Cosmetics | Illinois Poison Center 

My Child Ate Cosmetics

Mar 18, 2018
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Cosmetics                                                Post Date:  Sept. 2012

                                                                Most Recent Update:  Jan. 2014


This information is applicable for small, unintentional ingestions only. If the child ingested more than one mouthful, is having symptoms, or if you are not positive of the exact substance or amount ingested, call your local Poisoin Center immediately 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a nurse, pharmacist or physician for recommendations specific to your situation.  The call is free and confidential.



Toxicity Level:  Minimally toxic in small amounts such as a taste or a lick.


Also Known As:  Make-up, lipstick, mascara, foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, concealer, lip liner, lip balm, blush


What It Is:  Cosmetics are manufactured and sold to be used on the skin, eyes and lips to enhance appearance.  Ingredients vary between the type and brand of cosmetics, but may include oils, waxes, perfumes, coloring agents, pigments, lanolin, antioxidants, preservatives and emulsifying agents.


Toxicity:  Mild irritation to the stomach/intestines is all that is expected.


Possible Symptoms of Overdose/Poisoning:  An episode of vomiting; loose stool or mild diarrhea. 


You should be concerned if your child experiences these symptoms: persistent/continued vomiting or diarrhea, coughingCall your local Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222.


What You Should Do:  If your child is not having any symptoms, give a few sips of water and observe for the symptoms described above.  If your child is having any symptoms, call 1-800-222-1222.


Other Important Info:  Other cosmetic items such as -- but not limited to --  hair color/dye, semi-permanent pigments (such as eyeliner "tattooing’"or eyelash tinting) are not included in this minimally toxic category. 



If your child has gotten this substance in their eyes, please view our Eye Exposure information.


If you have any further questions about this substance, or if your child is experiencing any symptoms, call the poison center experts who are available 24/7 via the free, confidential helpline: 1-800-222-1222.   Don’t guess, be sure!



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