Is Watercolor Paint Safe For Your Skin And Face Painting!

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With so many people having taken up various arts and crafts recently, we have noticed more and more people reaching out with a huge range of different questions about their specific arts and crafts. With a huge number of people having recently taken up watercolor painting while also having children, we have noticed people reaching out to ask if watercolor paint is safe for skin or not.

This is usually due face painting being such a popular activity and a easy yet cheap way to keep young children entertained. With so many people reaching out we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over the advantages and disadvantages of using watercolor pain for face painting as well as general skin painting. Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible and help you get the best performance out of your watercolor paint when used on human skin.

Before we go any further though, we want to point out that you will almost always get better results if you simply use a cheap high-quality face paint due to the paint having been specifically designed for use with human skin. If you do want to use a watercolor paint then we would recommend that you specifically choose a non-toxic watercolor paint that are usually designed for children’s arts and crafts.

Is Watercolor Paint Safe For Skin?

Although the vast majority of childrens watercolor paint has been designed to be non-toxic and as safe as possible, commercial watercolor paint for serious artwork can contain toxic minerals. This is due to commercial watercolor paint being designed to deliver the best possible colors and performance on your canvas rather than for use with human skin.

Due to this, although some people do use it, we would not recommend that our readers use commercial watercolor pain on their skin and if it does end up getting on your skin by accident during painting, ensure you wash it off after your session. On the flipside of this though, if you do have to use a watercolor paint product for painting skin then a children’s watercolor formula will almost always be the better option when it comes to safety.

This is due to the watercolor paint formulas commonly used for children’s watercolor paint being non-toxic and designed more towards being safe for use by young children rather than for optimal performance in professional art. Although this trade-off does end up causing issues with the overall consistency of the paint, the safety of your skin is of the utmost importance but even then, a cheap high-quality face paint is still going to be the better option.

Is Watercolor Safe For Face Painting?

Although you can use childrens watercolor paint for face painting if you really want with it usually being safer than actual watercolor paint due to the minimal toxicity levels, we still tend to recommend that our readers avoid using watercolor pain for face painting. Not only does watercolor paint tend to crack quickly spoiling the artwork on your skin but it can also be an absolute nightmare to get off your skin quickly.

If you are going to a party one evening but have things that you have to do early the next day then just going with actual face paint is going to be your best option in our opinion. It tends to work much better than a watercolor paint as it will not crack on your skin and it is considerably easier to wash off the next day with warm water and a little soap.

Does Watercolor Paint Wash Off Skin?

Although childrens watercolor paint that tends to be more popular for painting on human skin does wash off easier than professional watercolor paint, it is still not as easy as washing off actual face paint. If you have been using professional level watercolor paint then it can be much harder to get off your skin, especially if you only have warm soapy water available.

In addition to this, some professional level metallic watercolor paints can have high levels of nickel as well as other minerals that are potentially harmful to your skin. Although they chances of having issues is minimal for most people due to having the paint on your skin for such a short duration, it can leave a red mark as it can take so long to wash off. This is why we highly discourage the use of professional level watercolor paints for use on human skin.

How Do You Get Watercolor Off Your Skin?

Watercolor paint designed for use with children tends to wash off with nothing more than warm soapy water on a cotton bud and some scrubbing. Professional watercolor paints can be a totally different story though and some people choose to use professional products such as mineral oil or sometimes just baby oil to help speed the process up.

You can usually add a little baby oil to some hot water and then soak it into a cotton bud to rub the watercolor paint off your skin. Although this does tend to be easier, it still does need to be scrubbed vigorously for an extended period of time to fully remove the paint from your skin. If you only have a short period of time to wash the watercolor off your skin before you have to get on with your next task of the day you still may have red marks on your skin for some time where you have been vigorously scrubbing the paint off you.

Is Watercolor Paint Toxic?

Watercolor pain is available in both toxic and non-toxic varieties with the non-toxic paint formulas usually being designed for use with children where as the majority of professional, high-end watercolor paints that have been designed for the best performance on canvas tend to be toxic. This is due to the formula required for the paint to ensure that it offers the artist the best possible color for the longest possible time without it fading or cracking.

As we touched on earlier in the article, metallic watercolor paints tend to have a high level of mineral based pigments in them that are often toxic. Even non-metallic professional grade watercolor paints still tend to have a relatively high concentration of these potentially toxic mineral pigments in them.

As we have mentioned a few times above, this is totally normal and to be expected as watercolor paints are not designed to be used for use on human skin, they are designed for artwork and to offer you the best performance for that specific task. If you do need a reliable paint for human skin just go with real face paint as it is much better in every way you can think of.

What Kind Of Paint Is Safe For Skin?

Although there are a number of paints that are safe for use on your skin, you also have to factor in if they will crack as you move your face as well as how easy they are to clean off when required too. The vast majority of commercially available oils and paints tend to not tick the three main boxes of being non-toxic, not cracking while worn, and easy to wash off though.

This is why so many people will just use face paint for any body work that they need doing from normal face painting to full body art. The formula of face paint has been specifically designed for use on human skin and is one of the few products on the market that ticks the three boxes and is also usually very cheap helping to keep your costs down too.


That brings our article going over if watercolor paint is safe for skin or not to an end and we hope that you have found it helpful. Although watercolor paint is one of our primary recommendations for actual artwork, we would always recommend that our readers avoid it for any face painting or body painting due to the various issues that we have pointed out in our article above. Just go with a specific product that has been designed for use with body painting and you will tend to get much better results in your actual artwork while also having a much easier time when it comes to cleaning it off.