Healthy Makeup Products

Most people don't realize the detrimental effects that unhealthy makeup and self-tanners can have. Many endocrine disruptor ingredients have been linked to different cancers and early onset puberty (girls menstruating at 7). Other ingredients have showed long term toxicity to organs. Although the risks are always higher for pregnant women and children, these risks apply to any adult especially if they have a family history of cancer. 

With the popularity of so many dance-related TV shows, children are starting dance lessons as early as 4 years old. Dance has so many great physical benefits but as your child starts progressing and shows interest in performing in shows or even competing, there is more and more pressure to use makeup and self-tanners. We chose to look at ballroom dancing in particular because we found it was the sport that used the most products and we are going to go over some ways to keep unhealthy exposure to a minimum.


We use the EWG healthy product search engine to check the overall safety of a product. We try to only recommend products that have an overall EWG Hazard Score of "1" or "2". For the Hazard Chart, we always aim for products with low or absent "Cancer" and "Developmental & reproductive toxicity" levels.


Although many recommend exfoliating before using heavy makeup or self-tanners, if you are going to use products that are rated "3" or higher we advise against it because it will make the skin more permeable. This means a higher percentage of the chemicals will be absorbed into the body. If using such products, we also recommend avoiding the topical application of any prescription creams products or essential oils within 48 hours before application as they will also increase the percentage that gets absorbed.

Lotion versus Spray

Whereas the skin is very good at filtering out products applied topically (0-30% absorption), studies have shown that the lungs can absorb up to 100% of what is inhaled. For this reason, we recommend aiming for a lotion or mousse if possible rather than a product that sprays.  

Healthiest Makeup Products

We've put together a list of healthy makeup products, with the help of the EWG healthy product search engine, that can be purchased at almost any pharmacy or Walmart with the exception of the Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation. We tried to only list products that had an overall EWG Hazard Score of "1" or "2" but we found very few in-store foundations that met this criterion. We decided to include the Cover FX even though it had an overall Hazard Score of "3" because it had low "Cancer" and absent "Developmental & reproductive toxicity" levels on the Hazard Chart. It is unfortunate that high-end makeup brands did not meet the cut.

Brand Packaging Overall Hazard Score Hazard Chart
Foundations - Liquid   

Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation

(Only available online) 

Maybelline Cream Liquid Mousse Foundation    
Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation    
Physician's Formula Glow-Boosting Bronzer
Cover FX Bronzer
Wet 'n Wild Ultimate Minerals Bronzer    
E.L.F. Flawless Eyeshadow  
L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos      
E.L.F 32 Piece Eyeshadow Set  
Physician's Formula Eye Enhancer Shimmer Strips    
L'Oréal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner
E.L.F Studio Cream Eyeliner  
Wet 'n Wild MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner  
L'Oréal Infallible Black Velvet Liquid Eyeliner    
 L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Collection Exclusive    
Wet 'n Wild MegaLast Liquid Lip Color
Physician's Formula Organic Wear Lash Boosting Mascara    
L'Oréal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara, Waterproof    


Although there are healthy options for makeup, there are minimal options when it comes to self-tanners. With the help of the EWG healthy product search engine, we again put together a list of the healthiest tanners from each of the most popular companies, in order from healthiest to least healthy, and their overall EWG Hazard Score rating. Unfortunately, for self-tanners there are not many options that have an overall Hazard Score of "1" or "2" besides Beauty by Earth. For this reason, we will go into some methods to avoid/minimize the amount of tanner required.

Brand Packaging Overall Hazard Score Hazard Chart

Beauty by Earth (Organic)


Coppertone Sunless Tanning Gradual Tan Moisturizng Lotion


Banana Boat Sunless Summer Color Self-Tanning Mist

SexyHair Sex Symbol Self-Tanner - Instant Tan

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup (Deep) - Instant Tan        

Jergens Natural Glow (Medium to Tan)


L’Oral Sublime Bronze Pro-Perfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist (Deep)


Costume Tips

The easiest way to avoid/minimize the use of self-tanners is to cover skin with as much material as possible and use makeup where the skin is visible.


For the younger children, the strict dress code guidelines really help. Choosing a dress with sleeves to the wrists and a high neck means you may be able to avoid self-tanners all together and just use makeup on the neck and face. 

As dancers progress into their teenage years and beyond, they have the additional options of sheer or tanned sleeves with appliqués and/or stones.


To avoid tanner on the legs, companies like Capezio offer children's tights that come in a range of colors including tanned. As the child progresses into the teenage years, tanned tights can be replaced with tanned fishnet tights.



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