Can I Use Acrylic Paint On My Face?

Is this paint harmful for my skin? Will I wash it off later? We will answer these and other questions!

Painting on skin is a great option for developing your creativity, and today it is widely used both as an entertaining idea and as an artistic tool at different art classes for both kids and adults. However, many of you might have already wondered whether acrylic paint is safe for the skin application.

There are paints that are initially designed for being applied onto the human skin, for example, water-based paints or the special paints used for theatrical makeup. But since acrylic paints are known as artistic ones, many people are not quite sure about their safety for our skin.

Can you put acrylic paint on your face?

Well, this is what we are going to tell you about today! You will find out how safe acrylic paints are for your face and skin in general, and whether or not you should use them on your skin at all.

Also, we will tell you more about the safety of this type of paint and explain how you can wash your acrylic paints off yourself if any of them ends up on your bare skin.

Finally, you will learn what paints are absolutely safe for your skin and face in particular so that you could let your creativity burst and glow!

Can I Put Acrylic Paint On My Face?

Many of those who work with paints often, usually tend to wonder whether or not acrylic paint is safe on our face.

Why would anyone paint their faces with acrylics, you may ask in return? Well, you probably know that face painting is extremely popular nowadays, and both children and grown-ups enjoy having beautiful patterns or painted masks on their faces during different events.

However, if you are a parent or you are just concerned about the safety and health of your own skin, you might be wondering how safe those paints are. And in particular, what sort of paint is used for creating facial pictures.

So, as for the acrylic paint, we can’t say that it is safe for your skin! This is the very first thing that you should always keep in your mind!

Even though artistic acrylic paints are not considered toxic or harmful, they still may cause various skin reactions, for example, allergies or skin irritations of different fashion.

And you definitely don’t want to have your whole face itching and burning after you apply paint on it, right? This is also why acrylic paint is especially hazardous for those of you who have sensitive skin.

See, the level of toxicity of any paint varies depending on your age, gender, and how you use the paint. Even non-toxic acrylics are not safe for human skin, especially when one is wearing the paint long-term!

Can I Put Acrylic Paint On My Face (2)
Credits: Tommoh21. via Crello.com

If you get some paint on your arm or hand while painting, it is safe as long as you wash it off soon. But you don’t want the paint to absorb into your skin.

However, if you paint often, you might have seen that quite many people do not wear protective gloves when handling the paint. Why is that, if acrylic paint is not good for you?

The reason is that the majority of people consider acrylic paints safe due to the chemical makeup. These paints are easy to wash off with soap and water while they are wet.

This makes people believe that acrylics are safe for the skin. However, acrylic paint is no longer easily washable after it dries! And in case you paint your skin with it, you may need to peel it off. This could cause skin trauma.

And since the skin on our faces is even gentler and more delicate than on the rest of our body, now you can see why acrylics are not the best option for facial painting.

Can I Put Acrylic Paint On My Face
Credits: Fotangel, via Crello.com

Is It OK to Put Acrylic Paint On My Hands?

Many of those who paint with acrylic paints themselves or whose children use these paints often ask the same recurring question: how safe is it to apply acrylic paint on hands, and what if it ends up there?

Acrylics are not for application on any part of your skin, including your hands!

This is what you should always keep in mind. Never apply acrylic paint to your child’s hands for craft projects or paint your hands as well. If you get paint on your hands, wash it off as soon as possible.

Always wash your hands after working with acrylic paint. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission points out that the skin could absorb paint chemicals, and even small exposures can harm your health over time.

Is It OK to Put Acrylic Paint On My Hands
Credits: nazarov.dnepr, via Crello.com

Related: How to Fix Lumpy Acrylic Paint?

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Your Skin?

If you paint with this type of paint, you definitely stain yourself with it often enough! However, those minor splashes and marks of acrylic paint on your skin are harmless as long as you wash them off quickly enough.

Also, you can always choose to work in protective gloves (even latex gloves will do!) to save your hands from being accidentally painted.

However, artistic acrylic paint is a chemical compound. And even though you work with non-toxic kinds of it, it does not mean that those paints are absolutely harmless for your skin!

On the contrary, if a large amount of acrylic paint gets on your skin and becomes absorbed, or even if it remains there for long enough, you may notice that your skin developed allergic reactions once you wash the paint off.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Your Skin
Credits: AllaSerebrina, via Crello.com

Of course, acrylic paint is not as bad for your skin as oil-based paints, for example. But each person’s skin reacts differently. Young children and people with sensitive skin should keep acrylics from coming into contact with them by wearing nitrile-coated gloves.

