Why I Do NOT Use Acrylics for Face Painting

Never use acrylic or craft paints on skin.
Bad reaction to craft acrylics paints used for face painting at a FAIR. A true professional face painter will not use acrylics, which are not skin-safe (even though non-toxic). Don't let your child be painted unless Professional Face Paints of Makeup Quality (skin-safe) are used! People use acrylics because they are cheaper, and professional makeup quality face paints are expensive. But you can see why the cost does not matter to a good face painter, because a child's skin is more important! Photo Souce: Terra Fender on Facebook
photo from Washington DC Metro Area Face Painters on Facebook
The second photo is a picture of a child who had a bad reaction to acyrlic craft paints (non-toxic does NOT mean skin-safe) on her cheek. She was painted by a well-meaning non-profit organization using acrylics on skin. Washington DC Metro Area Face Painters on Facebook posted this: "Terra Fender snapped this photo of the rash when the child was brought to her to get a 'good' face painting. There just so happened to be a doctor in her booth getting his child painted. He noted this was called 'contact dermatitis' and that the reaction could have been much worse." -Washington DC Metro Area Facepainters

(c) Justine MagicalMehendi -- used with permission.
A face painter colleague shared this example of why you should use a professional face painter who uses good hygiene and professional face paints. The little boy above was painted by church volunteers with Palmer liquid paints (not cosmetic grade make-up quality pro face paints). -Justine, professional face painter.

***PLEASE keep in mind that NON-TOXIC does NOT MEAN SKIN-SAFE. Hypo-allergenic does Not necessarily mean a child will not have a reaction, even to the best face paints. A reaction after removing face paints may not be from the paints (if pro make-up paints used), but rather from the method of cleaning the paints off skin (baby wipes sometimes leave a rash, as do certain soaps. I like to use gentle soap for sensitive skin, or olive oil, smooth it all over face paint, wait 2-3 minutes, then gently wipe off with soft paper towel, wash face as you normally would, and rinse and towel blot skin dry).***


1. Always use professional, cosmetic-grade, make-up quality face paints, never art or craft paints. Non-toxic does Not mean skin-safe!
2. Do not paint a child with a cold sore, skin rash, runny nose, etc.
3. Use clean supplies: Wash containers, brushes and sponges thoroughly after each session, and keep them clean and rinsed often during the session.
4. Change brush water frequently. 
5. Be extra careful when painting near the eyes, especially on very young children and those unable to keep still. Many painters will not paint a child under age 3.
6. Wipe dirt, food, mucous from a child (preferably have parent or the child do so) before painting.
7. Do not add disinfectant to the water as the paint already contains agents which act against yeast, mold and bacteria.

8. Children must be Supervised at all times by parent, caregiver, or host. Face Painter is not responsible for babysitting children, though painter will do utmost to keep child being painted as safe as possible. Painter can only watch the one child being painted.
9. For the safety and well-being of painter and child being painted, painter reserves right to refuse service to anyone deemed rude or threatening in any way, or to refuse to paint any body part that they are not comfortable painting.
10. Be kind, cheerful, friendly and wear a smile as much as possible.

The PROFESSIONAL balloon supplies and skin-safe Face Paints TRICIA uses HERE.

Letter from craft paints manufacturer (they say Not to use on skin even if non-toxic!)
Hire trained professionals (who use professional makeup quality face paints only!) for Face Painting on skin: http://woodbridge-va.patch.com/articles/fourth-of-july-face-painting-fun#c

VIDEO DEMO ON HOW TO REMOVE FACE PAINTS the right way. There are several ways to remove paints, this is one good/easy example. If you prefer not to watch a video, there are great instructions here, from a fellow face painter FacesbyGina. She says:
    Face Paint Removal Instructions:
'Do NOT RUB the paint to get it off. This pushes the paint into the pores and makes it stain more! Use a safe soap (make-up remover, no-tears baby shampoo, face wash, etc.) to make a paste with the soap and the paint. Let the soap and paint “mess” sit for 30-60 seconds, then rinse it off with water.
For lingering color around the eyes, use eye make-up remover. For lingering color after the wash or if you have already tried to remove the paint with another method, apply a moisturizing lotion, wait at least 30 minutes, and wash again.' [Thanks to FacesByGina for these helpful tips!]


Danger/Caution: NEVER LET YOUR CHILD GET A BLACK HENNA temporary tattoo! (see image):

HOW TO KEEP YOUR PAINTS, BRUSHES, KIT AND TABLE CLEAN! from Heather at Silly Farm's Paint Pal blog.

Is ANY non-toxic acrylic paint safe for face painting? NO. Read Paintertainment's article for details.

4 REASONS NOT TO USE BABY WIPES for Face Painting. Wipes are really not meant for skin, but wait, there are even more reasons in this article.