Most safety experts agree that face paint is safer than masks. But masks can limit peripheral vision or can even fall down completely, covering children's eyes.
• Losing the ability to see well is far more dangerous than a little makeup -- kids can trip, fall, even walk into a street and not see an oncoming car.
• If your child does use a mask, make sure the eyeholes are sufficiently large and the mask is steady in-place.
• Despite concerns about chemicals, most face paints are safe and non-toxic. If you are concerned, though, the FDA lists each ingredient on its website. If an ingredient is not on the website list, that means it's not FDA-approved.
• Beware of allergic reactions: Some ingredients in face paints can cause swelling, redness, itching, or burning. It's a good idea to test a product before you use it.
• Remember that "non-toxic" does not necessarily mean "safe for skin" or "FDA-approved" and that "washable" refers to fabric, not to skin.