Some diseases could also make you more susceptible to negative effects from the paint, such as eczema.

By taking all these nuances and this information into consideration, you can now conclude that acrylic paints designed for artistic purposes are not the best option for applying them on your skin.

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Related: How to Make Oil Paint Dry Faster?

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Skin?

Since you already know that acrylic paint is not quite safe for your skin, you might wonder how you should wash it off once it gets onto it.

The reason is pretty simple and obvious: when painting, we usually don’t pay much attention to where those paint splashes end, and when we finish our painting, we are all covered with paint marks here and there!

How to wash acrylic paint off the skin
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So if you got that creative and you need to wash acrylic paint off your skin now, you need to catch the moment while the paint is still fresh!

Remember: once it dries, you will have to work way harder on it to clean it off your skin! Even washable types of acrylics can be hard to deal with.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Skin
Credits: lucidwaters, via Crello.com

But basically, washing acrylic paint off your skin is pretty simple. So if the paint is still fresh, do the following:

  • Wash the painted area of your skin with soap and lukewarm water. Lather the soap thoroughly!
  • Lightly scrape at the paint either with your fingernails or with a soft bristled brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a towel.

However, in case washing with soapy water doesn’t work, you may need to peel the paint or scrub using another product.

You could try using natural things like mayonnaise, canola oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or baby oil to remove the paint faster.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Skin (2)
Credits: VitalikRadko, via Crello.com

What Skin Safe Paint to Use Instead Of Acrylics?

If you would like to try and paint on your body, you might be wondering what type of paint will be safe since acrylic is not an option anymore.

Fortunately, today there are many body safe types of paint in the market which means that you will have plenty of alternatives to choose from depending on your goals and needs!

And below, you can find the list of the most popular paint alternatives to acrylic that you can use.

What Skin Safe Paint to Use Instead Of Acrylics
Credits: EdZbarzhyvetsky , via Crello.com

However, take into account that some of them must not be left on your skin for too long!

  • Water-based paints. The safest choice for face and body paint. Most water-based paints are well regulated and follow strict guidelines. Water-based paints emit less volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs). But they crack and rub off easily which makes them less ideal for body painting.
  • Metallic body paint. This type of paint produces a shiny, metallic look. But we recommend you use metallic paints with caution because they have real metal powder mixed in the paint! This powder may cause skin irritation and even end up in contact dermatitis. So unless you need metallic paint for a performance, it is best to avoid it.
  • Alcohol-based paints. A type of paint common in special effects, alcohol-based paint is waterproof and great for hot, sunny locations. The paint doesn’t crack as you sweat, but it may rub off. The one big downside of alcohol-based paints is that these paints do not come off easily without rubbing alcohol, which can be toxic for the skin and cause irritation.
  • Latex body paint. Liquid latex is a body paint common among cosplayers and costume design. Compared to other body paints, latex doesn’t leave residue behind. However, you should make sure you don’t have a latex allergy and never use the paint in extreme heat! Otherwise, you may cause heat stroke or damage your skin.
  • Henna. This is a traditional body paint that people have known for centuries if not more. Henna has been used for special events in Asian and African cities for years. The paint comes from plant dye, staining the skin a red or brown shade. It is absolutely safe for children and adults, causing no negative effects since the paint is totally organic. The temporary paint fades over time on its own, but you can remove it faster by exfoliating.
  • Commercial body paint. Some companies mass-produce non-toxic body paint in spray bottles or containers. They include some of the safest body paints today because they don’t contain latex. However, test out various types to make sure they work well for your skin.
  • Body painting markers. Markers made with body painting in mind are non-toxic and safe for adults or kids. Always check the label, however. Some brands are not ideal for every region of your body.

Any of these skin paints can be used for creating all sorts of pictures and effects on your skin, and with markers, you can even create fine patterns!

But remember that even if these paints are considered safe, you should always check their labels for instructions – well, except for henna since this one is absolutely harmless.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What paint can be used for body makeup?

Try special body paints of the paints designed for theatrical makeup.

⭐ Is there neon body paint?

Yes, there are brands that sell neon body paints.

Written by Melinda Sherween
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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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