Crayola: Don't use colored pencils for DIY eyeliner

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Read it as “Dear damn kids today with your creative and unexpected uses of products: we want no part in this. You can stick that shit right up your eyeballs for all we care, but only if it’s a competitor’s brand so they get sued. Sincerely, legal department, Megacorp.”


Am I surprised that people cannot critically evaluate toxicity in a culture that has us running scared from food dyes, vaccines, and additives? No.

The way people talk about toxicity in cosmetics and haircare products is particularly fraught with bad information and weird claims that don’t appear to have a lot backing them up. Take nail polish remover, for example. People say that acetone is worse than ethyl acetate removers. They describe it in terms of “harshness” which is really just about volatility, and the potential for dry cuticles and skin. Yet talking to people, they talk about it in terms of “safety,” when it’s hard to gauge relative risk with these things. Meanwhile cosmetics manufacturers pump everything full of vitamin E and pretend it has some restorative value, where the evidence is kinda weak at best. The more I look into what passes for good information in cosmetics, the more I want to look away.


Just because something is non-toxic, doesn’t mean it’s good to put near your eyes. Getting stuff on your eyes is different from putting it on your skin is different from eating it.

There was a similar thing a while back about making eye makeup using oreos, and people pointed out this was a pretty bad idea due to the fact that it can cause infections and other similar things. Oreos are non-toxic, but it doesn’t mean you can safely smear your face with them.

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Or ear canal cleaning tool as we have painfully confirmed {eye twitch}

It saddens me that this sort of thing even needs to be addressed.

This is why we can’t have nice things without warning labels.

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The Beautifypedia site is one of the best for some good scientific evaluation of product safety and effectiveness of the ingredients. It was founded by the author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She’s since started her own line of products and the site is run by a team that she oversees.

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??? Oreos = makeup?

But for realz people are using this product for face primer. Read the reviews at Amazon and see for yourself.


“Non-toxic” always depends on context. Oxygen can be toxic if you get a bubble of it in your circulatory system.

The original version of the press release concluded with ‘at least not without lots of animal testing beforehand’. This line was removed, inexplicably.

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Yes? It makes great face primer. It was also actually approved for use on human skin, which makes it different from Oreos or colored pencils.

(Despite the Monistat branding, it’s not an anti-fungal cream, in case people are confused about that. It’s essentially Body Glide.)

But it’s not approved for use on the face…like, deodorant, good for underarms, not so good for eyes (maybe?), or perfume - great for wrists, not for eyes or mouth.


Are art materials subject to the CPSC’s phthalates requirements or labeling regulations for the banned phthalates under LHAMA or FHSA?

Not at this time. CPSC staff does not consider art materials to be subject to the requirements for phthalates under section 108 of the CPSIA. CPSC staff is using the definition of toys set forth in ASTM F 963 to determine which products are subject to Section 108. If an art material is packaged with a toy, however, the toy must still comply with certain requirements, including the toy safety standard and thephthalates requirements. Please continue to monitor the CPSC’s Web page on phthalates for the most current guidance regarding products subject to the phthalates requirements.
A Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) is currently studying phthalates, and currently, labeling is not required for any of the banned phthalates under LHAMA or FHSA.

What is the required frequency that art materials must undergo LHAMA chronic hazard review for toxicity?

The regulation at 16 C.F.R. § 1500.14(b)(8)(i)(C)(6) states: “[T]he producer or repackager shall have a toxicologist review as necessary, but at least every 5 years, art material product formulation(s) and associated label(s) based upon the then-current, generally accepted, well-established scientific knowledge.” In addition, the regulation at 16 C.F.R § 1500.14(b)(8)(ii)(E) states: “[I]f an art material producer or repackager becomes newly aware of any significant information regarding the hazards of an art material or ways to protect against the hazard, this new information must be incorporated into the labels of such art materials that are manufactured after 12 months from the date of discovery. If a producer or repackager reformulates an art material, the new formulation must be evaluated and labeled in accordance with the standard set forth at § 1500.14(b)(8)(i).”

A change in supplier of a component of a product is considered a change in the product formulation and does require reevaluation of the product formulation by a toxicologist.

There aren’t a lot of rules that are closer to universal than “don’t put that shit in your eyes”. The exceptions are exceedingly few and far between.

“But it’s not approved for use on the face…”

Isn’t it?

The product is intended as a “skin protectant” to be used in potentially sensitive areas of the body near mucous membranes. Further, it doesn’t contain any colorant agents, which is the big danger of using something like artist’s pencils as makeup, because only certain colorants are okay for use on the face and especially the lips because of the potential that you might swallow some.

As off-brand beauty tricks go, this one sounds pretty safe.

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