Is Acrylic Paint Safe for Skin? Face, Body & Private Parts!

Acrylic paint is a versatile, easy-to-use, and affordable medium that can be used for creating artwork on canvas or paper. Many people want to use acrylic paint as body art and even on the skin.

But the question of whether acrylic paints are safe for the skin has been debated by artists and enthusiasts alike.

In this post, we will explore what you need to know about using acrylic paint on the skin in order to decide if it’s right for you!

is acrylic paint safe for skin

Is it Safe to Use Acrylic Paint on the Face?

While acrylic paints are relatively safe when gets in touch with skin, they should never be used for creating artworks on the face. This is because of the non-breathable nature of dried acrylic paint. The paint tends to trap moisture in the skin, which is a sure recipe for skin problems. 

Acrylic paints are not readily absorbed by the skin. They can clog pores when applied to the face. Since they don’t easily get washed off, you will have to bear with them even after the painting session. Not only acrylic paints, but oil paints and watercolors have the same effect when applied to the face. 

It is best to use airbrush makeup or a commercially available tattoo foundation for creating artwork on the face.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Skin?

In the absence of alternatives, you can still use acrylic paints on your skin. 

But there are some things to remember if you want to avoid problems later.  Always apply only non-toxic acrylic paint to your skin. Even then, make sure that you do not stretch out lines over a large area and that they are not too thin either.

When you need to add another layer, just allow the first layer to dry completely before adding another one. Acrylic paint dries very fast so you don’t usually need to wait very long between layers.

Keep a pack of baby wipes and wipe off any excess paint from your skin as soon as possible. This will help prevent skin problems from developing in the future.

The use of acrylic paints on the skin should be strictly limited to temporary artworks such as painting parties or special occasions where you can wash off the paint entirely later. You should not use them for long-term makeup, especially when it comes to sensitive skin such as the face. Use good quality oil-based makeup for face or body art instead to be on the safe side.

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acrylic painting on body

Can you make face paint with acrylic paint?

Yes, you can but it is not advisable. 

As we have discussed above, applying acrylic paints directly to the skin can be problematic. While acrylic paint is mostly non-toxic yet the way it dries and reacts afterward is a cause of concern. That’s why we don’t recommend making face paint using acrylic.

How to Use Acrylic Paint as Face Paint?

Here are the steps you need to follow to use acrylic as face paint with little or no harm-

acrylic face paint

1. Apply moisturizer to your face.

First, if you are going to use it as face paint, make sure your face is moisturized. Moisturizer will act as a barrier between the paint and your skin. Any kind of moisturizer will do, petroleum jelly is especially good as it seals moisture in well and is non-greasy on the skin.

2. Wait 15 minutes to allow the moisturizer to work.

If you go straight into applying paint at this point, your makeup may come off with the face paint (not a good look).  Waterproof mascara should be safe for use with Acrylic Paint. Apply an eye primer beforehand for the best results. You can also apply a brow liner pencil for better longevity if time allows it.

Do not put too much makeup or else when applied over color the markings on your face might get smudged away due to excess amount of oil/makeup making contact with the paint.

3. Mix with water and a little bit of moisturizer to make it smooth.

Add a small amount of lotion to your acrylic paint if you are using it for face paints (perhaps 1:10 ratio of acrylic paint-to-moisturizer). This will help the painting glide over the skin smoothly and evenly, but be careful not to add too much, or else it will become difficult to apply in liberal amounts on multiple areas.

4. Apply the paint on dry parts of the body only.

Avoid using this paint on your lips, eyes, and other sensitive areas. It is extremely difficult to remove the paint from these areas even if you make use of makeup remover or soaps in water. Also, avoid getting it into cuts and abrasions for the same reason. You might leave a stain that will last longer than any temporary decoration intended by applying acrylic as face paint on body parts like elbows and knees. 

5. Wash off thoroughly after an hour of application.

Acrylic paint is pretty annoying to wash off of skin when dried. Take a cotton ball and soak it with rubbing alcohol to remove stubborn stains. Use a makeup remover to remove it from your face and lips if you used it for face painting -follow with soap and water later.

Once washed off, your skin may feel dry so use a moisturizer like petroleum jelly to avoid flakey skin due to dryness.

Why is Acrylic Paint Bad For Skin?

There are many reasons why it is not recommended to use acrylic paint on body. Here are some of the notable ones-

Toxic Additives

Acrylic paint, especially the cheap ones with poor pigmentation is toxic for the skin. The reason why they are so toxic is because of the chemicals that compose it and how these paints are manufactured as well.

Aside from that, acrylic paint is also known to cause allergies in some people who don’t use them frequently but only encounter them at one point in time causing rashes and other skin irritations.

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Odor Can Cause Headache

Another common problem that people generally encounter with the use of acrylic paints is the strong odor emitted by these paints. If you are not accustomed to such a smell, it can cause headaches and even nausea in some cases.

