10 Hygiene and Safety Guidelines For Face Painting

By Marcela “Mama Clown” Murad

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In the restaurant industry it is a rule for all employees to wash their hands at least 3 times per hour, make up artists teach the importance of sanitizing your brushes between clients, and food care workers must wear hair nets when dealing with food. But for face painters, there is still a lot of grey area when it comes to hygiene.

The world of face painting has evolved so much over the past 35 years . When I first began painting their was little information and  even less variety of brands on the market. But as the industry grows, and the concern for contamination and hygiene practices are being called into question its important to take steps towards a clean kit and industry wide hygiene standards. Here are my top 10 tips for healthy, happy painting all around..

  1. Always use products that comply with the FDA cosmetics guidelines. Do not use acrylics, markers, or any other type of product not made specifically for use on skin.
  2. Do not paint anyone with sores, cuts, or other apparent skin diseases. When faced with something like a small cold sore on the lips, just paint the upper face area or the hand instead. Explain gently to the child that the paint may make their boo boo hurt. NEVER make a child feel inferior by suggesting the sore is something bad.
  3.  Make sure that your tools are kept in good condition by cleaning and sanitizing before and after every job. Most importantly, arrive to the event with clean sponges. Some painters like to use one sponge per child while others use one for or each color.  Heather Green wrote a great blog all about sponges right here on Paint Pal :) She covers the different types of sponges and proper product care.
  4. Take pride in your face painting kit as well as the way you present yourself to the public. Make sure that not only your tools, but your personal appearance is professional and appealing. Your attire should be clean and ironed. Since you are working with your hands, pay attention to your nails, keeping them well manicured. Always be aware of your breath. Make breath mints a staple in your kit. Check out 5 Things to Avoid While on the Job for other tips on how to nail a professional appearance on every gig.Check out our NEW Paint Pal Channel and (5)
  5. Store your paints in a moderate temperature (50-80 degrees). Allow your tools to fully dry before putting them away.
  6. Use only water that is safe for drinking purposes. Never save dirty water to use for later. Avoid water from the pool and change once it looks dirty.
  7. Clean a child’s face when necessary using a good quality unscented baby wipe. If you are not comfortable doing this, simply offer the baby wipe to the parent to do so. Ilea Wakelin also shares her alternative to using baby wipes here.
  8. Wipe your hands often, especially after a sneeze or handling money.
  9. Look for running of the eyes, nose, and other areas and avoid them while painting.
  10. The most important thing you can bring to a job is a good and positive attitude, accompanied by a friendly smile. This is the best way to bless everyone that crosses our path.

Happy painting!


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