Halloween Tips and Treats

daphna headshot 2 2015Assessing my candy after a successful night of trick-or-treating was one of my favorite things to do growing up. Which chocolate bar am I willing to trade my sister for that coveted sugar stick that you lick and then dip into even more sugar? That was the kind of question that exhausted my brain after a night of scurrying through crisp leaves, all dressed up, from one house adorned with scary decorations to another.

Although I am (sadly) well past those trick-or-treating years, my love of Halloween has definitely not diminished, including dressing up and eating candy. Before becoming a member of the Protect Our Breasts National Executive Board, I probably would not have even thought about what goes into my festive makeup and tasty sweets. What could possibly be so scary about my go-to brand of chocolate, or glitter eye-liner? So I decided to do some research…

What I discovered shocked me, harmful ingredients everywhere; pthalates in costumes, pesticides in chocolate, parabens in make up – the list went on and on. After the initial shock I thought to myself, what can I do to celebrate this beloved holiday without all the bad stuff? My answer (in keeping with what we do here at Protect Our Breasts): find safer alternatives.

So after extensive research I solidified a compact list of guidelines for choosing safer alternatives to Halloween products. I like to call it my list of ‘tips-and-treats’:


  1. Nail Polish that contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde.
  2. Cosmetics that contain synthetic “fragrance” and parabens
  3. Colored hair spray that contain synthetic dyes and synthetic fragrances
  4. Paraffin wax candles that contain fragrance and petroleum by-products
  5. Synthetic face masks or teeth to avoid phthalates

There are many safer treats out there. We are adamant about recommending those that are ‘certified organic’, meaning that no harmful synthetic pesticides were used in growing any of the ingredients that go into them

I’ll highlight one of my personal favorite safer alternatives: Justin’s peanut butter cups. logoBesides being certified organic, they are as tasty, if not tastier than any other candy out there. In fact, we like them so much at Protect Our Breasts that this month our chapters will be handing them out to students on their respective college campuses to share the conversation about ‘safer alternatives’.

If you follow these tips for a safer Halloween, you’ll be able to have as much frightening fun as you’d like while avoiding the truly scary.

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