How To Keep Your Face Painting Practices Hygienic
Face Painting is a lot of fun and children love it, but it is important that professional face painters do it in a way that guarantees the safety of all of those getting painted.
Because of that and most importantly in times like the ones we are living in, it is crucial to always have a safe face painting practice that keeps everyone happy and healthy at the same time.
For some this might sound like an impossible task, but in reality, this is simple if we do it right and practice a few times before going on the job.
The recommendations below are ones that you should apply in general, except for some that are mostly indicated while we are dealing with the COVID-19 situation.
Here is a list of important things you should consider to keep your face painting hygienic.
1 – Use hand sanitizer often
You should use hand sanitizer in between every child you face paint. With or without gloves, having your hands clean is the best you can do. Using gloves only keeps your hands from getting paint on them but will not stop you from passing on germs from one customer to the next. So, with or without gloves on, always use hand sanitizer in between each customer. This is one of the most important steps for hygienic face painting practice. Also, avoid touching your own face and if you must, use hand sanitizer right after.
2 – Allow your customers to use hand sanitizer
Before you let anyone seat in your face painting chair, you should ask your customers to use a little bit of hand sanitizer on their hands. That way, when they sit on your chair, you can be sure that they will not be leaving any germs on the arm rests. Also, if they touch their face while you are painting them, your brushes and tools won’t come in contact with whatever they could have had on their hands had they not sanitized their hands before getting painted.
3 – If possible, have each child clean their face with an unscented baby wipe
Although this is not crucial, as you will notice with the steps we will list below, allowing your customers to clean their faces helps have an overall cleaner surface to paint on. If instead of their face you are painting their arm, you can use a bit of hand sanitizer and a baby wipe to clean the area that will be painted. Just don’t apply hand sanitizer to the face, and always ask to make sure that your customers are not allergic to hand sanitizer.
4 – Never double dip
The second most important thing to keep your face painting practice hygienic is to avoid double dipping your brushes or sponges into the paint. What we mean by this is that once you have loaded a brush or sponge with paint, that tool should never touch the face again until it has been properly sanitized. Sponges cannot be sanitized while on the job, but brushes can. We will go over that later.
But, as a rule, you should have a spray bottle or water pump system that gives you clean water that has been stored in a sealed container until it has to be used, and also use that to moisten your brush or sponge. Then, load your face paint making sure you get a good enough load that will prevent you from having to add more paint later.
5 – Sanitize your brushes before re-using them
Once you have used the paint you have on your brush or sponge, set them aside. If it is a brush, use a separate water container (not the one used for loading) to rinse the face paint off. You can have some drops of soap in that water to help loosen up the pigments. Then, dip your brush in a separate water container that just has water to rinse the paint and soap left, and lastly, either spray or dip your brushes in 60% to 70% alcohol (don’t use lower concentrations because they won’t work to kill most viruses and bacteria). Then allow the brushes to fully dry before reusing them.
Watch the little video below to see how we first rinsed our brush in soapy water, then we used clean water to rinse the soap off and then we dipped it in 70% alcohol and set it to dry out.
Another option is just to have enough brushes that you won’t need to reuse them during an event, and you can sanitize them at home.
6 – Keep your used sponges in a separate area
Once a sponge has been loaded with face paint, it should never touch a face paint cake again. You should use it just once and when done put it in a separate sealed bag that you will take home and sanitize later. This will keep your face painting area clean and hygienic.
7 – Sanitize your sponges
Once home, grab all of your sponges and use a CDC approved sanitizer to clean them and make sure all bacteria, germs and viruses that might have been collected by your sponges are killed. In general, using hot water above 60 degree Celsius and soap should do it. Then, dry them in your regular clothing dryer on low heat so not to melt them. This allows for fast drying and should take care of any germs, bacteria or viruses.
8 – Keep your face paints covered while face painting
We highly suggest for you to keep a sheet of clear plastic like acetate over your face paints or keep their lids on while you are at the job, to help prevent people from coughing over them.
9 – Wear a nose and mouth mask if recommended or required by your government
It might be required for some time for face painters to wear a face mask to protect your customers and yourself. In this case you can choose to wear one that looks fun and exciting, take it as an opportunity to be creative rather than scary.
| Yes, you can look cool like her if you want to!
