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Spreading Joy Not Germs

Updated: Mar 7, 2020

With cold and flu season in full swing, the spread of infection and illness is a concern for every parent. I love to create lasting memories with my face painting designs, but I’m also mindful that I need to set and follow high standards of practice to make this fun experience as safe as possible for families. Today I’d like to share some of the ways I go about combating the spread of infections and illnesses.

The basic tools of the trade that I use for my painting include paints, glitters, paint brushes, sponges and water. Ideally, there would be brand new, fresh mini kits for each child (new paint, new brushes new sponges, etc.), however, that is just not an option. The cost would be outrageous, and the amount of supplies that would be needed at each event would be astronomical. The most feasible option is to work to keep supplies clean and fresh for each child.

Heart Painting
Heart Painting

One of the best ways to keep paints clean it to use a fresh, clean sponge for each child. Once I’m finished with a sponge for a particular design, I will toss the sponge in the “used” bag and continue on with the painting. After the event, I will take the sponges home, hand rinse the excess paints from the sponges, and then place them in the washing machine along with mild detergent and a measure of Lysol laundry additive to disinfect any lingering germs. Pop them in the dryer and they are good to go!

Brushes are a little trickier than sponges. Like the “mini kit for each child” dream, it is not feasible to use a new brush on each child at an event. I keep my brushes clean during events by rinsing them in water that has a small amount of either “Brush Bath” or “Lush Brush”. Both products are very similar organic brush cleaners, water sanitizers and can also be used as make up removers. They contain lavender, rosemary and sage extract, all known to have antimicrobial properties.

Many little girls want to have their lips painted to match their face design. I only use small disposable lipstick applicators which are thrown away after a single use.

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to fight the spread of illness. I always have a container of wet wipes and hand sanitizer that I can use between children to keep my hands clean and germ free. I also have the wipes available for parents to clean their children’s faces prior to painting, if needed.

Last, I ask parents to kindly refrain from having their child’s face painted if the child is exhibiting any symptoms of illness (fever, runny nose, sneezing, upset stomach, etc.). Common sense, I know…but it’s nice to have that reminder. I’ve been sneezed on, coughed on, and my assistant has even been thrown up on…TWICE!

I love my job. There is nothing like handing a mirror to a little one that I’ve just painted and seeing their eyes light up with joy. Controlling the spread of infection is a behind the scenes, little known piece to the puzzle of this wonderful world of professional face painting. Together we can make the experience safe and fun for every child.

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