What Paint is Safe for Skin – Best Paint for Skin, Body, Face

Body paint has been in use for a long period of time. It was used in the old days when tribesmen and women would put on paint for either rituals or wars. In modern-day, body paint has been used in many different scenarios. It’s been used in birthday parties, concerts, cosplay events and in films and theater events.

Body paint offers a slew of creative ways to decorate the human body. It also helps that it’s not permanent like a tattoo. Not all body paint is safe for the skin. It's important to identify and use the right ones to avoid irritating or damaging our skin.

Top 3 Best Face Paint

Top 4 Best Body Paint

What Paint Is Safe for Skin?

In order to identify the safe ones, we need to have a look at the type of body paints available on the market today:

1. Water-based paint​

Your safest bet as far as body and face paint is concerned. Many of the water-based paints sold today are well regulated and have a strict set of guidelines that they need to follow to be cleared. It’s great to use for kids because it’s non-toxic and can be easily washed away after use.

You can also use a broad range of equipment to apply this type of paint. You could use an airbrush, a sponge or a paintbrush to name a few. The downside of water-based paints is that they are susceptible to cracking. They also rub off easily.

These types of paints are not necessarily the best option of body point to be used for a professional setup such as in a modeling event.

2. Metallic body paint

Another option for body paint is the metallic body paints. Do you remember the performer on the streets that looked like a golden/silver statue? Yeah, that guy most likely used this type of body paint to achieve that shiny glossy look. Metallic body paints have the real metal powder in them mixed with a special liquid to create the “statue” effect.

You should use these paints with caution as they are known to irritate the skin due to the metal powder component in them. It also doesn’t come off easily compared to water-based paint. It’s just best to avoid it unless you really need it for a performance.

3. Alcohol-based paint

This type of body paint is mostly used for special effects applications or in making airbrush tattoos. It’s best used in hot and sunny areas or for underwater body painting. Alcohol-based paints are waterproof, so sweat won’t make it crack or come off. With that said, it’s not rub-proof. It will come off when touched, so avoid doing that.

Alcohol-based paints are not easy to come off and might require some rubbing alcohol to remove. You might need to wait for a day or so as you remove the paint from your skin. This gives your skin some time to rest as the rubbing alcohol might irritate it.

This type of paint does have a toxic element, rubbing alcohol, so be sure to remove the body paint in a well-ventilated area to avoid harm.

4. Latex body paint

Latex or liquid latex can also be used as body paint. It’s a great option for cosplayers as its affordable when compared to custom costume designs. Latex paint also doesn’t leave any residue behind when compared to the other forms of body paint. There are some few considerations that you need to make before using Latex body paint.

For starters, make sure you do not have a latex allergy. You don’t want latex on your skin if you’re allergic to it. Also, don’t use latex in times of extreme heat as it can cause heatstroke. It tends to block the body from perspiring. This type of body paint should also not be applied to areas of the skin that are damaged or irritated.

Latex works like wax (it can pull your hair when you remove it) so be sure to shave the areas on which the paint will be applied. This reduces the pain you’ll feel as you take off the paint from your skin.

5. Henna

Henna is the more traditional of the body paints on this list. It’s quite common in coastal African cities as well as in Asia. This body paint is extracted from plant dye and causes a brown to reddish stain when applied. It can be used for different events. For instance, it’s used as body paint for women about to get married in coastal African cities.

It’s also used as skin decor by women in the same region. Henna can be used by both kids and adults with no ill effects. The body paint is temporary and tends to fade over time naturally. You can speed up the removal process by exfoliating. You should definitely avoid black henna as it contains additional chemicals that can have an ugly and allergic reaction with your skin.

6. Commercial body paint

There have been companies like Starlight that mass produce body paint to be used by everyone. The paint is normally in spray bottles or in containers and don’t contain any latex and are non-toxic. You can test these types of paints and see if they work well for you.

7. Markers

These aren’t your normal everyday markers as those can be damaging to the skin. There are special markers that are meant to be used for body painting. These markers tend to be non-toxic and are safe for use for both kids and adults. Some markers do specify the regions of the body in which they shouldn’t be used. Take your time to read the packaging to understand how best to use it.

All the types of paints mentioned above are safe for use on your skin and should not irritate you. Always do your due diligence before using any type of body paint. Apply it on your skin and wait for a few minutes to see if there’s any irritation. This is the best way to tell whether the body paint will work for you.

Now that you know the different types of body paints, let’s have a look at some of the best face and body paint for your skin.

Best Face Paint

1. Face Painting Kit by Create A Face

This product can work both ways as body paint and face paint. We’d suggest you use it as face paint due to its size. If you do want to use it as body paint, then it’s best you purchase multiple packages. The paints are FDA approved. They are non-toxic and hypoallergenic. They also dry fast, so you can use them for a birthday or events for kids with no issues.

