Did you know that 100% of the face paints tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics contained lead, a neurotoxin? (The Centers for Disease Control say there is no safe level of lead for children.) Fortunately it’s really easy to create face paint using supplies you likely already have at home!
I have gotten pretty good at making homemade, natural face paint (and of nailing a pretty good likeness of a unicorn) since one of my daughter’s favorite things in the world right now is for me to paint her face. The recipe I use is below, and I like it because it’s really easy and you only need to make a little bit at a time.
Safe & Natural Face Paint Recipe
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp water to make paste
- 1/2 tsp mineral sunscreen or natural diaper rash cream for staying power!
- Colorful foods (pureed in a blend) to make desired shades (you can also use natural, organic pigments or food coloring, see below)
Mix the first three ingredients together to make a thick white paste. Then, take a little bit of the base and mix with different foods to create your desired colors. We’ve had a lot of success with blackberries (pretty rose color), avocado with a squirt of lemon juice (green) and hummus (orangey-brown). You can also use coffee/tea (browns, black), corn (yellowish color) and cherries (red). As different foods have different water content, you make have to add a bit more cornstarch to the mix depending on if your paint gets too runny once you add the colorful foods.
Use a clean sponge, paintbrush, or fingers to apply the paint. You can easily remove it with soap and water.
If you aren’t able to achieve the colors you want with food, or are just short on time or produce, you can always add natural, organic pigments or even food coloring to your base. Food coloring is not natural, but it’s still much, much safer than the store bought versions!
Below is a photo of my little garden fairy and of my diaper-rash base face paint. The diaper rash really makes the paint stick! For this batch I used food coloring.
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