Halloween Makeup from Cursing Your Skin

Wilsonville skin care doctors

Spend just a few minutes on YouTube or TikTok and you’ll find plenty of tutorials that will teach how to transform yourself using Halloween makeup into all manner of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. Not only will you save on spending serious money on an expensive costume, but you’ll also have people asking to know your secrets all night long. Our Wilsonville skin care doctors just want to make sure you don’t wake up looking cursed the next day.

Halloween makeup can wreak a lot of havoc on skin if you don’t take the right precautions. Unlike regular makeup, Halloween makeup contains an unusually high amount of pigment and is formulated to offer heavy coverage, which means it will have a different effect on your skin than normal. Certain ingredients can be harsh and potentially irritating even for those without sensitive skin.

Halloween should be a festive holiday that doesn’t leave you worried about waking up feeling more tricked than treated to a good time. Fortunately, you can take a few steps both before and after applying your makeup that will help to keep your skin looking and feeling great.

Prepare Your Skin

Considering the heavy nature of Halloween makeup, it’s vital that you provide your skin with the right treatment before application so that the makeup goes on smoothly, without causing any long-term problems. Try applying a heavy moisturizer or primer to your skin prior to applying Halloween makeup to create a barrier that prevents any direct contact with your neck or face.

Take a Close Look at the Ingredients

Prior to purchasing any Halloween makeup online or at the store, take a moment to carefully examine the ingredients. Depending on the source, cheap Halloween makeup may contain toxic chemicals like lead or unhealthy levels of chromium, cobalt, and nickel. You should also avoid makeup that contains red pigment (which can cause rashes to develop) and keep any fluorescent dyes away from the eyes. If you want to use a luminescent dye, zinc sulfide is the only one that has received approval for cosmetic use.

Watch Out for Allergies

Breaking out in a rash and hives before you even walk out the door ranks as one of the worst ways to have your Halloween plans ruined. Unfortunately, this type of ghoulish transformation can happen if you’re not careful with the type of makeup you choose to use.

A few days before dressing up, take the time to test your makeup using the skin on your arm. Place a small amount of makeup or any other product you plan to use somewhere discreet to see if any type of adverse reaction occurs. While you might anticipate having a negative reaction to certain types of makeup, costume prosthetics can require wearing glue and latex. You don’t want to discover too late that you have a glue allergy, and latex allergies can be very dangerous if caught unaware.

Use Your Own Makeup Whenever Possible

Using your own makeup may not be as fun, or as inexpensive, as using costume makeup but it comes with the advantage of knowing exactly how your skin will react. You can also avoid using chemicals by DYI’ing certain costume elements. For example, a little red food coloring, combined with corn syrup and flour, can help you create fake blood that doesn’t rely on any unnatural dyes of chemicals.

Remove Your Makeup Immediately

Once the night has come to an end, you need to immediately remove any and all makeup. Just like in scary stories, don’t fall asleep or you risk waking up to the horrors of clogged pores and irritated skin.

Make sure you have the right removal products on hand to make the process easier. Since many brands of costume makeup use heavy substances, having an oil-based makeup remover handy will save you a lot of time and trouble when tired. If your costume uses glue, make sure to have the right type of remover available as many types of glue are designed not to dissolve with just soap and water.


Halloween offers a great chance to dress and play make believe. Just make sure that your makeup doesn’t cause you to regret all the fun you had the night before. Our Wilsonville skin care doctors are here to help if you have any questions about the best makeup to use and how to better protect your skin.