Things to consider before getting your face painted

There are potential allergies or reactions that an individual should consider before getting their face or any other body part painted. Before you hire any face painter, ask the following questions to make sure safety is a priority.

What kind of paint do you use?

Some casual face painters use craft paints or washable markers. While these are labeled non-toxic, this does NOT mean they are safe to be used on skin. Cheaper paints and those made with non FDA compliant ingredients carry the risk for higher allergic reactions. Ginny uses top quality cosmetic grade face paint designed for use on the skin. Should you be concerned about sensitivity, you may ask that a patch test be done on the inside of the elbow to look for allergic reactions. You may also request that Ginny use only Ruby Red paint on you or your child. Although she does not use this brand exclusively, she always carries in her kit. Ruby Red paint is considered the safest face paint in the world. It is free from lanolin, nuts, gluten, latex, fragrances, parabens and any non FDA compliant pigments. This paint also carries the very stringent Child Safety Rating that states that this paint is safe even if it gets in a child’s mouth, nose eyes or ears. For more info on Ruby Red safety, go to

What kind of glitter do you use?

As you will see, Ginny uses LOTS of glitter but only cosmetic glitter made of polyester, .008mm or less in diameter and cut in a hexagonal shape. These qualities make it safe for use on skin.

Some hobbyist may be tempted to use glitter used for crafts with their face paints. This glitter is made of metal and has sharp edges and is NOT safe for use on skin especially on the face.

How should paint be removed?

Water based face paint comes off easily. You may use warm water and mild soap on a wash cloth at home and on site, Ginny has available high quality unscented baby wipes. If trace stains are left, apply lotion and rewash. Be careful not to use lower quality wipes to take off your face paint. Although the paints may be hypoallergenic, the fragrances in some baby wipes can actually cause allergic reactions especially when rubbed vigorously on the face.

Does the painter paint on broken skin?

No face paint should ever be used on anyone who has a contagious disease or an open sore or wound. Even acne should be avoided as the rubbing to remove the paint may cause increased irritation to the sensitive skin area. Should this be a problem, Ginny will offer to paint other areas of clear skin such as the forearm or hand. Although her paint has never caused an allergic reaction, should you be concerned about your child’s skin allergies, simply mention this to Ginny and she will be happy to apply a small amount of paint to a test area prior to doing full face paint.

Does the painter use black henna?

Beware of artists offering “black henna.” So-called “black henna” may contain the “coal tar” color p-phenylenediamine, also known as PPD. This ingredient may cause allergic reactions in some individuals or burns and blisters or other reactions that may last for months and are difficult to treat. Ginny is careful to use only high quality, pure, natural, and safe henna that stains a brown, orange-brown or reddish brown color and which lasts from one to four weeks.