Anyone who’s ever experienced that surge of excitement every time the lights went off on Room Raiders knows: things are infinitely more fun when they glow in the dark – including makeup. (Though that certainly won’t be what motivates you to wash your sheets.)
The only problem? It ranks right up there with Halloween‘s other biggest joys – eating cauldrons of Kit Kats and guzzling down a bunch of zombie punches, obviously – in that it can do a number on your skin, especially if it’s sensitive. “In Halloween makeup, there are two types of glow effects: fluorescent and luminescent,” dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah, MD, said. The former is what you might think of when you see neon or “day glow” products, she says, which can contain a number of additives that can cause reactions. The worst offender, though, is luminescent cosmetics, since there is only one ingredient FDA-approved for limited topical use (more on that later).
“The other issue with glow-in-the-dark makeup is that these are often comedogenic, meaning they have the potential to worsen acne-prone skin,” added dermatologist Dr. Curtis Asbury, MD. Before you grab your black light, here’s everything you need to know about the stuff – because getting lit on Halloween only works if you don’t feel the burn on your face.