Children with cute face paint on. When face painting, its important to use the best non toxic paints for kids.

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Face painting is a fun way for kids to pretend to be someone or something else. From fierce jungle creatures to elegant fairies, changing their appearance empowers kids to express their creativity in a tangible, colorful way. However, not all face paints are created equal and some can actually be harmful for your children. Read more to learn about the best non toxic face paints for kids and you won’t have to worry about what they are putting on their face!

Chemicals You Don’t Want In Your Child’s Face Paint

When you are looking for the best non toxic face paint for kids, there are chemicals you want to avoid at all costs. Here are some of the red flags you want to watch out for and why they are potentially harmful.

Lead and Heavy Metals

One of the most alarming issues with some face paints is the presence of lead and heavy metals. Lead, in particular, is notorious for its harmful effects on the brain and nervous system, especially in young children. Exposure to lead can lead to developmental delays, learning disabilities, and other serious health problems. Heavy metals like cadmium and chromium are also found in some face paints and can pose health risks when absorbed through the skin.


Many cosmetics, including face paints, contain parabens as preservatives. These synthetic compounds are used to extend the shelf life of products but have been linked to hormone disruption and are a concern for children, as their endocrine systems are still developing.

Fragrances and Allergens

Fragrances added to face paints can often contain allergens that may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin or allergies. Children are more susceptible to these reactions due to their thinner and more delicate skin.


Some face paints may contain petrochemical-based ingredients like mineral oil and petroleum jelly. These can clog pores and potentially lead to skin issues, such as acne or dermatitis.

Artificial Colors

Artificial colors like FD&C and D&C dyes are used to achieve vibrant hues in face paints. However, some of these synthetic colors have been associated with skin irritation and allergies, and certain ones may even contain harmful contaminants.

Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, such as DMDM hydantoin and quaternium-15, are sometimes used in cosmetics. They release small amounts of formaldehyde over time, which can be an irritant and allergen for some individuals.


Nano-sized particles are sometimes used to enhance the color and texture of face paints. However, the safety of nanoparticles in cosmetics is a subject of ongoing research, and concerns have been raised about their potential to penetrate the skin and cause health issues.

The Best Non-Toxic Face Paints For Kids

Natural Earth Paint

Natural Earth Paint’s specialize in eco-friendly friendly paint kits. These are water soluble paints that are free of toxins and additives. With 70% certified organic ingredients, natural earth paint washes off easily with soap and water.

Artiparty Face Painting Supplies

Artiparty face painting supplies are dermatologically tested, non-toxic, paraben free & hypoallergenic. These are theatrical quality water-base paints that are great when you are going for a more natural appearance.

Go Green Face Paint

Go Green Face Paint’s are certified organic, hypoallergenic, and vegan. These are lead free water based paints that are great for sensitive skin.

Tips For Choosing Quality Face Paints For Your Kids

Selecting safe face paints for your kids can be confusing as there are so many choices out there. Here are some tips to help you choose the safest options:

Look for Non-Toxic Labels

Always check for face paints that explicitly state they are “non-toxic” or “safe for use on skin” on the packaging. These labels indicate that the product has undergone safety testing and does not contain harmful ingredients.

Read Ingredients List

Examine the ingredients list carefully. Safe face paints typically contain water-based or glycerin-based formulas. Avoid products that list harmful chemicals like lead, heavy metals, parabens, or fragrances.

Avoid Allergens

If your child has sensitive skin or allergies, be extra cautious. Choose face paints that are hypoallergenic and free from common allergens like nuts, gluten, and dairy.

Water-Based Paints

Water-based face paints are generally the safest option for kids. They are easy to apply, quick to dry, and easy to remove with mild soap and water. They also tend to have fewer allergens and skin irritants compared to oil-based paints.

FDA-Compliant Products

Check if the face paints comply with FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) guidelines for cosmetics. FDA-compliant paints are more likely to be safe for use on the skin.

Look for ASTM Certification

Some face paints may carry ASTM D-4236 certification, indicating they have been reviewed for safety by the American Society for Testing and Materials. While this certification doesn’t guarantee safety for use on the skin, it’s a positive sign.

Age-Appropriate Products

Choose face paints suitable for your child’s age. Some products may have age recommendations on the packaging to ensure safe use for specific age groups.

Washable Paints

Opt for washable face paints that can be easily removed with water and mild soap. Avoid oil-based paints that can be more challenging to wash off and may contain harsher ingredients.

Make Your Own Face Paint

Creating non-toxic homemade face paints is another option to ensure the safety of the paints your child will use. Here’s an easy recipe from highlights for kids to help you make your own non-toxic face paints at home:

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch per face paint color
  • 1½ teaspoons water per color
  • Small containers with lids (such as baby-food jars), one per color
  • 1½ teaspoons facial cold cream per color
  • Natural food coloring
  • Cotton swabs or paint brush


Step 1: Combine 3 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1½ teaspoons of water in a small container.

Step 2: Stir in 1½ teaspoons of cold cream. If the mixture is too soupy, add a little more cornstarch.

Step 3: Stir in a few drops of natural food color. Continue adding drops until you achieve your desired color intensity.

Step 4: Test your paints: Dip a clean paintbrush or sponge into your homemade face paint and try it on a small area of your skin to ensure it’s the right color and consistency. Adjust the color or thickness as needed.

Final Thoughts

Kids love face paints and they can be a ton of fun! Just be sure to pick out a non toxic paint and you will be good to go. Happy painting!

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