Acrylic Paint Can Be Harmful To Health

The harmful chemicals present in the paint can prove to be detrimental to health especially in those instances when one uses them frequently as in a professional environment where they are used on a daily basis.

These chemicals get inhaled into our body resulting in an increase in allergies. In addition to this, one should also avoid drinking beverages while using acrylic paint on the skin as it may cause irritation of the throat and other parts of the body. One would not want their drink contaminated with paint particles, would they?

Acrylic Paint Can Be Harmful To The Skin

As mentioned earlier as well, acrylic paint dries very quickly drying up the skin like a rock and when used in excessive amounts like painting large areas of the skin can cause skin cracks and even pain during long hours of usage. Using thicker layers causes discomfort to the artist causing aches and pain in the joints.

Can Release Harmful Component After Drying

Acrylic paint releases harmful components in the air when it starts to dry which can cause respiratory and breathing problems. As a result, the artist may end up panting especially when he/she is in an enclosed area with poor ventilation like rooms without windows or air conditioners.

Will Crack

Since acrylic paint hardens when dried, it will crack when the artist moves his/her fingers or hands after using it particularly on large areas or dry skin. So, using this type of paint will require multiple touch-ups which is not worth the effort.

Hard to Wash Off

Acrylic paint is not easy to wash off the skin as it requires rubbing alcohol and soaps to soften dried paints on the body. Using these is irritating and time-consuming as well.

Is It Safe to Use Acrylic Paints on Private Parts?

Many women are fond of making their private parts stand out by applying temporary tattoos on them. Since acrylic-based paints are considered quite safe, many women opt for this medium to make them look attractive.

However, be careful not to use alcohol and essential oils mixed with the paint on sensitive skin as it can cause irritation in some cases. When using on the body, always make sure that you have wiped your brush clean so as to avoid any contamination. Remember to wash off the paint as soon as possible.

What Type of Paint is Safe For Skin?

Here are the safest paints to use on skin-


Henna is a lovely, natural plant dye that is applied to the skin for temporary tattoos. When henna paint is used as a tattoo, it will turn brown in the sun.

safe henna paint on body

Henna paint contains all-natural ingredients including: dried henna leaves, water, lemon juice and essential oils from herbs such as lavender. This type of paint is safe for skin because these ingredients are natural and do not have any side effects on human skin cells like other types of paints may.

Paint Made for Skin Application

Most stores sell commercial body paints. You can go to the store and purchase paint in a variety of colors, such as black or red.

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These body paints are made from skin-friendly ingredients like emollients (which help keep your skin from drying out), preservatives that stop bacteria growth, and substances that will prevent paint from becoming sticky when exposed to moisture. Most body paints can be used on any part of the body except for private areas.

Body Paint Markers for Tattoos

If you are interested in using a paint marker as part of temporary tattoos, be careful and read the label before purchasing. These markers are sometimes known to burn skin because they can leave behind chemicals that are harmful to your skin. Many body paint makers will offer a warning on their package about painting with these markers on your skin. It is best to look for paints that are specifically made to be used on your skin versus regular artists’ paints, which may not be safe for human use.

Water-Based Paint

Water-based paints are made for arts and crafts or kids’ toys. These paints are mostly safe to apply to the skin as they do not clog pores, contain toxic ingredients and they won’t burn your body. This type of paint is mostly used with children’s toys or science projects because it can easily be washed off the skin in case of emergency.

Latex Paint

In general, latex paints are considered more skin-friendly than oil paints because of their water base. Latex is a popular choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

However, some latex primers and sealants may have added oils not safe for use on the face though they’re typically labeled as body paint. You need to be careful about those that are labeled non-toxic but aren’t. An easy way to figure out that is using a very little amount of paint on your skin and see if any interaction happens.

Best Face Paint: Create a Face Painting Kit

The Professional Face Painting Kit has everything you need to create your own masterpiece from home. When it comes to professional quality, this kit is hard to beat. The colors are vibrant and easy to apply thanks in part to the creamy texture.

Apply quickly for quick touchups or sketch out a more detailed design with the stencils included with the kit! Complete your look by adding on colorful glitter face paint as well for an extra dazzling effect.

Face Painting is a fun past time for kids of all ages but it can be messy because you have to mix the paints yourself. This face painting kit is water-based so in case any falls on your clothes or furniture it will disappear with just soap and water!

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Best Body Paint: Mehron Makeup Paradise

In this Mehron makeup paradise, there’s never any worry about where your next brush stroke is coming from. This water-activated cake makeup allows artists to paint the perfect body and face without ever having to mix up messy liquids or put brushes away dirty.

With these moist palettes of soft, vibrant colors, you can create a masterpiece with just one swipe! From neutrals to wild patterns, there’s no need for a back up supply because each palette comes pre-loaded.

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