Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Face Paints Causing Rashes

On the face paint forum some one asked this question:
I face painted my daughter with some Snazaroo paint that I've had for a while, half yellow and half purple face. She washed it off that night with water and then some Oil of Olay wipes. She came home from school with little hives on her face and complained of it burning. I had painted her two days prior with different face paints that she kept on all day with no problems. Now I wouldn't worry except a friend of mine said that her daughter had the same problem after I had painted her face but I didn't worry about it because she said that her child kept the paint on overnight into the next day before she finally wiped it off but same problem, rash and burning face. So my question is, Can face paint go bad? Can it get too old? Thanks for any help!

First off, this artist is using a known brand name of actual face paint, and not an acrylic or craft paint. Most of the time when you see stories of face paint causing a rash it's because it's not actual face paint at all, but craft paint.
Here is my previous blog post about using craft paint in place of actual safe cosmetic paint.
Never Use Craft Paint For Face Painting!

But since this is actual brand name FDA compliant face paint, there are different reasons as to why some one might have a reaction. In my response I listed the top 4 most likely causes where a  person might have skin reaction after wearing face paint.
Starting with the least likely.....

- They are allergic to products that contain lanolin.

This is a rarer allergy, but still possible. Snazaroo contains an oil base called lanolin which in layman's terms is made from sheep wool grease. The likely culprit here would be the 'wool alcohol', but that is processed out of the lanolin when it's used to creams and cosmetics. There is still debate on what causes the allergic reaction to alcohol free lanolin, but if the child is also allergic to sunscreen, lip balm, leather, hairspray etc, then a Lanolin allergy is your likely culprit.

Some one replied earlier saying:
"The lanolin in Snazaroo is NOT from sheep. It is an man-made chemical therefore not a allergen for those allergic to wool and natural lanolin."

Yeah no. Not according to Snazaroo's own website anyway.

Snazaroo.comAre Snazaroo face paints suitable for Vegans or for Vegetarians?  
Some of our Snazaroo face paints contain lanolin, an animal-derived ingredient and as such, our products cannot be categorised as vegan/vegetarian. However, the glyceryl stearate in our face paints does not contain any animal ingredients and there are no other ingredients (other than lanolin) which are derived from animals in our face paints.
(Emphasis mine.)

I remember this because my vegan friend made me look it up when she was explaining to me why my paints weren't vegan lol. Yeah, my friend totally schooled me, and I never forgot it. :p

Also artificial lanolin can cause the same allergic reactions because they are chemically the same though not derived from the same source. But even those with a Lanolin allergy can even some times use Snaz because the content of lanolin in the product is pretty low over all, that only those with a severe allergy would react to it.

- They have an allergy to fragrance.
More common allergy then lanolin. This isn't so much about the smell rather then it is coming in contact with the chemicals that create the smell which would cause a contact dermatitis. This is usually an extreme allergy, such that she also requires special fragrance free laundry detergents, shampoo, and other things that would come into contact with the skin. If this is the case with your child, then there's your problem; as face paints do contain a mild fragrance. But if the child can use most other products with added fragrance, then it;s probably not this causing the rash.
Read More About This Allergy Here

- Contaminated Paints. 

Coming in at 2nd most likely, this can happen by not cleaning your paints properly after a face painting session, or not cleaning your brushes or sponges. If a child had a viral infection it can and will spread through your paints. They do contain an anti-bacterial agent in them, but not an anti-viral one. Viruses can live on surfaces for many days; even weeks. Give them a nice moist sealed environment like a face paint cake and can be an all out party. Cross contamination can spread quite quickly if proper sanitation habits are not followed.
Read my post about how to keep your paints clean here:
How To Clean Water Based Face Paint Cakes
and more tips on keeping a clean and tidy work space here:
Tips For a Tidy Setup


- The removal itself.
Ironically this is the most likely cause. Oil of Olay wipes have a high concentration of alcohol on them unless they specifically say "Alcohol Free" on the package. BUT, even then the package is misleading because most 'pre-moistened' wipe brands will have other irritants in them such as

- Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol
- Parabens (controversial ingredients)
- Phenoxyethanol (irritant)
- 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Dio (potent anti-microbial agent that carries the highest hazard rating, 8-10, on the Skin Deep Ingredients database)

I did another blog post about this subject not long ago.

If the other child also used wipes to remove the paint, it doesn't matter if it was the same brand, it's the most likely culprit.

Always remove face paint with soap and water, sensitive skin makeup remover, or some people even use oil based products like coconut oil, or olive oil. But IMO soap and water is the best.

Hope this helped.

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