Body Art Paints And Sensitive Skin

Body art is not for everyone. But for the adventurous spirit, it can be fun and done safely...even on people with sensitive skin.

Many people have thought of getting a tattoo or having body paint applied as a mask or symbol. But not all body art paint is for every person. Some people are allergic to some of the ingredients in body paint. Some people have no allergy, but do have very sensitive skin. Always remember, never apply any paint to an open wound on the body.

If the person being painted has never been painted before, try a test on the back of the hand and let the artwork remain two days. Remove the paint with soap and water and if there is no irritation, and then proceed to other body parts with caution. One solution for those with sensitive skin is to coat the area to be painted with hand cream to lessen the sensitivity to the paint. This is great for kids at carnivals, or people who want a temporary tattoo or body art, especially if the person is prone to getting skin rashes from any type of paint or chemical used in the past.

There are several products on the market that are available for those who have sensitive skin, but feel they absolutely must participate in body art painting. For them, there are some products that will be less irritating than traditional body paint and latex paints. If the subject being painted has sensitive skin, always use water-based paints. All body art paints show the ingredients on the back or side panel, read this information-it is very important to know what is being put into the product and ultimately onto the skin. Most body art paint will wash off with soap and water, so be careful if it is a rainy day because the design could run down into a mess and spoil the artwork. Be sure that if the face is being painted, to hold back the hair with a headband so the paint does not crust around the hairline or fall onto the face during the painting process.


Henna tattoo ink paint will last about 1-3 weeks on most bodies, and is all natural--most people will not be sensitive to this kind of paint. There are many commercial kits available at local herb shops, health food stores, and on the Internet that contain natural henna. Black and red are the most common colors, but greens, blues, and amber colors can be found as well. If a homemade paint is desired, natural henna leaves can be ground up to a fine powder, mixed with lemon or lime juice and eucalyptus oil. Then allow it to sit for 2-3 hours to become a paste. This paint can be applied directly to the skin with a paintbrush or a squeeze bottle. As the design dries, it can be re-moistened with lime juice and sugar water to help set the color into the skin. This method is time-consuming. It takes about 2 hours of sitting still for the dye to set. If painting on a flat body part, such as the back, it is best to retrace the design with the mixture as the paint is drying. Usually, henna designs are their darkest after about 24 hours of drying. Once the design has set, it should last about 10 days on thick skin, like the soles of the feet or palms of the hand. Henna designs will last shorter periods of time in dry skin areas and on softer body parts, usually 3-5 days. There are also numerous henna ink temporary tattoo and paint kits available in local craft shops and on the Internet.

Glycerin soap is one of the easiest ways to remove henna ink or body art paint. If irritation is present after using or removing henna ink or body art paint, the best product to help revive skin is one that contains Tea Tree Oil. Some pure oils have a strong aroma, but many lotions have little smell or a pleasant aroma. Tea Tree Oil products come in various strengths so don't be afraid to go to a health food store or herbal shop to ask about which one would do the trick for a certain skin condition. Some brands are more pleasing than others; usually store personnel will be glad to discuss the different products available.

There is a company that produces a product called the Skin Illustrator that is one of this author's favorite paint choices for body art. There are many different color palettes to choose from and they are safe for sensitive skin. Designs are easy to produce because the paints come in trays and bottles with little tips. Easy application on children and easy clean up, are the bonus factors with this product. They are generally not hard on sensitive skin. This line of body paint is great for carnivals; haunted house characters, and designs in general. The best thing about this product is that it can be used on the lips and very close to the eyes without damaging skin tissue, which is great for plays and costume parties. The initial cost is fairly expensive, starting about $70.00 for a set of 6 or 7 tubes in one grouping, but well worth it, and sometimes it is possible to find just one color to complete a color palette or replace a used container of a favorite color. This product line can be painted onto the body or used with an airbrush for a variety of effects. Easily removable with alcohol. The key question for the user here is whether or not the alcohol will cause skin irritation-it doesn't on most people, but it is worth mentioning as a cautionary measure. The only downside of this product is that the paint is flammable, so be sure to keep the bottles and the brushes away from cigarettes, flames, and fireworks.

Another great paint to try is acrylic paint that has been watered-down by mixing one part water to two parts paint. This solution usually provides much less irritation, especially if the body art is to be worn for several days. This paint can be purchased at most craft or hobby stores. And, again you need to read the label to be sure there is no alcohol in the ingredients or else skin irritation may occur.

Snazaroo brand paints are safe for children, non-toxic, and great for all skin types. The art will last up to 2 days if it does not get wet and there is no sweating involved. It does tend to come off or make valleys in the cracks of the hand and face, though. This product washes off with soap and water. It is difficult to find this item in stores as it is mostly sold in large quantities for fundraising events. However, it may be possible to find at larger stores that specialize in fundraising supplies.

Body art painting is fun, and safe for the most part. The main thing to remember is to do a spot test on the back of the hand before going hog wild and painting the entire body. Any paint that is not organic or natural can cause skin irritation, but with proper research, anybody can enjoy body art.

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