What Paint is Safe for Skin? | You Should Know for Body Art

Paint is a versatile medium that can be used for various purposes. You may use it to create beautiful works of art, or you may need it for special effects makeup. However, not all paints are safe to use on skin.
So, the question is, what paints are safe for skin?

Well, the answer may vary. But if you’re looking for skin safe paint mediums, you’ve come to the right place!

Through this article, you’ll be able to know different types of paints that are safe for skin and which ones you should avoid. I’ll also introduce you to some of the best skin-safe paints on the market.

So, whether you’re looking to do some body painting or want to find the perfect paint for your Halloween makeup, I’ve got you covered!

What Paint is Safe for Skin

Is There Any Skin Safe Paint?

The answer in short is, “Yes.” But the long answer is a bit more complicated because it depends on what you want to use the paint for and what skin type you have.

If you are painting your face or body for artistic purposes, then you need to be very careful about the products that you use.

Some paints may contain toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. There are a few things to consider when choosing skin safe paint –

Read Also: Do Markers Safe for Your Skin?

The Ingredients List

Make sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing any paint. Avoid any paints that contain toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. Checking the ingredient list is important because some paints may be advertised as “non-toxic” but can still contain harmful chemicals.

Skin Type

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid any paint that is likely to cause irritation. Make sure to choose a hypoallergenic product. Water-based paints are generally the safest option for people with sensitive skin.

Allergy Testing

If you’re unsure about a particular paint, it’s always best to do a patch test on a small area of skin before using it on your face or body. This will help you determine if you have any allergic reactions to the paint or not.

The Purpose

Before purchasing any skin safe paints, consider why you are using the paint. If you are applying it on the body part only for a short period of time, then water-based paints are the best option.

However, if you need the paint to last longer, such as for a Halloween costume, then you’ll need to choose accordingly. Even sometimes face paints and body paints also vary by brands.

Now that you have gone over some of the things to consider when choosing skin safe paints, let’s take a look at some of the best skin safe paint mediums.

Types of Paints that are Safe for Skin

Here, I have given some of the best types of paints that are safe for using on skin whether it’s for the body or the face. Let’s have a look on them and select the best one for your need.

1. Water-Based

Among all the types out there, water-based paints are the most skin-friendly and safe to use. Most of the water-based paints manufactured today are safe for skin due to the rules and regulations they have to strictly follow.

Water-based skin safe paints are perfect for those who have sensitive skin or those who want to avoid any kind of skin irritation. These types of paints are also great for painting on larger areas of the body such as the chest or back. They are easy to wash off with just water and soap.

You can also find these paints in different colors and shades. It’s also popular for kids due to its non-toxic feature. That’s why Crayola is such a popular brand for kids.

But it may not be the best option for professional uses like modeling event, photo shoot or for other reason in which you may need to wear the paint for a longer period of time. This type paint has a chance to crack or rub-off easily.

2. Alcohol-Based

If you are planning to do underwater photo shoot or modeling in hot and sunny areas, then you need to use skin safe paints that can withstand those conditions. For example, you might want to try using an alcohol-based paint as it won’t smudge or come off in the water.

Alcohol-based paints are also great for hot and sunny areas because they won’t sweat off or melt like other types of paints.

But they are not rub-proof. So, there is a chance of smudging if you touch or rub the area where paint is applied. That’s why you must need to be careful enough after applying this type of paints on body.

Since, this type of paint doesn’t come off easily, you may need to use rubbing alcohol to remove it from skin. But some of the alcohol-based body paint brands contain toxic elements, so be careful about the fact. it’s always wise to test it on a small area of skin before using it in the whole body.

3. Latex-Based

If you are cosplayer or looking for affordable body painting options, then latex-based paint can be your perfect match. It can create a skin-like appearance and usually comes in bright colors.

However, it can be tricky to work with because it is prone to cracking. And if you have latex allergy, then this paint is not suitable for you.

But using latex paint is not recommended in high temperature as it can cause heatstroke. Main reason is, it blocks the body from sweating. You shouldn’t also use this paint on damaged or wounded body part.

