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In a Blink of Beauty: Kids & Cosmetics

How old were you when you first began wearing makeup? Well, other than for Halloween? Times are changing with the level of childhood involvement in makeup-painted activities on the rise. Dance, competitive cheer, figure skating, tumbling, and theater all require makeup and sometimes even false eyelashes to accentuate the innocent facial features of young girls and boys. Now, the full face-painted beauty Barbie look starts young – I remember when my daughter was in a dance recital at the age of 4, her costume required mascara, foundation, and blush!

Flash forward 6 years, my daughter was teacher Munchkin in our local high school production of The Wizard of Oz. Show week, we were prepared with our school-ordered bag of cosmetics – lotion, foundation 2-shades-darker-than-her-skin, blush, mascara eyeliner and lipstick. Our first day was lots of fun playing with the makeup, as she hadn’t worn any since the dance recital once-upon-a-time-barely-post-toddler-hood. Then for the challenge, the makeup removal… This was an Oscar-winning performance itself! Even with my thoughtful purchasing of the mascara and eyeliner, it was a challenge to remove all the stage makeup with micellar water at home. My daughter, in tears, begged me to stop scrubbing! By the end of day two, my daughter was complaining of dry eye symptoms – mostly watering and burning eyes, even extended irritation during the school day when she was no longer in full makeup. Not to mention the bloodshot and swollen raccoon eyes that lingered because of the makeup-removal-scrubbing… Oh the horror! Everything I educate against – waterproof eye makeup and rigorous eyelid-scrubbing. What was in their stage makeup?! My daughter was eager for the mid-week break and rehearsal with a clean face couldn’t come soon enough. Adding flame to the fire, she also had a mild allergic response and rash on her cheeks from the layers of foundation and blush her young skin was not accustomed to wearing. I am not sure how the Wicked Witch and Tin Man survived the week, as their makeup was very intense – green and silver grease paint!

Oh the day we will have cosmetics that will not wreak havoc on our eye health and skin… Somewhere over the rainbow…

D.E.Diva Writer, Leslie O'Dell, OD

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