Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Skin (face & body)?

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Skin

Acrylic paint is one of the most versatile paint mediums we have today. It can be used over any surface like wood, fabrics, paper, walls, and many more. It is common to see acrylic on inanimate objects, but it is not rare to see acrylic on some body parts. For instance, a lot of ladies use acrylic paint on their fingernails. Even some artists take things up a notch by applying acrylic paint to their bodies. Is it safe to do so? Well, we will be taking a closer look at this in our article.

Is It Safe To Use Acrylic Paint on The Skin?

As we said, it is not surprising that people paint their bodies. It has been done throughout history, and this practice won’t be going away anytime soon, especially for creative persons. People paint their bodies for many reasons, soldiers do to camouflage, children paint their faces at birthday parties, and even at weddings, you will see people with painted faces.

However, can you use acrylic paint on your skin? Here are some things to consider before you use acrylic on your body or face:

1. Not All Acrylic Paint Is Safe 

Most people believe that acrylic is the safest paint to use so that it won’t be a problem having it on their bodies. They even think it is easy to wash it off after applying it. The truth is acrylic also has components in it that are a little toxic. Even though it is water-based, the pigments in the paint should not be inhaled, ingested, or have contact with the skin.

Not All Acrylic Paint Is Safe 
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2. You Should Be Worried About the Scent

Acrylic paint leaves people exposed to the harmful chemical properties in it. Although it does not have as much odor as oil paint, it can still pose health risks. Studies have shown that some acrylic paints can release toxic substances in the air even when it dries.

3. It Will Irritate Your Skin

Many people believe they can clean off acrylic on their face or body, but this is a misconception. Acrylic paint has fast-drying properties and is weather resistant. This is why it is considered one of the best paint mediums for most surfaces. These properties make the paint long-lasting, especially with the proper maintenance.

However, on the skin, acrylic paint can become a big problem. First, it will block your pores and then irritate them. Another thing you have to deal with is getting the paint off your skin. Even when you use acrylic with your paintbrushes, it is recommended that you immediately wash it off while it is still wet.

Irritate Your Skin by Acrylic Paint
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4. The Hard Part Is Washing Off-Dry Paint

Washing off acrylic paint when it is still wet is easy, but the moment it dries up, it is a problem. The acrylic paint quickly hardens when it dries, so it is practically impossible to wash it off with soap and water. You will need to either use baby oil or alcohol to loosen the paint. Besides, you don’t want to experience this type of pain. Even with this method, there is no guarantee that you can still get off all the paint from your face or body.

In getting off the acrylic paint, you will also be forcing the hair on your skin which is similar to getting waxed. Yes, it is excruciating, and after successfully removing all the paint, you will feel sore.

What Alternative Do You Have To Paint Your Body?

As you can see from all of these, you shouldn’t try out acrylic on your body for any reason. Instead, there are other safe options like body paint or makeup products to use. If you consider doing face painting or body painting, we suggest you look at the following options.


There are unique markers used for face and body painting. It is different from regular markers, which can be toxic to the skin. When buying body paint markers, you should look out for the ones for specific body parts. It is usually specified, so you don’t end up with the wrong product. It’s used on kids and adults because it is safe. Furthermore, cleaning it off is very easy.

Water-based Non-Toxic Paint

Paint companies are usually regulated, and the government ensures that they maintain safe practices during their manufacturing process. The water-based paint should have it stated that it is non-toxic or does not contain any harmful ingredients you will find in acrylic. And that it can be easily removed without posing any difficulty. The only problem with this type of paint is that it cracks easily when it dries.

Alcohol-based Paint

This is another safe type of paint usually applied as tattoos. Alcohol-based paints are also waterproof, and it does not crack easily. Although sweat won’t clean it off, it would be messed up if you touch it. Also, you would need alcohol to obliterate it. If you need a brush set for your face and body painting, we recommend getting this UCANBE Face Body Paint Set. 


This body paint is standard in Asia and Africa. Henna is extracted from plant dye and usually gives this brown or orange tint on the skin. It is safe, and you can easily clean it off. However, this paint will fade off even on its own. There is some black henna paint that includes some chemicals. It is best to avoid this type because it can irritate your skin.

Metallic body paint

Metallic body paints are commonly used for face painting. It is safe, but some people get allergic to it. Also, it is the least recommended because it takes time to remove the paint. Most times, it is commonly used by artists for performances. However, some people still apply it without any issues. Besides, the paint cleans off over time, and you can exfoliate to get the paint off quickly.


It is not recommended to use acrylic paint on your skin. There are many options for paint mediums you can use specifically for the face and body painting that are safe. We don’t recommend acrylic paint on any part of your body because it will be painful to get out and cause severe irritation. We already listed safe alternatives, and you must read their labels to be sure you are buying a non-toxic paint. If you want to use acrylic, we suggest you try them on canvases and other objects.

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