10 – Sanitize your kit after every gig
Once you are done with a job, take your time to sanitize your kit, either when packing up or at home. This means spraying a makeup sanitizer on each cake used, wiping all kit areas with a disinfectant wipe (except for the surface of the cakes), cleaning your sponges and brushes, etc. Before you start doing that make sure your own hands are clean (you can use soap and water) and make sure you store your kit in a safe area where it is not at risk of becoming contaminated. Before you put the lids on your face paints, allow them to dry in a safe area (like a locked room without people going in and out).
11 – Avoid public transportation when possible
If possible, try not to use public transportation to get to your job, at least while the authorities state that it is not yet as safe as a private car.
12 – Plan your designs to stay away from mouth, nose and eyes
Even though you will not be double dipping your tools and you will sanitize them well before using them again, it is always best to keep your designs away from the immediate eye, mouth and nose areas. In fact, while the world situation remains a bit uncertain, you can choose to paint forearms, shoulders or neck areas instead. We have been doing that for ages so it should not be a challenge. Just make sure that any area you paint on is clean.
13 – Do not paint anyone that you feel might be sick
Although no one wants to say no to a little one, keeping everyone safe is more important. If someone looks sick, then inform the parents that you won’t be able to paint them in order to protect everyone else. But we strongly suggest for you to have a little something to give to that child to make them feel special, like a cool sticker. It won’t happen often, and it will leave the child with an overall better experience.
14 – Have a sign that indicates you won’t be painting people who are sick
Make sure that your sign sounds gentle and that you are truly just concerned about the safety of your clients and not trying to be mean.
15 – Use a numbers system or tape on the floor to keep adequate distance
In order to avoid crowding around you while you are painting, and to prevent children being too close to each other while they wait to be painted, you can have a numbers system, using disposable number tickets to give to each child that wants to join the line, and paint one child at the time and ask the rest to stay around but far enough from you. Let them know that you will call their number when you are ready for them and if they miss it you will paint the next child and they can come in after him or her.
As a second option, you can put tape on the floor (make sure that is ok with the event organizer and that you won’t damage the floor) to indicate where each kid should stand, that way they can stay in line and keep a safe distance.
Also, you can use a light rug to put under your chair that marks the painting area and ask all guests to stay off it if they are not being painted. This way you can keep people at a safe distance away from you, your guest and your kit.
This section is mostly to be applied while recommendations for safe distance to fight against COVID-19 are in place.
16 – Use a digital business card
Since giving away regular business cards might not be the best way to promote your business right now, you can have a blown-out version of one on your table with a QR code and your website printed on it, and parents can take a photo of it.
17 – Try to use digital payment methods
When possible, allow event planners to pay in full online or using a contactless system so you don’t have to exchange cash or touch a credit card. If you must, make sure to sanitize your hands before and after.
18 – Do not go to work sick
If you are feeling sick, find a replacement for you, do not go to face paint while sick. This should always be the case, as it is especially important to keep our customers healthy and safe.
19 – Weather permitting, paint outdoors
If the weather is nice, you should do your best to face paint outdoors since this is always considered safer in regards to COVID-19.
20 – Keep a section on your website dedicated to sanitation practices
Now more than ever our customers want to know what we are doing to keep everyone safe so make sure you have a section on your site fully dedicated to your sanitation and hygiene practices so that your customers know that you are aware and you will do your best. Don’t make it sound scary, just simple and to the point, so they feel safe, not scared.
These recommendations might look like a lot at a first glance but they can become second nature if you practice enough and this way you will keep your face painting practice hygienic and keep you and your customers safe.
Please remember that nothing that was written in here contradicts or should be taken as a replacement of indications given by your local health authorities. You must always follow their recommendations first, and then, if face painting is allowed in your area, take the steps above as extra recommendations.
We are not doctors, so this opinion is the opinion of a professional face paint manufacturer and should be taken as that, an opinion.
If you still have any questions or doubts, please feel free to contact us using our Contact Us page and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
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Thank you so much for reading and have fun face painting!