Halloween is only a couple weeks away and if you've got a party or event to attend, you're probably trying to think of a fantastic costume if you haven't already, but while you're searching for the perfect accessories for your Halloween costume, you need to know that some of the pieces you've been thinking about wearing could legitimately hurt your health.

This is is only a small example, but there was the year that I desperately wanted to be a clown, despite my mom's plea for me to pick a different costume. It was only after getting home from trick-or-treating when my mom was washing off my makeup that we learned just how sensitive my skin is to cheap costume makeup. My face was red and blotchy for weeks after.  If you want to avoid a mishap like the one I had (or ones more serious), these are four things to avoid when planning your Halloween costume.

  • 1

    Vintage Clothes

    Not to disgust you, but a lot of the stuff you get at thrift stores is CRAWLING with dust mites. If you think that you can just pop the clothes in the wash and they'll be good as new, think again. The good news is that there is an effective way to kill the dust mites and this is how it's done.

  • 2

    Metal Jewelry

    Metal jewelry can irritate your skin. So ditch the chokers and tiaras or put some fabric in between the jewelry and your skin. Also, not to completely freak you out, but a non-profit called The Ecology Center ran tests on 99 cheap pieces of jewelry and found that over half of the pieces contained high levels of hazardous chemicals such as lead, brominated flame retardants, chlorine, and arsenic.

  • 3

    Cheap Makeup

    Tons of people are allergic to the preservatives in cheap makeup, but unfortunately, they don't find that out until the day after their costume party which is when they wake up with a rash. Or worse. Like I did.  According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Halloween makeup might contain preservatives that can cause a rash and swelling of the skin. Formaldehyde is a very common preservative used in many of these products, but you should know that even some products labeled “formaldehyde-free” can still cause allergic reactions.

  • 4

    Fashion/Colored Contact Lenses

    If you leave fashion or colored contacts in too long or don't disinfect them properly, you can wind up with a super gross eye infection. Not to mention the lenses you buy might be illegal.