Can Acrylic Paint Be Used On Skin, Face and Body? Detailed Guide

Are you curious if acrylic paint can be used on skin? Many people are unsure of the answer, so I’m here to tell you all about it! Acrylic paint is usually a pigment, water, and a binder. While it’s not recommended to use on your skin regularly, there are ways to make it work if you need to body paint yourself or someone else temporarily.

The answer is yes! Acrylic paint is non-toxic and easily washed off with soap and water. It’s a great medium for face and body painting, and there are a variety of colors to choose from.

 Please keep reading for more information on how to use acrylic paint on skin, as well as some tips on how to make your bodypainting look its best.

Can Acrylic Paint Be Used on Skin?

Yes! Acrylic paint is non-toxic and can be used on the skin. It’s specifically made for painting on the body, meaning that it won’t irritate your skin like other art mediums might (like oil paint, for instance).

There are some simple rules about what type of acrylic paint you should use, and I’ll get to those in a minute. But first…

Some people say no, because acrylic paint is water-based, and it will dry out quickly when applied to the skin (which means that it can flake off). However, there’s a way around this problem: you can add a few drops of alcohol-based mediums (like fluid acrylic) into your water-based acrylic paints.

The alcohol will help prevent the paint from drying out too quickly (and if you’re painting on hair instead of skin, it won’t matter anyway). Just make sure not to add too much, or you’ll ruin the paint.

Another thing to remember is that acrylic paints are pretty opaque, so your design won’t be as delicate as if you were using watercolor. This can be good for some designs, but it might make it harder to paint intricate images on yourself or others (like flowers or scales).

Just keep this in mind if you’re trying to be subtle! If you’re looking for that tattoo-like effect, then acrylic paint is your best bet.

Is It Safe to Use Acrylic Paint on Skin?

Yes, acrylic paint is non-toxic. It’s especially safe for your skin because it doesn’t have any oil in the ingredients (unlike other art mediums). Another reason to use acrylic paint on the skin is that it’ll stay put—oil paints are known to smudge or fade quickly, which means that they aren’t the best option for body painting (unless you want to wipe and re-paint your design constantly).

Despite being non-toxic, acrylic paint can still cause skin irritation—so it’s not a good idea to use it on kids. It also has a few other cons: it doesn’t blend or smudge well and can take a long time to dry (which means lots of painting errors are irreversible).

If you are worried about it causing skin irritation, try using acrylic paint on the less sensitive areas of your body. For instance, you could use it on your face before trying it out on more delicate areas like your neck or shoulders. Just keep in mind that the paint will dry quickly, which means that you’ll have to be extra careful with your strokes.

What Paints are Safe for Skin?

Paints that are safe for skin include water-based and acrylic paint (made of pigment, water, and a binder). Oil paint and latex can also be applied to the body (but they aren’t usually recommended), and most spray paints will work too.

Some people suggest using fabric paint instead of body paint, but this can be difficult to apply without getting it all over your clothes. It’s also much harder to find fabric paint in the color selection you’ll need for body or face painting.

Can You Put Acrylic Paint on Your Face?

Yes, acrylic paint is safe to use on the face and body. It’s especially good for body painting because it doesn’t smudge or fade quickly (unlike oil paints). That being said, you should still only apply acrylic paint to clean skin—not makeup. If you need a temporary fix for oily skin, try using an oil-blotting sheet or a lightweight face powder to soak up excess oil.

In addition, you should always avoid putting paint on your eye area (especially the waterline) and eyebrows—this can be super irritating for your eyes. And if you plan to use acrylic paint on your lips, make sure that it’s non-toxic and safe for use on the lips (not all paints are, so be sure to read labels).

Can You Put Acrylic Paint on Your Hands?

Yes, acrylic paint is safe to use on your hands. It’s non-toxic and comes off easily with soap and water (unlike other types of paint). But keep in mind that it can be hard to get out of natural fibers like cotton or wool, so you may want to avoid getting the paint on these items. If you manage to get it on your clothes, you can use any regular detergent with hot water.

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It’s important to note that some types of paint (like latex) can be super irritating for your skin—so always check the label and test a small patch first before applying it everywhere. Also, remember that acrylic paints will dry quickly, which means a greater risk of errors.

If you wear your painted design for a while, then make sure to carry some hand sanitizer around with you. This will prevent germs from getting into the paint and spreading.

Finally, always use non-toxic paint when painting on yourself or others. This is especially important for children, who are more likely to lick or ingest part of their design.

Acrylic Paint on Body

Acrylic or water-based paint is considered the safest option for body painting because it doesn’t contain toxins and will not poison your skin. However, you should take some precautions before applying it: make sure only to apply to clean skin and test a small patch on your skin first (to see if allergies occur).

