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Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Skin

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Skin

Do you want to use acrylic paint on your skin to dress up?

The skin is an organ that can be very sensitive. If you apply any kind of substance, you may cause irritation or worse.

But don't panic, we are passionate about this topic and know exactly how to help you.

In this article, you will discover:

  • Can you use acrylic paint on skin
  • Is it safe to use acrylic paint on your skin
  • What kind of paint is safe

    Painting on your skin will no longer be a secret to you. You will know exactly what kind of paint to use for your next carnival or Halloween.

    Let's find out together now.

    Composition of acrylic paint

    Acrylic paint is a paint composed of a mixture of pigments (for the color) and acrylics resin. It dries by evaporation of the water it contains, not by evaporation of volatile organic solvents, unlike oil paints. It contains little or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

    Can acrylic paint be applied to the skin?

    Acrylic paint is not intended to be used on the skin. You should not intentionally apply this product, even if it is non-toxic, to your skin.

    The level of toxicity of the paint is related to several parameters such as age, gender and the way of using it. The reaction is different for each person. Skin irritation can be more or less important depending on your sensitivity.

    When you paint, it can happen that the paint falls on your hand or arm, this is not dangerous as long as you remove it quickly. You don't want the paint to be absorbed into your skin.

    As we saw in the previous section, acrylic paint is mostly water. Therefore, it is easy to wash it when it is damp with soap and water. However, when it has dried, it is a different matter. If it has dried on your skin, it may need to be peeled off, which can potentially cause skin trauma.

    Is it safe to use acrylic paint on your skin

    As we saw in the previous section, the harm of acrylic paint varies from person to person. However, it is not as harmful as oil-based paints.

    In addition, certain skin diseases can make you more sensitive to the negative effects of paint. For example, eczema can increase the skin's reaction to paint. Skin diseases are among the most common illnesses, but are not always detected (because they have little negative impact).

    The toxicity of the paint can also vary depending on the brand because the level of chemical is more or less important.

    To summarize, acrylic paint is not good for your skin, because when it hardens, it prevents your organ from breathing or moving. Painting your skin with the wrong kind of paint can cause rashes.

    What kind of paint is safe for skin

    What kind of paint is safe for skin

    Fortunately, if you want to make art by painting your body, you have the option of using other types of paint. Below is a list of available body paints.

    Water-based paints

    This type of paint is safer for the face and body. Indeed, water-based paints are well regulated and follow strict standards. This type of paint emits less volatile organic compounds (VOC). However, they have the disadvantage of cracking as they dry, which makes them less interesting for body painting.

    Metallic body paint

    This type of paint allows to have a shiny and metallic look. However, this type of paint should be used with caution, as they contain real metal powder mixed with paint. They can cause irritation and contact dermatitis. This type of paint should be avoided as much as possible. You can only use it for performance art.

    Alcohol-based paints

    This type of paint is often used for special effects because it is waterproof and ideal for hot and sunny places. The advantages of alcohol-based paint are that it doesn't crack when you sweat but it can fade. The major drawback is that these paints do not come off easily without rubbing alcohol which can be toxic.

    Latex body paint

    Liquid latex is a paint that is frequently used in the world of cosplayers and costume design. The advantage of this paint is that latex paint does not leave a residue. However, before using it, it is important to make sure that you are not allergic to latex and that it will not be subjected to extreme heat. This could cause heat stroke or damage your skin.


    Henna is a traditional body paint that has been used for decades for special events in Asia and Africa. This paint is made from plants and "stains" the skin with a red or brown tint. It is safe for children and adults. This temporary paint will disappear on its own over time but you can speed up the process by exfoliating it.

    Commercial body paint

    Various manufacturers make several non-toxic body paints available to you in jars or spray cans. These are safer paints because they are tested and controlled before they are released. However, try them beforehand to see if your skin tolerates them. To do this, apply the paint to a small area of your skin and wait a few minutes to see if it irritates before applying it to a larger area.

    Several brands offer paint kits for any area of the skin as well as the face. These products are perfect for create colorful masterpieces. You will find kits with rainbow colors or darker colors. In the latter you will find instructions that will help you by explaining step by step how to use the product in order to have the best result.

    Body Paint Markers

    Like the paint in the previous paragraph, body paint markers are non-toxic and safe for adults and children. However, read the label to see if it is suitable for all areas of the body.

    Can you put acrylic paint on your face

    You should not use acrylic paint on your face. As we have seen in the previous paragraphs, acrylic paint is composed of certain chemical elements that can be toxic and cause strong reactions. Indeed, you could develop skin rashes or allergic reactions. Also, when it dries, it is more difficult to remove and could cause skin irritation and pull out tiny hairs from your face.

    If you want to paint your face, choose a paint that is specifically designed for makeup. There are several safe face paint products available in stores.

    Can you paint with your hands?

    People sometimes use their hands as brushes to paint their work. This method is not recommended because the acrylics may contain toxic ingredients that can be absorbed through your skin. If you get paint on your hands, wash them as soon as possible.

    paint on hands

    How to clean acrylic paint from the skin

    Unlike paints designed to go on the skin, acrylic paint can be more difficult to remove. To remove acrylic paint from your skin, you should:

    • Wash the area with soap and water (preferably warm)
    • Gently scrape the paint off with your fingernails
    • Rinse it all off thoroughly

    If this does not remove all the paint on the first try, you will need to repeat the process. If warm water and soap don't work, you can try using other products like mayonnaise, vegetable oil, olive oil or baby oil.


    As you can see, acrylic paint is not toxic and can be used on the skin under certain conditions (e.g. splashing). However, it is strongly discouraged because it can cause a skin reaction.

    If you must paint your skin, we suggest you use body paints available in stores.

    If you want to use acrylic paint, you can also click on the image below to try our paint by numbers.

    paint by numbers collection

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