Can you use acrylic paint as face paint

Ever since the lockdown last year and even before, everyone has been engaged in some other kind of fun activities indoors. 

However, not everyone is well aware of the type of paint they should use on their face and that results in them using some or the other kind of watercolor paint or acrylic paint for doing their face painting.

This hobby of people has no way lessened in proportion but rather more and more people are getting inspired and doing it to spend their leisure time. 

But do you know whether the acrylic paint or the watercolor paintings that you are using is safe for your skin or not?

Can you use acrylic paint as face paint

Is acrylic paint safe for skin? 

Skin is the most sensitive organ of our body and that’s why we need to take utmost care of the skin and be very careful with what we put on our skin. 

Our skin is not compatible with everything. Therefore, measures should be taken appropriately, knowledge should be gathered before making anything come in contact with our skin. 

In this article, we would be telling you in detail whether the acrylic paint that you have used or might be thinking to use, is safe for your skin or not or whether you should use it as your face paint or not.

Practically almost everyone thinks that they can simply use acrylic paint for their face painting and what will happen at maximum? 

But do you know how adversely it can affect your skin?

Why you should not paint your face skin with acrylic paint? 

Wondering whether you should use acrylic paint on your face or if it is safe or not, the answer, in brief, is no! 

Many artists over the years have debated where some said that acrylic paint is not harmful to the skin as it is nontoxic, however, some call it to be toxic and good for the skin.

But the simple answer to this long debate topic is that acrylic paint is never safe for the skin. 

Below we have listed some of the problems that make acrylic paints, not a suitable option for skin at all.

The causes are

  • When you read on the bottle of the acrylic paint, it says that it is nontoxic but most of the paints if you see them carefully, contain some kind of toxic ingredients in it. Therefore you can conclude that whether or not acrylic paint is indeed non-toxic, it is not suggestive for this skin. It is not a good option to paint the whole skin with it.
  • When you paint a shirt with acrylic paint, the moment it dries it becomes very stiff and loses its flexibility. The same happens with your skin also. Acrylic paint does not allow any space for ventilation or air to pass through it. Therefore when you apply the acrylic paint to your skin it won’t allow your skin to breathe due to the stiffness and might end up suffocating the largest and the most sensitive organ of your body.
  • Before you try it on your face, you can try acrylic paint on any part of your body within a small area. You will see that you will need to give frequent touch-ups after every 15-20 minutes because of its stiffness and it will also start getting cracked once dried.
  • If you have oily skin and are prone to pimples, it might also cause itching on your skin and can trigger your problem to a greater extent. When you use a color that is particularly made for face painting, it will come off easily when you apply some soap or oil but if you are using acrylic paint, the paint might stick on your baby’s face and it would be really difficult and painful to peel it off.

What face paint to use instead of acrylic paint?

Nowadays nontoxic acrylic paints are also available which do not cause any harm to your skin as others. But it is still preferred if you go for a cheap yet high-quality paint that is particularly made for face painting.

If you want to try your hands on face painting, it is always recommended that you try the products that are specifically made for face painting. 

Although it is not very much recommended for the skin, if you still want to use acrylic paint, it is suggested that you don’t put it up for too long. 

Make sure to remove it after a while and also use only the water-based kind of acrylic paint. Also, try wearing a mask or a respirator.

It is also prescribed that you keep safety goggles on when you’re painting your face with acrylic paint. If you keep the paint on for too long on your skin it might cause damage and irritation to your skin over time.

Though it has been seen that acrylic paints are not as harmful to your skin as oil-based paints, each person has a different kind of skin and their skin is characterized by different issues.

A person with sensitive skin or a young child should always avoid putting acrylic paint on their skin. 

The toxicity level in each painting varies depending upon the gender, age, and the way you’re using the paint. 

Even though the packaging of acrylic paint says that they are nontoxic, not everyone has the same skin type and it is not good to wear it for too long.

If you have to apply it, make sure that it is for a short period and not for too long and you wash it off soon. Don’t let your skin absorb the acrylic paint or get it stuck to your baby hair.

acrylic paint usage

How to peel off the acrylic paint from your face?

Removing acrylic paint can be tough if you have put it on for too long. However, you might use wipes to easily pull it off from your skin Within minutes without using any harsh chemicals. Wipes are also comparatively cheaper than the other options. 

If wipes are not your thing, then you can also use warm water with soap. That being said, warm water and soap might take a little longer and more effort than the wipes depending upon the span for how long the acrylic paint has been there on your skin. 

You might need to even scrub it off to get it fully removed. In certain cases, it might irritate your skin as well.


  • Why does acrylic paint crack?

The reason that acrylic paint cracks when put on the face is due to the natural movements of the human skin. If you’re going to a theme party where you’ve decided to paint on your face, it is not a preferred option as it might get cracked. Rather you might use the original face paint as it offers better performance at a cheaper rate.

  • Is it possible to turn the non suggested acrylic paint into the useful face paint?  

As we already know and as mentioned in the article above, it is not very much suggested to use acrylic paint as face paint. However, if you don’t have any other option, make sure that you use non-toxic acrylic paint to prevent any kind of adverse effect on your skin if applied. 

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