If you plan to use it on the face, avoid getting it in your eyes and eyebrows. Water-based paint can be difficult to remove from natural fibers, so protect clothing while painting using a drop cloth or disposable cloths. And remember that oil paint is not recommended for body art.

Step-by-Step Instructions To Face and Body Painting

Prepare Artwork

Before putting paint on your skin, you need to create an outline of what you want to draw. The best way to do this is by sketching out the design with a pencil first (this can be done directly on the skin if it’s clean), then tracing the image with crayon or chalk. This will create a guide for your body painting that won’t smudge or fade as you work. If any areas aren’t colored in, then use liquid latex to cover them up before putting on your base layer of paint. This creates a smooth working surface and prevents bleeding between colors.

Apply Base Layer of Paint

If you plan on having more than one layer of color, then apply the first layer of paint before moving on to step three. If you’re not using more than one color, skip this step and go straight to section three (this is also good advice if your skin is particularly sensitive).

Apply Second Layer of Paint

If you’ve completed a base layer of paint, then let it dry for about five minutes before applying additional colors. Keep in mind that some paints take longer to dry than others; water-based and alcohol-based paints dry faster than oil or egg tempera. The drying process can be sped up by using a hair drier on low heat (or even just waving your hand over the surface area). Just be careful not to hold it too close as this may burn your skin.

Fix Mistakes and Smooth Edges

Suppose you make a mistake while painting; use a cotton swab with a bit of baby oil to remove the paint from specific areas. You can also use the same mixture if your design looks too rough or jagged along the edges. However, avoid using water as this will only spread the paint around.

Protect Artwork and Remove Excess Paint

As soon as your design is complete, protect it from smudging by covering all unpainted areas with a thin layer of baby oil or petroleum jelly. You can also use a spray sealant to finish your work (preventing colors from fading). Finally, pick up any excess paint with a cotton ball moistened in rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with vodka or gin instead. 

Painting with Your Body on Canvas

Another safety hazard when painting with your body comes from moving around. Moving around makes it difficult for an artist to complete certain parts of their work. If possible, have a stand-by to move around freely without disrupting the artist’s work. If the artist is on a stand, they can move freely but must be securely fastened on the stand so that they do not fall off.

One of the biggest problems with painting on humans is skin type. Skin types vary due to ethnicity and other factors that may cause different reactions. For example, people with dry skin are more likely to flake after being painted.

Whereas those with oily skin are more likely to tan after being painted. This causes complications because some paints lose their color pigments when mixed with oil. Therefore, an artist needs to know what type of skin their model has before painting.

Another common problem is the paint itself; many paints are toxic if ingested. For example, oil paints contain certain metal pigments that can be harmful if ingested. If a model swallows the paint, it may cause internal damage and other complications.

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Many artists suggest avoiding painting near or around the mouth to avoid this situation. This also includes avoiding kissing after a design has been painted on someone.

If you’re painting on people with sensitive skin, then it is best to test a small area of their skin to see their reaction before applying paint over a large surface area. In terms of alcohol-based paints, these tend to dry faster than water-based ones; depending on the brand/formulation.

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage. It is advised that you avoid using any straining substance (i.e., sand, glass, etc.) as this may lead to infection and other health complications.

How to Wash Acrylic Paint off Skin

Steps to remove acrylic paint from the skin:

1. Use soapy water and a gentle cloth or sponge to clean off the paint. Avoid using anything abrasive, such as steel wool, which may cause discomfort. 

2. Wash the area thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a towel before letting your skin air-dry. Remember that you should avoid getting your skin wet for at least 12 hours after painting on it; this helps maintain your design for an extended period.

3. If there are any stains leftover or you have sensitive skin, consider applying an oil-free moisturizer to the area painted on. This will help prevent further flaking from occurring and help remove remaining stains.

Note: Removing paint with acetone is not recommended, as it may cause further damage to the skin’s surface.

How to Remove DIY Acrylic Face Paint?

Steps to remove DIY acrylic face paint:

1. Use an oil-based makeup remover to rub off the paint from your skin gently. Do not use water-based or silicone-based removers as they will not help you take off the paint properly. It may be necessary to apply multiple coats of makeup remover rather than just one layer; this is normal due to face paints’ oily nature.

2. If you have trouble removing your design, consider using a cotton swab soaked in acetone (nail polish remover) and apply it directly onto your design, wipe with a clean cloth afterward, and repeat if necessary until all traces of design have been removed from your skin. Note that acetone is harmful if inhaled or ingested, so avoid contact with your eyes and mouth while using this substance.

3. Once all traces of paint have been removed from your skin, consider applying a water-based toner to the area to close pores and prevent any irritation from occurring. 

Note: Removing DIY paint with solvent is not recommended as it may cause further damage to the skin’s surface, especially for those with sensitive skin types.

