the Face Painting School

Discover the Art of Face Painting

Health Guidelines

Face Painting Health Guidelines (Australia)

Face painting may be fun, but spreading illness or infection is not. Whether you’re a volunteer, amateur, or professional face painter, it’s important make yourself familiar with proper hygiene practices BEFORE you pick up a brush.

In the interest of public safety, Face Painting School recommends face painters of all levels should be familiar with, and adhere to, strict hygiene practices at all times.

There are currently no formal health or safety guidelines for face painting in Australia. The Department of Public Health in Western Australia has published health guidelines for face painters and The NSW Department of Health has also issued a fact sheet. Both of these have been consulted in the preparation of our recommended guidelines.

Disclaimer: Please note the information provided herein is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. In all cases, independent professional medical advice should be obtained for individual circumstances. Please also consult directly with your state, territory or local council for the latest information pertaining to your region.

BEFORE STARTING

  • It is not advisable to paint a child’s face if they are younger than three years old.

  • If the client or child has sensitive skin, food allergies or reactions to soaps, creams, dyes, they should advise the artist who may perform a small patch test first, or may choose not to paint the child.

  • The client or child must have clean abrasion-free skin, and must not have conjunctivitis, lice, cold or flu, chicken pox or any other infection. Painting faces with acne should also be avoided.

  • The clients face (or other area to be painted – arm or leg) shall be cleaned with soap and warm water or a moist towelette prior to having their face painted, taking care around eyes, and wiping runny noses.

  • Parents / guardians are to supervise their child while being painted at all times.

  • Have enough supplies on hand to ensure used sponges, brushes and applicators are quarantined after each use. These should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before being reused.

PAINTS AND SUPPLIES

  • Paints, inks, glitters and other cosmetic preparations must be safe and specifically designed for use on human skin.

  • “Non-toxic” on the labels does not necessarily mean that it is safe to use on the skin. Some people are allergic to approved chemicals and colorants used in craft paints (eg acrylics) and other stationery products.

  • Paints and supplies should be stored and handled in a sanitary manner to avoid contamination.

CLEANING & DISINFECTION OF BRUSHES AND TOOLS

  • The water used for cleaning the brushes should be changed for every client.
  • Single-use disposable applicators (e.g. cotton swabs and sponges) are strongly recommended, and
  • If reusable paint brushes or sponges are used, they should be washed thoroughly in warm water and soap and then soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol for at least two minutes, and dried before being used on a new client. Sponges can be air dried in the sun for several hours, which will kill 99% of bacteria.

  • Reusable stencils should be made of non-porous and cleanable materials which can be wiped with 70% isopropyl alcohol after each use.

  • Disposable paper towels should be used

HYGIENE

  • The artist should wash his or her hands prior to each face or body painting session.

  • Disposable hand wipes and hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative to hand washing between clients.

  • Careful attention should be paid when painting the areas near the eyes, especially on very young children and those unable to keep still.

  • If hair control is needed, single-use elastic or hair pin should be used.

WARNING

Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to even the most pure and non-toxic colours. If the client shows any type of allergic reaction during the painting procedure (e.g. paleness, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, undue swelling, puffiness around the eyes) the painting session should be discontinued and emergency medical attention should be obtained.

Disclaimer: Please note the information provided herein is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. In all cases, independent professional medical advice should be should be obtained for individual circumstances. Please also consult directly with your state, territory or local council for the latest information pertaining to your region.

Further reading:

4 comments on “Health Guidelines

  1. Laura Kumle
    June 13, 2013

    What do you do for your water cups? Ideally they should be washed and sanitized between clients as well, shouldn’t they?

  2. facepaintingschool
    June 14, 2013

    Hi Laura, I suppose you could use new cups for each client. You really don’t need much water, so even little plastic shot cups would work, but that would be a matter of personal preference and as far as I know, there are no regulations anywhere in the world that require this.

  3. Laura Kumle
    June 16, 2013

    I like using the water jars with the coils or screens in them to help get all the gunk out. I haven’t started doing this but was about to switch over so I wanted make sure that this could work. Think maybe flushing it with alcohol could help minimize any germs still hanging out in the jar? Then, how often would the alcohol need to be changed? Just some thoughts as I’d almost rather be too safe than not safe enough. I have been using shot glasses, cleaning the glass between every few clients with soap and water.
    Thanks for your response!

  4. samantha Shaffstall
    November 18, 2013

    I also use barbicide to clean all my brushes and sponges be sure to rinse will and all to dry and when I am able I allow my brushes to dry in the sun.

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