Skin Safety and Face Painting: 5 Things You Must Know Before Putting Paint on Kids’ Faces

by Linda Varga on September 24, 2012

Face painting is an activity that is a huge hit with kids of all ages. Birthdays, special occasions, celebrations of all sorts can have face painting and the kids will be thrilled.

However, before getting children’s faces painted, there are a few things you must know and check to ensure that their skin doesn’t get harmed.  Yes, a fun activity can quickly turn into a trip to the emergency room with an overblown allergy.

Here are 5 things you must know to ensure skin safety when getting faces painted:

 1.Choose Skin Safe Paints

First things first, check what paints are being used with the person painting faces. Remember, non-toxic does not mean skin safe. So, ensure that the paints being used are safe enough to be used on sensitive skin. Acrylic paints, watercolor markers,  or color pencils are NOT supposed to be applied to the skin. The paint being used should be a proper skin face paint and nothing else.

 2. Cleanliness is Key

Make sure that the brushes, sponges and the hands of the artist themselves are clean and free of residual paint that may transfer bacteria to your child’s face and skin.

 3. Healthy Kids = Happy Face Painting

While kids are always happy to get their faces painted, if you have a child who has any cuts, sores or wounds or a contagious illness, it will be a good idea to stay away from face painting and prevent the illness or the wound from flaring up or passing to the other kids.

Also, kids with head lice should avoid getting their faces painted since artists usually hold heads steady with one hand and that can easily transfer lice to other kids.

 4. Get Away From the Glitter

Metallic glitter may look lovely but it just isn’t safe for using on skin. If glitter is being used, it should be polyester and .008 microns in size or smaller.

 5. Supervise the Kids

Accompanying a bunch of kids to the face painting station? Make sure they’re not left unattended. Paint and kids can get into a lot of trouble and you don’t want to be rushing to the ER with a child who’s got his tongue painted!

So, the next time your kids want their faces painted make sure that everything is just right so that their fun doesn’t get marred by allergies or infections.

Have your kids had their faces painted? What did you check first? Have face painting or skin safety tips to share? Questions to ask? Join the ezShade community on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to substitute medical advice. It is strictly for informational purposes only.

Photo Credit: Lindsey G

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