Face painting is an activity of a lot of fun, and it can also be a highly rewarding business as well. For some people, it’s just a one-time trial event where they just paint a few. However, for others, face painting may become a career that they need to get painted for days or even weeks at festivals. Whether a professional painter or not, you should keep in mind with some safety tips for face painting. Here we select the top 10 tips for you and please read ahead.
1. Use safe and suitable paints.
First, one thing you should know is, “non-toxic” does not equal to “safe and suitable for your skin”. Some paints, for example, acrylic craft paints are not designed for using on skin, neither are the watercolor markers or pencils. You should not put such stuffs on your skin simply because it says “non-toxic” on its packages. Some people are allergic to certain colorants and chemicals that are used in craft paints and these stuffs may be non-FDA approved and rash can be caused from these paints. In additions, some watercolor markers can’t be removed completely from skin very easily and the “washable” refers to fabric instead of skin. Some recommended choices that come with safe face paint are available from Snazaroo,Wolfe Brothers, Fardel, Paradise, Mehron, Kryolan, and Ben Nye and they are just a little bit expensive than craft paints.
2. Check the glitter before decide the paints.
Metallic craft glitter must be avoided for using on face painting. The only safe glitter that is suggested in using for face painting is polyester and needs to be smaller than 0.008 microns in size. This size is defined by FDA as “cosmetic size” and is safe when use on human skin.
3. Be careful with cleansing brushes and sponges.
Alcohol is a typical and most often used sanitizer in home, however for cleansing brushes and sponges, it actually does the opposite. It is not an effective sanitizer because it can promote the bacteria growth when you just use a small amount. If you leave traces of alcohol on your brushes and sponges, pain will generated in areas that have sensitive tissue (for example, eye area).
4. Consider health issues before painting.
If someone has a contagious illness, or has not recovered from open sores and wounds, you should never paint them. Even though one just has some acne, still, you have to avoid painting on them since the rubbing to remove the paint can result in irritation for sensitive skin. If one insists on get painted, you can suggest to do the painting on different areas such as arms, or provide them a sticker.
5. Wash your hands before the painting work.
Same rule with other health or beauty related activity—always wash your hands before you touch the face of a customer. You can use baby wipes or hand sanitizer (like Purell). By doing this, you’ll keep health of both yours and your customers’.
6. Pay attention to head lice.
When you are working with a child, you should check each child when they sit in your chair to ensure they don’t have head lice. Since many painters used to hold child’s head steady during painting, it’s easy to transfer head lice. Besides, in order to prevent probable lice contamination, all painters with long hairs are highly recommended to pull back their hair in a pony tail or braid.
7. Make sure you feel comfortable.
This tip is for painters themselves—get a comfortable chair! Make sure you prepare a comfortable chair, or even comfortable and supportive shoes to protect your back. If you don’t do some pre-caution work in advance, the painting work may lead to long-term damage to your back due to the uncomfortable positions for hours and hours.
8. Avoid repetitive-stress injuries.
Painters should know that face painting can easily cause repetitive-stress injuries. One good way to avoid such injuries is to re-organize your working space to minimize the chance of repetitive bending, twisting and stretching that you can’t avoid during painting. Stand up and walk around, or take a stretch break after each painting will be helpful.
9. Take yourself into consideration.
This tip is also for painters. You should get enough rest and make sure to have adequate liquid and at least a snack after working for several hours. Do not paint with exhaustion and hunger!
10. Think about insurance.
Last but not the least, for your peace of mind the sake of your clients’, it’s better to think about purchasing a face-painting insurance. For US painters, two places to purchase such insurance are Clowns of the U.S.(you don’t need to be a clown to qualify) and the World Clown Association (you’ll need to become a member). While if you are in the UK, members of FACE (UK Face Painting Association) get automatic public-liability insurance.
*Image source: http://www.photography-journal.com/2012/10/13th-annual-dia-de-los-muertos-festival.html.