Skeletons in the Closet: Sneaky Chemical Exposures in Your Halloween Festivities


The Halloween season is full of fun traditions kids look forward to all year, but also invites temptation from many of the things parents work hard to limit children’s exposures to.  While one day of costumes, candy, and staying up late is nothing to worry about, the parties, preparation, and leftover candy always last much longer. 

Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures (available on Amazon), offers her expertise for some healthier alternatives to popular Halloween products — keeping kids happy while letting parents rest assured that their children are having a healthier holiday.  Below are small, simple ways to make this Halloween a little bit healthier for your whole family. 

  • Forgo Facemasks

Store-bought facemasks are often made with vinyl, which contains a number of toxic chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting phthalates.  If your child’s costume needs a mask, they are easy and fun to make with cardboard or papier mâché and string.

  • Turn to Healthier Treats

Almost all Halloween candy is full of processed sugar and artificial colors and preservatives.  It seems obvious, but limiting kids’ consumption of these candies makes for healthier kids and happier parents, and can be done in simple ways.  Healthier options are organic, non-GMO candies without artificial dyes, or even popcorn.  You can also balance out the take-home for trick-or-treaters by giving out non-food items, such as stickers or fun and colorful school supplies, like pencils and erasers.

  • “Green” Those Colorful Face Paints

Conventional face paints can sometimes cause allergic reactions, and are often made with chemical ingredients such as chromium — which can cause skin sensitivity and contact dermatitis — nickel, cobalt, and even lead.  When shopping for face paint, you can avoid potential allergens or hormone disrupting chemicals by steering clear of any paint listing “fragrance” as an ingredient.  Want to avoid chemicals altogether?  Try this DIY face paint recipe at home, and include the whole family in making it!

            Ingredients: Flour, cornstarch, water, honey, natural food coloring

Directions: Mix together flour and cornstarch, and add the honey and water to make a paste.  Separate in to smaller bowls and add the natural food coloring.

More of Sophia’s tips can be found at

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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