The kids won’t need to wait for long for the paint to dry. This body paint also lasts for hours on the face/skin without being too sticky or too dry. This means that it doesn’t create an uncomfortable feeling when applied to the skin. All you need to start using the paint set is a droplet of water. The set contains 8 base colors that are bold and vibrant. You can use this base to create your own color palette.

It also includes silver and gold glitter to brighten things up. The face paint can be removed using soap and water. You can also use baby wipes or a damp cloth. 32 stencils and a design ebook are also included with every purchase to help you get started.

Pros

  • The kit comes with stencils that can be used by beginners for design ideas and glitter for the kids.
  • It’s comfortable on the face and doesn’t cause irritation.
  • The colors are vibrant even for those with dark skin tones.
  • The face paint is easy to wash off.
  • The face paint lasts for a long period of time once applied.

Cons

  • The stencils are good for only one use, but there are 32 of them, so plenty to use later.

2. Face paints kit for kids and Adults by Mosaiz

Here’s another FDA approved face paint kit for kids. It’s non-toxic and contains no grease. It should be good for kids and adults with sensitive skin. With that said, take caution and test it before fully applying it your skin. This set comes with 12 base colors that you can use to create your own color palettes.

This face paint kit is water-based, so can be activated by adding a small amount of water to the paints. You can adjust the vibrancy/consistency of the colors by adding water. The colors are housed in a hard case to protect them from water and sunlight. They are also placed in a non-movable pot to make it easier to carry and handle. The set comes with 32 stencils that are reusable and made out of PVC plastic for durability.

Pros

  • It’s a good quality paint that dries quickly and doesn’t crack when it's dry. Th
  • e colors are vibrant and blend well for some awesome designs.
  • It washes off easily and is comfortable for the skin.
  • It can last on your face for several hours.
  • Comes with an amazing case that you can travel with.

Cons

  • The packaging is not the best as some complaints about the kit coming with some of the color cakes out of their wells or cracked. A bit of cleaning and you’ll be ready to go.

3. TAG split cakes - Regular Rainbow

A facepaint made for a rainbow literally. The TAG split cake is designed to help you make a rainbow face paint quickly. It comes with 6 colors; red, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink. You can use these 6 base colors to make your own unique design. The ingredients used for this set are skin-friendly and non-toxic.

Like others on this list, it's water-based paint and is activated by adding a small amount of water to the color mix. You can remove the face paint by using water and soap or a damp cloth. The base colors are vibrant and make for beautiful and vibrant designs. This set doesn’t come with stencils, but as a quick tip - you can use a sponge to create beautiful rainbows and butterflies.

Pros

  • Good quality paint with bright, vivid and opaque colors.
  • It’s easy to use as you can quickly make rainbow patterns when done correctly.
  • The product feels comfortable on the skin and doesn’t cause irritation.
  • It can last for hours on the face without retouching.
  • The package contains a huge amount of paint.

Cons

  • The palette may be tough to use for first-time beginners especially those looking to achieve the rainbow pattern. Most users get the hang of it after a few tries.

Best Body Paint

1. Snazaroo Classic Face Paint

Don’t let the title deceive you, this 18ml container is suitable for use to paint your entire body. This body paint from Snazaroo is made following FDA standards and regulations and is always reviewed by an independent expert. This body paint is suitable for sensitive skin as it’s made to be non-toxic and fragrance-free as well.

The colors on this set are vibrant and opaque so they’ll look great on any skin color. It’s water-based so all you need is a bit of water to activate the colors on this set. We almost forgot to mention that the colors also dry quickly, so they are great to use on kids during parties and birthdays. On top of that, it can last for hours on the skin without causing irritation. You can easily wash this body paint off using soap and water.

Pros

  • The paint doesn’t irritate the skin and is comfortable to wear for a long period of time.
  • It doesn’t smear much once applied as long as you stay away from humidity.
  • It stays on the skin for long periods of time without cracking/fading.
  • One container of the product can last for a long period of time.
  • You can easily add makeup over it when using it as face paint.

Cons

  • It’s not quite as waterproof as the other face paints on this list. The paint can run when exposed to too much humidity. It should be fine as long as you aren’t going to sweat too much throughout the day.

2. Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Face & Body Paint (White)

This face and body paint is made by the popular brand Mehron. It has a wide array of uses as it can be used as makeup, face paint or body paint. The product is made in the USA so it’s made with FDA regulations and standards in mind. The paint is water activated and requires a small amount of water before you start using it.