4. Metallic Body Paint

This type of body paint is really very popular in some countries. You may have stumble upon with human statues in Europe that are actually people who are painted in metallic body paint.

This type of body paint is made from real metal powder and that’s why it gives such a shiny glossy effect when applied it on skin.

But it doesn’t wash off so easily as water-based paint and some are known to irritate skin due to the metal powder. So, you should only use it when needed. I don’t recommend it to use frequently.

5. Commercial Body Paint

This paint type is actually designed for skin as it is water-based. You can find this type of paint in a hobby store or online. The only thing you need to be careful about is the ingredients list as some commercial body paints may contain harmful chemicals.

These are mostly available in spray form and in a range of colors. You can use them for any type of painting, be it face painting or body painting.

6. Henna

Using henna for body paint is the most oldest and traditional medium. It is commonly seen in the coastal African and Asian countries. They mainly use it for cultural events mostly in the marriage.

This is made from plant extract and give brown reddish color when applied on the skin. It is totally safe to use on skin and fully natural.

It is very easy to apply henna on skin. You just need to put it in a cone-like shape and start drawing designs on skin. If you are good at free-hand drawing, then this will be piece of cake for you.

Henna takes around 20 minutes to dry and can last up to two weeks on your skin. But the color will start fading away after couple of days.

7. Skin Safe Markers

Markers can also be a great painting medium, though it’s not like traditional paints. Some people think that markers are toxic and not skin-safe, but that’s not true. There are many skin-safe markers available in the market nowadays and that are not like the regular markers.

These types of markers are non-toxic in nature and safe for both kids and adults. Most of the time, you’ll see that these markers are used on sports person’s.

It’s always recommended to read the label of the markers properly to learn about the ingredients and usage. Some brands mention specific areas of body where the markers can be used only. So, be careful about that fact.

Now that you know which type of paint is safe for skin, let’s take a look at some of the best options available in the market.

Read Also: How to Get Permanent Marker off Skin

Some of the Best Body Paints (Our Recommendation)

The safest paints to use on skin are those that are specifically designed for body and face painting. So, here I am going to give you some detail information about some of my most favorite body paints from different brands. Hope, you’ll like them too if you were looking for best body paint for your project!

1. Snazaroo Classic Face and Body Paint

All Snazaroo face and body paints are manufactured using high quality cosmetic grade ingredients. It contains pigments that are strong enough to give you full coverage and vibrant colors that last long.

Snazaroo paints are non-toxic, fragrance free and specially formulated for delicate skin. These are totally safe for skin as dermatologists and toxicologists have reviewed all Snazaroo face paints. You can use it on skin without any worries as these are water-based and FDA approved.

It comes in a wide range of colors and in three textures – matte, sparkle and metallic. Snazaroo paint is an ideal choice for cosplay, carnivals, Halloween, festivals and such events.

However, you can easily remove it from skin only by using soap and warm water. You don’t need any type of scrubbing or harsh removers.

2. Mehron Makeup Paradise Face and Body Paint

This water-based face and body paint is loved by professional body painters. These are mostly used due to its revolutionary no crack formula and vibrant colors. Though these are water-based, still stay on the skin all day long without going fade.

Mehron Makeup Face Paint is paraben free, cruelty free and totally vegan. It includes skin friendly ingredients like aloe, cucumber, avocado, vitamin e and lemongrass. The pro size of it provides enough product to cover from head to toe.

3. UV Glow Face and Body Paint

It’s not like that you always need to paint body for working on daylight. What about night life programs? How do you paint your skin for those? Well, I have UV Glow face and body paint for you in that case.

This kind of paint is safe as it’s made with natural ingredients. It will never cause any skin irritation or skin problems like other paints do.

And the best thing about this paint is, it glows under black light! You will look so cool and different under those lights.

You will get six bright neon glow colors in this pack, that dries fast and washes off easily with water. This premium quality paint can be the best choice for clubbing, night time festivals and other programs with UV lighting.

