Friday, 29 August 2014

How to Clean Water Based Face Paint Cakes

Most brands of professional face paints have an anti-microbial agents in them. This will help keep bacteria from growing on them but there is lots you can do to help!

Anti-Bacterial doesn't mean anti-viral. Contagious viruses can and will live on many surfaces for even up to two weeks some times! This is a big reason why any face paint artist shouldn't paint a child who is sick or even appears to be sick. Even so after every gig you should clean the tops of your paints and give them a spritz with some 99% iso. But if you over do the amount, your paints will dry out big time. Do not clean the cakes with wet wipes because the oils in them can mess up the water activation of your paints and make for irregular applications that do not bond with the skin. Don't use anything that will shed fibers in your paints like paper towel or cotton. Ideally you want to use a dense cloth that can be thrown away after use. You can rinse out wet wipes for this or use something similar to wipe just the tops of the cakes.

 Ideally the best way to keep your paints clean is to wash and sanitize your brushes while you work. Different artists do this different ways.

In the makeup world as you know there is NO double dipping with 'wet product' everything is put on a pallet with a metal spatula and used from there. But this type of procedure isn't feasible with face painting unfortunately. So we want to focus on cleaning the brushes most of all.

Here are some ways it can be done, and each person has a personal preference:
  • Some people carry LOADS of brushes to an event and clean them afterwards. Or even have assistants cleaning the brushes as they go!
  • Some use a 3-4 cup system - 1 cup rinse water, 1 cup alcohol , (optional one cup for rinsing alcohol off if you want to reuse the brush right away) and finally 1 cup for fresh water.
  • Some use brush bath or soap in between.
  • Some use a spray bottle of 99% iso to soak the brushes with
Some mix their iso and water, but this does nothing to sterilize because the iso is now diluted, and doing this can be hazardous to sensitive skin, most of all in the eye area.

Also make sure you are painting on a clean face, and never paint over sores or wounds of any kind, EVEN if they have scabbed over, and NEVER paint a person who is sick.

It's a good idea to carry stickers in your face painting kit for these occurrences and have this posted on a sign at your table that you do not paint people who are sick. If you start painting and a kid starts to cough or sniffle, finish quickly as you can (or if it's really bad just stop dead in your tracks), and sanitize EVERYTHING that may have had contact with them before you continue, including the chair they were sitting in.

If you paint near the eyes or mouth you must fully sanitize your brushes.

Use one sponge per person, and hand santizer between kids. Finally you have to actually wash your hands from time to time. I have a spray bottle of soapy water for this, and a towel with my setup.

Good luck!

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