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Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Baby Skin? (The Dangers)

Are you a new parent wondering if it is safe to use acrylic paint on your baby’s skin? Acrylic paint is safe for kids aged three and above. When used for certain craft activities, such as painting on canvas, the paint is non-toxic. Other craft paints should be used by young toddlers or newborns.

The ideal paint for hand and footprint crafts is determined by your child’s age and the activity.

Although acrylic paint is non-toxic, it cannot be applied to all skin types or worn for extended periods. For a brief amount of time, it is perfectly safe to come into touch with a child’s skin.

In this blog post, I will discuss the safety of acrylic paint for babies and some tips for using it safely. I will also provide a list of recommended brands of acrylic paint that are safe for baby skin.

Baby using acrylic paint on table

Reason For Using Acrylic Paint On Baby Skin?

Using acrylic paint on baby skin can be done for a number of reasons. The most common reason is to create hand and footprint crafts.

These make great keepsakes for parents and grandparents, and they are also fun to do!

Another reason you may want to use acrylic paint on your baby’s skin is for body art. It has been a tradition in many cultures to use paint for ceremonial and celebratory purposes.

This can be anything from painting your child’s name on their chest to painting a design on their arm.

Whatever the reason, it is important to know that acrylic paint is safe for baby skin before you start. Using acrylic paint on baby skin comes with its advantages, including:

It Is Water Resistant

Acrylic paint is water-based; therefore, it washes off easily. You can use soap and water to remove it from your baby’s skin. This makes it a good choice for messy play.

It Is Non-Toxic

As long as you choose a non-toxic brand, acrylic paint is safe for babies. It is important to check the labels of the paint before you purchase it.

Some brands of paint are labelled “non-toxic” but may still contain harmful chemicals.


Acrylic paint dries quickly and becomes durable once it dries. This makes it a good choice for crafts that will be handled frequently, such as a baby’s handprint on a mug.


Acrylic paint can be used for a variety of projects. It can be used on paper, wood, fabric, and even glass. This makes it a good choice for a variety of different crafts.

It Is Easy

All you need to begin painting with acrylics are the tubes of paint, a surface to put paint onto and brushes to apply the paint with. Water colors are more difficult to work with since they are so translucent.

To combine oil paintings, you’ll need oils and chemicals like turpentine in addition to the paint, surface, and brushes.

What Chemicals Are In Acrylic Paint?

plastic polymers used to make acrylic paint

There are a few different chemicals that are found in acrylic paint. The most common one is polymers which are long chains of molecules that are joined together.

They are what give acrylic paint its strength and durability.

Another common chemical found in acrylic paint is pigments. Pigments are what give the paint its color. They are usually made from different chemical substances and compounds.

These include; crushed pure cobalt powder, cadmium sulfide, different iron oxides, titanium dioxide, and much more.

The last common chemical found in acrylic paint is a solvent. Solvents are what make the paint easier to apply.

They help to thin the paint and make it spread evenly.

Other components include:

  • Lead
  • Ammonia
  • Formaldehyde
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Cadmium

The chemicals in acrylic paint may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Depending on the skin of the baby, it can cause skin irritation and is therefore not recommended for face or body paint.

If you are concerned about this, it is best to test the paint on a small area of the baby’s skin before using it.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint For Baby Handprints?

Although some parents use acrylic paint for handprints and wash it off immediately afterwards, it’s not good to expose your baby’s sensitive skin to the paint.

The harsh chemicals in acrylics are too harsh for a baby’s delicate skin.

The initiative is safer for toddlers and children over the age of three since they absorb fewer toxins via their skin.

Even non-toxic paint, on the other hand, contains chemicals and compounds that might trigger a skin reaction.

When using acrylic paint for baby handprints, it is important to use a non-toxic brand. It is also important to make sure the paint is diluted with water. This will help to prevent skin irritation.

How Do You Get Acrylic Paint Off Baby Skin?

Removing acrylic paint using soap and water

In case you decide to use acrylic paint, ensure that you choose the water-based one. It is very important that you get it off immediately after use because it dries faster, making the removal process harder.

To get it off your baby’s skin, you can use:

Soap and Water

The water-based acrylic paint washes off easily with soap and warm water because it uses water during emulsification. This is the safest and most gentle way to remove the paint from your baby’s skin.

Rubbing Alcohol

If the paint is resistant to soap and water, you can try using rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a strong solvent that will remove the paint from your baby’s skin.

Apply a small amount of the rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, gently wipe the area, and then wash it off with warm water and gentle soap.

Do not use acetone, nail polish remover, or any other harsh chemicals to remove the paint from your baby’s skin.

These chemicals can cause skin irritation and are not safe for use in babies.

Baby Oil

This is suitable because of its gentle and soothing ingredients. You just need to apply a suitable amount and massage it to the baby’s skin until the acrylic paint starts to come off.

Other favorable options are oil-based products like butter, petroleum jelly, canola oil, or vegetable oil if this does not work.

Hand Sanitizer

In most cases, hand sanitizer is just similar to rubbing alcohol. Therefore, it can quickly and easily remove the paint from your baby’s skin.

What Happens If You Get Acrylic Paint On Your Face?

Using acrylic paint could lead to rashes or allergic reactions on your face. Even if the paint is non-toxic and water-based, it can be difficult to wash off your skin.

Peeling the paint off could cause skin irritation and pull tiny hairs from your face.

Is There Paint That Is Safer Than Acrylic Paint For Babies?

There are safer alternatives to acrylic paint that you can use for your baby. These paints are made from natural ingredients and are non-toxic. They include:

Tempera Paint

tempera paint

Tempera paint is a non-toxic paint made from water, pigment, and a binder. It is safe for use on children’s skin and can be easily washed off with soap and water.

It is available in different colors and can be used for painting, drawing, and crafts.

Finger Paint

Finger paint is another great option for babies. It’s usually safe for newborns and toddlers. The paint washes from the skin quickly and is safe if your kid gets curious and decides to taste their artwork.

For thick paper items, finger paint works well. For richer tones and less splash back, go for a creamy formula.

Watercolor Paint

These are bright and non-transparent paints. They are safe for babies and are the best option for watercolor paper, with a high absorption rate. This is very important in controlling the wetness.

Activity Paint

The paint is gel and water-based, made with babies in mind. Its main advantage is that it washes away from any surface with a lot of ease.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe For Baby Skin?

About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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