Best Face Paint 

Each brand offers a wide range of colors; when choosing these, be sure to look at their ingredients list for any possible allergen that you may not be aware of or have an allergy to.

The best face paints should have a non-toxic formula made from either natural pigments or FDA-approved ingredients. The paint should hold strong even when exposed to water, sweat, and heat without wearing off too soon.

Here are some of the best brands available:

Create A Face Painting Kit

The Create-A-Face Painting Kit is great for younger children, too young, to apply the paint themselves without adult help. This package comes with 24 paint jars in different colors, two sponges, and one brush, although you may want to purchase an additional sponge if you end up needing more.

The product is about five inches tall, three inches wide, and one inch deep. The paint jars are about an inch tall with about four inches. They come in various shades of blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange; each jar has enough to cover several parts of the face or body, depending on the design you are working towards creating.

The main con is that the paint dries quickly, making it difficult for younger children to work with. To avoid this problem, reapply a thin layer of water until you reach the desired consistency before applying it onto their skin.

TAG Split Cakes Face Paint

TAG’s Split Cakes come in many colors and are amongst the best face paints that you can find on the market. What makes them unique is that they don’t need to be mixed with anything other than water before applying it to your skin. The two halves should be painted side-by-side and then applied to the desired area.

Each color has its name, such as “Royal Blue” or “Fuchsia,” making it easy to remember when painting. The consistency of the paint is smooth and creamy, without being too thin. It can be easily removed with soap and water before applying another layer onto your skin if desired.

The main con is that they may contain high amounts of glycerin, which can cause your skin to itch or feel sticky if it comes into contact with any open wounds.

Ben Nye MagicCakes

The Ben Nye MagicCakes is one of the best face paints on the market for people of all ages. They come in many colors and can be easily removed without leaving any stains behind, making them perfect for creating amazing designs.

They also go on smoothly while still providing good coverage that is even and beautiful to look at. Once you are done, all you have to do is dust off the remaining paint with a dry cloth or sponge before rinsing it away easily with water.

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The main con is that they can be difficult to remove if left on for too long without washing it away first; using soap and warm water will help break down the color faster so that it comes off quickly and easily.

Best Body Paint

If you end up finding that face paint isn’t strong enough to last against water, sweat, or heat, then it might be best to look into body paints instead. These are usually thicker in consistency to stay on better when exposed to water or other liquids.

Here are some of the best body paint available:

Snazaroo Classic Face and Body Paint

The Snazaroo Classic Face and Body Paint are among the best body paints you can find on the market today. It’s made from non-toxic FDA approved ingredients, so it’s safe enough to use anywhere on your skin without worrying about any allergic reactions.

The paint itself is water-based, so it doesn’t stick onto your skin or clothes, which can be a problem with other brands that use oil-based paints. It’s also available in many different colors to choose from, such as green, blue, and pink.

The consistency is smooth and creamy without being too thin, while the paint itself is bright and vibrant enough to make your images stand out.

If you are looking for brilliant face paint that can be used both on the face and the body, then this is it.

Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Face and Body Paint

The Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ Face and Body Paint is another great choice if you are looking for a paint that does it all. This means that you have the option to apply the paint onto your skin or clothes, wherever you need it most, without worrying about the lost color quality.

The consistency isn’t too thin or thick while still being creamy enough to apply smoothly without clumps. It’s also easy to remove entirely before you decide to reapply another layer onto the required area.

The main con is that some people find it too thick or difficult to work with; this can be solved by simply adding a small amount of water into the bottle and shaking it around to mix it up.

Neon Glow Blacklight Body Paint

If you plan to go to a party where blacklights are being used, it might be best to use neon glow body paint instead of your regular kind. Standard paints won’t look very visible under a UV lamp, while neon glow colors will light up when exposed to such light.

These intense colors can also be used as a costume enhancer, giving you a perfect way to stand out from the crowd on Halloween night.

Although they come in blacklight colors, these paints can still be used as normal body paint without any problem. You only need to make sure that you apply a topcoat over it first before exposing it to UV light so that the paint can stick onto your skin better.

The main con is that the blacklight effect may not be as vibrant or strong for some colors, which can be a problem if you want to use them in a party setting where you need your outfit to glow under the UV lights.

Frequently Asked questions


Acrylic face paint can be a fun and exciting way to create colorful and interesting images that you can wear. Acrylic paint is safe for use on your skin is made with hypoallergenic ingredients, while most brands today do not contain toxic chemicals or poisonous ingredients in their products.

If you would like to use acrylic body paint instead, make sure that the brand contains FDA-approved ingredients, so you always stay safe when wearing them. You should also avoid using watercolor paints on your face because they contain harmful chemicals that irritate sensitive skin. If you want to apply face paint onto your clothes instead of your actual face, then most brands will work just fine without any problems at all.

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