The Dirt on Keeping it Clean – Face Painting Hygiene

I have always admired Jinny, she is one of the cleanest, most pristine painters I have ever met. Every time I leave a job I am covered in glitter, paint, and my kit looks like a war zone. After 15 years of face painting, I have yet to master the clean painter look. Don’t let me confuse a messy painter, with a dirty kit. No matter how messy my kit may appear, it is never dirty. After every 6 kids, I clean my space. I take a baby wipe and wipe down my paints and hands. I frequently use hand sanitizer between kids, and I refresh my water as soon as it begins to look murky.

I travel and teach face painting around the world. I get to see a lot of kits and sometimes I’m frightened that painters are using their supplies to paint on humans. Keeping your paints clean, only takes minutes of your time and can mean the difference between spreading germs and preservation of your face painting supplies.

I get asked a lot about how I rinse my sponges between children, how to keep my brushes sanitary, and how not to transfer germs. Adding alcohol to your face painting water does not help. The water dilutes the alcohol, making it inefficient and can be irritating to someone’s skin. Using one sponge or brush per child is too costly. So being aware of good hygiene tips can not only save you money, but it can mean the difference between happy, healthy customers and unhappy parents blaming you for a break out.

It’s very hard to prove a face painting related reaction. Largely in part, because face painting involves many products. We use a paint brush, water, sponges, glitter, gems, etc… So it’s hard to narrow down the exact product that caused the reaction. 99% of face painting related reactions are due to the fragrance in the make up. To avoid angry mom’s make sure to keep a clean station and ask the kids(or parents) if they have sensitive skin.

Face Painters Hygiene Tips

Brush BathAbout 3 years ago I developed a product called Brush Bath to help painters clean their brushes and sponges between kids. Brush Bath is a 100% organic brush cleaning solution and can be used as a face paint remover. Use it in your face painting water to keep it clean and fresh longer, and as a conditioner for your brushes. Brush bath is a gentle soap that breaks down oils in the hairs of your brushes that you might have picked up on the skin when you paint. Brush Bath also cleans the pigments out of your brushes so you don’t transfers colors and residue to the next color you paint with. It’s a great product and I encourage everyone to have a bottle to use on the job.

My second tip is to carry Q- Tips. I love applying lipstick on girls. Nothing brings me more smiles than a sparkly red lip stick after I’ve painted her like a princess. I avoid using my brushes on the lips, so I use a q-tip and I keep a clean cup of water next to me aside from my regular water basin so that I can always apply lipstick with a fresh start.

When I am face painting, I carry a clothes pin bag to throw my garbage in. I never like my customers to see used baby wipes, used q tips, or any other garbage that might have accumulated on my table. I bought the clothes pin holder at the dollar store and it is perfect to hang off of my table so i have a personal waste bin.

Baby Wipes! Every face painter needs baby wipes, they are extremely useful in cleaning your kit, to quickly correcting that occasional error. I have an article I’ve posted before about baby wipes.


Brush TubLastly, changing out your water is crucial. Dirty water is an eye sore and can scare customers away. It only takes seconds to dump your water and refill. I carry a gallon of water and brush bath mix to every job. I fill a 2 compartment water basin and a fresh cup of water for my lipstick. The water basin has 2 compartments. One to clean my brush and one to retrieve clean water. This helps me move faster because I am not muddying up my paints. I also love my water basin because it has paint brush holder slots along the rim so I never forget and leave my brushes soaking in water. Leaving your brushes soaking in water will ruin the tips and destroy your wooden handle brushes. The water basin I use is the Brush Tub and it’s available at Silly Farm Supplies.
Create a hygiene routine that follows after your face painting gigs. I take my brushes and sponges out after each event and clean, condition and let them air dry. I wipe down my paints with a baby wipe and leave the tops off overnight. I like to let my paints release any moisture that might have been building. The next morning I store my supplies in a cool dry place until my next event. This way, I always start my gigs with a fresh surface and clean supplies.

Are you a messy painter or know someone who is? Share this article of face painting hygiene with them! Leave a comment below and tell us about your hygiene routine.

Happy clean painting!

Wondering where to buy Brush Bath or a good water basin? Silly Farm Supplies carries ton’s of face painting supplies and equipment.
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