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Baby wipes: not for faces!



Four Reasons Wet Wipes Are Bad For Face Painting

Although convenient, there are some serious disadvantages to using wet wipes as a professional face painter. This is why:

1. Wasteful

To clean a child’s face before painting doesn’t require the entire cloth.  Traces of food by the mouth, or some something by the nose needs a small amount of cloth.  Obviously you can’t re-use one on someone else as that would be unacceptable. You have to throw it in the bin. What a waste, wet wipes are not that cheap.  And just like money, they do not flush that well, even the ones that say they are ‘flushable’.  Please don’t do it.

2 They contribute to staining Skin

The oils in the wipes that keep them moist are also a great product for setting your pigments. Basically part of the wipe removes the paint and the other part works to embed the colour in your skin. It actually pushes it deeper into your pores and then seals it nicely.  This happens mostly with yellows, reds, greens and purples, but has been known to happen with almost all the colours.   On the back of my business cards there are care and removal instructions, and it specifically says. “Avoid wet wipes and creams”.

3. Science

When a face has been cleaned around the mouth or nose with wet wipes ,paint had trouble bonding and blending on application and it was the OILS in the wet wipes causing this!  Face paint is WATER activated! Science tells us Oil and Water DON’T mix, hence, the removal instructions on my cards.

4. They Are Bad For the Skin

By their very nature facial wipes have to be soaked in some potent chemicals to avoid being breeding grounds for bacteria. These moist cloths sit in packets on shelves for up to 18 months on a warm factory floor, therefore they require high levels of preservatives, namely alcohol and anti-bacterial agents to keep them usable by the time they distribute them to the retailers.

Particular ingredients to watch out for are:

– Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol (irritants)

– Parabens (e.g., Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is often used as is Japanese Honeysuckle, a naturally-occurring but equally concerning)

– Phenoxyethanol (irritant)

– 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1, 3-Dio (potent anti-microbial agent that carries the highest hazard rating, 8-10, on the Skin Deep Ingredients database.)

  • Alcohol used topically, will dry out your skin.  As well as being irritating to your skin, the high levels of alcohol can also cause extreme dryness and result premature ageing of the skin and works as a preservative when present in concentrations of over 10%.

  • Benzoic Acid  [A mild skin irritant thought to exacerbate Eczema].

  • Benzyl Alcohol [Considered a skin and eye irritant and has been linked to Contact Dermatitis and Urticaria].

  • Formaldehyde  [Still used in some “natural” skin care products, and a known carcinogen and skin irritant].




Alternative Solutions:

  1. A face cloth, fresh water, wrung out but still damp.  Wipe paint away from the eyes delicately and gently remove the majority of the product.  Once most of the paint has been removed, you may was as normal.

  2. Paper towel and pump bottle


In the bottle put water and a small amount of gentle, unperfumed plain hand/face soap in it. Use purest soap to avoid possible allergies in your clients.   Detergents are off the list.  Try scrapings from Dove or Pears soap [gentle on skin and no oily residue]. Mix with the water and it dissolves- pump on to small cut to size paper towels kept in a sealed container. If you feel the need you can also spray another sheet with just water to remove any soap residue you may have left behind.  This solution is:

– Less expensive

– Safer for the skin

– Better for removing face paint

– Easier to paint over after cleaning

– Saves Space

– Better for correcting mistakes

– Creates less waste

– More environmentally friendly

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