You can adjust the consistency of the color using water. The paint dries quickly, so wait time is minimal. It can also last on your skin for hours without causing irritation. The paint isn’t touch-proof, so don’t touch or wipe your skin (where the paint has been applied) when sweating or wet as it might cause the paint to come off.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use and apply.
  • It’s great for sensitive skin as it doesn’t cause irritation.
  • The paint can last for long hours on your skin.
  • You can remove it by washing your face.
  • It blends well and doesn’t crack or flake.

Cons

  • The paint will start running when exposed to water, so avoid areas that will make you sweat a lot.

3. Mehron makeup paradise AQ face and body paint

Another product from Mehron, this face and body paint comes with an 8-color palette that you can use to make a broad range of designs. The product is made in the USA, so FDA standards and regulations will have been met. The paints in this set are water activated and the colors are metallic, so you can get some beautiful body paint designs.

You can also use water to adjust the transparency of the colors. This paint set is also quite friendly to the skin and doesn’t irritate it even after multiple uses. It also dries quickly without feeling too sticky.

Pros

  • It’s great packaging and has a mirror with the box for touchup when on the go.
  • The paint set has vibrant and well-pigmented colors that are easy to blend.
  • The set has plenty of paint and can be used for a long time.
  • It’s easy to wash off, all you need is soap and water.
  • It smells great.

Cons

  • The color palettes as a whole are great, but the metallic ones aren’t bold enough. You need more of it to make it stand out. They are great to use as accents or highlights.

4. Neon Glow blacklight body paint

This body paint set comes in a pack of six. You have two set color combination to choose from with pink, orange and green being the main 3 colors on either set. For the other 3 packs, you can choose between blue, yellow and red or white, purple and brown to complete the set. Unlike the other body paint sets on this list, this one glows in the dark when exposed to blacklight or UV light.

Emphasis should be placed on the “exposure to blacklight or UV light” as it’s the only way for this paint to glow. The Neon glow body paint is safe for use and is ASTMD-4236 certified which means that it has been fully checked and inspected for hazardous materials. The paint dries quickly once applied and can last for long hours on the skin without any form of irritation.

The colors in this set can wash off easily after use and don’t seem to stain clothes after use. A quick tip, use different size brushes to achieve amazing designs and effects.

Pros

  • The paint is easy to wash off and doesn’t cause irritation.
  • The paint doesn’t stain clothes.
  • It glows wonderfully when exposed to blacklight or UV light.
  • The bottles come with enough paint for a large number of people (up to 20).
  • It stays on for a long period of time.

Cons

  • Many people complained that the paint did not glow in the dark. It was simply because of a lack of understanding of the product. It glows when exposed to UV light or black light. Many responded positively once they understood this.

FAQ

Is acrylic paint safe for skin?

Before we delve deeper into answering the question at hand, we first need to understand what acrylic paint is. This paint is mostly used on canvases and for painting purposes. It’s a water-based solvent and is a combination of color pigment, acrylic, and a colorless liquid known as MMA.

It’s used by many artists because it’s easier to clean and generally considered safe when compared to oil-based paints. With that said, acrylic paint is not meant to be used on the skin. The answer to the above question is NO! The reason you shouldn’t use this paint on the skin is that it gets stiff when it hardens. This doesn’t give the skin flexibility nor room to breathe, which can lead to irritation.

It also contains harmful chemicals like lead, ammonia, and formaldehyde that shouldn’t be anywhere near your skin.

Is acrylic paint safe for face?


No! Acrylic paint is not safe for your face. It contains harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation and maybe even more. The paint might be a water-based solvent, but it can be a nightmare to properly wash off your skin. In fact, acrylic paint needs to be peeled off your skin which can cause even more irritation as it pulls on the tiny hairs on your face.


Some people use the paints that are labeled “non-toxic”, we advise against using it even with that label on it. A simple look at the ingredients will inform you that it contains chemicals not suitable for your skin even with the “non-toxic” label on it. In general, avoid acrylic paints. The paints we reviewed and listed above do a fine if not better job than acrylic paint.


The Verdict


Acrylic paints are a bad idea, simply avoid them and use any of the products that we reviewed and listed above. These products are FDA approved so they are safe for the skin and won’t cause irritation when applied. Some come with stencils to help you get started and all of them have good base colors that you can use to create amazing designs.


The Neon glow blacklight body paint is quite interesting as it glows when exposed to blacklight or UV light. Your body paint designs will look cool in the sunlight, but even better in UV light.


The TAG split cakes face paint is perfect for kids. It comes with a rainbow color palette, so you can easily create rainbows on your child’s skin and see the joy in their faces. All the reviewed face and body paints can be used by both children and adults.

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