Today I’m going to be talking about hygiene which is a big concern in our industry and it’s so important that you take it seriously to save yourself hassles such as:
* Your clients getting allergic reactions
* Contamination of your face paints that infect others
* And getting sued for all of the above (in extreme cases)
* Below are our tips on keeping your tools hygienic.
People to Avoid Painting
Never paint someone who has:
Any open cuts or sores on their face.
A cold sore, conjunctivitis, or any other known infectious skin condition.
A food allergy or allergic reactions to soaps, skin creams, etc., without a prior skin test.
Face Paints Palettes and Kits
If they have cuts or open sores on their face, think about painting something on their hands, arms or even legs. If they can’t get their faces painted, at least a little bit of body painting might help put a smile on their face, and parents will love the fact that you’re considerate of their child’s feelings.
Keeping Your Tools Hygienic
Hygiene is important but don’t get too carried away. Some recommend that all brushes, sponges, and palettes must be cleaned or replaced after painting someone and before painting the next person.
Although this may sound time consuming, brushes and sponges can be quickly rinsed quite quickly in hot water (as this will kill the germs). If you’re painting lips, a cotton swab works great and is disposable.
The most important thing to remember is that you should only be painting faces that are clean, so if you’re only painting clean surfaces then you’re not likely to be spreading anything around.
Some other tips are listed below:
It is a good habit to get into to ask parents before you work on their child if they have any allergies or skin sensitivities. If you’re unsure, you might try a test patch on the inside of the wrist.
Some (very few) children have extremely sensitive skin and will break out with a rash with even the most pure products. So you should always have a disclaimer on your table, just in case.
Use a baby wipe to clean a child’s face (if he/she has a runny nose or food/drink on their face) before painting it – so your tools don’t get contaminated.
Obviously your own hands should be clean before you start painting. And you should try to wipe them occasionally on a baby wipe to keep them clean while you work.
Keeping your water looking fresh and clean is important. Change it frequently.
Only use one sponge per face, or wash the sponge before you use it again.
Wash your brushes before using them on another person. It helps if you have alot of brushes – this way you don’t have to be washing brushes inbetween each client, you can just use a different brush.
Some insurance policy guidelines, and also FACE (The UK Face Painting Association) recommend never painting the face of a child under three years old, but this is a guideline, not a rule. Children under 3 have not yet built up their full immune system, so might be more susceptible to a reaction. The choice will be yours, but you should be careful. You might want to paint an arm or leg on children under three.
Make sure brushes and sponges are cleaned in soapy water after each day’s session. You can save yourself some time by putting your sponges in the washing machine on a “warm/hot” cycle for a thorough cleansing each evening.
Look after your tools, and they will last you for years. Thoroughly clean brushes and sponges after each session, but make sure you don’t put them away damp. If you do they could mold.