4. BIC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Marker

Whether painting your body or making temporary tattoos, BIC BodyMark Tattoo Markers can be an ideal choice. These markers are not like the regular ones and made with skin safe cosmetic quality ink.

These fine tipped markers are designed for creating detailed designs and thin lines. You will get eight long lasting and vibrant colors in a pack. You can use it for parties, festivals, sports, Halloween or other occasions.

Since the markers are not tested on sensitive skin, I don’t recommend it to use on such skin. And you should also follow all the instructions and warnings before using it on skin. It is not recommended for people under the age of 13.

5. Mehron Makeup CreamBlend Stick Paint

This is another body paint from Mehron Makeup. But it’s not like regular paints. It comes in a stick appearance that looks similar to concealer or stick foundation. The packaging has made it easy to apply. This item is produced in New York with high quality skin-friendly ingredients.

Due to strong pigment the intense color it provides is really mind-blowing. It has a easy to blend formula that you can wear for extremely long period. It is infused with vitamin e and aloe vera, which gives it a no crack advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is it safe to use acrylic paint on skin?

Acrylic and enamel paint is popular mediums for crafts, general painting or home repairs. But most people ask a question that “Is acrylic paint safe on skin?”

Well, this paint is made with acrylic polymer emulsion and pigment that is not recommended for skin. Though acrylic paint wash off skin only by soap and water, but it is not ideal for human skin.

That’s why remove acrylic paint quickly, if it fells on skin by any chance. Most of these paints contain toxic chemicals that can be harsh on skin and cause irritation. It also tend to dry hard that can be harmful for sensitive body parts like face.

So, you should avoid acrylic paints to use on skin at any cost. But you can apply acrylic paint on canvas or other surfaces, not on skin.

Q: What paint is safe for face painting?

Water-based paints are the safest option to use whether it is for body or the face. These paints are made with natural ingredients and does not contain any toxic chemicals.

They are also gentle on skin and can be removed easily with soap and water. You can also find these paints in different colors to create any look you want.

But professional painters tend to use glycerin-based paints on face mostly. However, if you want to paint your face only for a few hours, then you can easily go with water-based paints.

Q: Can watercolor paint be used on skin?

Of course! Watercolor is the most safest type of paint to use on skin out of all the other types of paints. It is because watercolor washes off easily with just water and it doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals that might be harmful for your skin.

This type of paints are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and usually washable. So, these are safe for both kids and adults to use. Parents give watercolors mostly to their kids for playing due to its non-toxic feature.

Since kids tend to paint their skin with color watercolors are safe. That’s why you can also use it for body painting without any worries.

Q: Is tempera paint safe for skin?

Tempera paint is usually safe to use on skin, but it is not recommended to keep it on skin for a longer period of time. Though original tempera paints are made of fresh egg yolks and that’s why they are safe to use on skin.

But nowadays, some companies are producing temperas with some other chemicals. So, it is not a wise decision to keep it longer on skin as it can cause irritation, allergy or rashes.

Q: Is oil paint safe for skin?

You may like oil painting but it is not safe to use on skin. Main reason is, it takes too long to dry. So, there is a greater chance that you will touch it and transfer the paint to other skin areas or accidentally ingest it.

Also, oil paints can clog your pores which may result in pimples. It can also cause irritation if you keep it on skin for long time.

However, if you decide to use oil based paints on your skin for any reason, make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil.

Never apply it undiluted and always remove it as soon as possible. Though, I don’t recommend it for using on skin.

Wrap Up

It’s not just kids who love to paint! Adults enjoy painting as well, and sometimes that means painting on your skin. So there you have it, the skin safe paint mediums that you can use on your face or body without worrying about any skin reactions!

From now on, whenever you need to paint on skin, whether it’s for a special event or just for fun, you’ll know which paints are safe to use. And if you’re ever unsure, always test the paint on a small patch of skin first.

Have fun painting! And most importantly, be safe!

Do you have any other skin safe paint mediums that you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time, goodbye!

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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