DIY Face Paint for a Healthier Halloween

holidays Oct 12, 2015

Halloween is almost upon us! My family can hardly wait for the holiday fun, and to choose their costumes. In anticipation of the big day, I tried a recipe for nontoxic DIY face paint, to avoid the worrisome toxicants that are often found in conventional paints, such as lead, nickel, cobalt, and chromium. I was happy to find that the recipe was easy, fast, and effective - overall, a great alternative to conventional varieties. Also, it's a great Halloween activity that the entire family can participate in!

1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 TBSP all purpose flour
2 TBSP Honey
1/2 TBSP Water
Natural food coloring (seek nontoxic products on Amazon, or use household food items that can act as natural dyes)

For the first step, mix the cornstarch and flour in a bowl. Add the honey and water to your mixture. It should create a thick, gluey substance that resembles a paste. If the paint is too thin, add more cornstarch and flour. If too thick, add extra water.

Divide the mixture into separate bowls, and add your coloring. I used turmeric for yellow, and paprika for red. Both colors were rich and dark.

For blue and green, I used a natural food dye that I purchased on Amazon. For ivory, no food coloring is needed!

The paint is a bit more thick and gooey than conventional face paints, but the colors came out beautifully and stayed on for hours! My favorite colors were the red and yellow; it excited me to make them with spices, and they were easier to fully wash off than the colors made with food dyes.

Although the paint dries fairly well, the honey component makes the paint a little sticky to the touch. So, while my paint didn't smudge (in that way, it worked even better than some conventional face paints I have used), avoid touching the paint once it is applied.

Since substances can be absorbed through the skin, this recipe isn't suitable for people with gluten allergies. It would be a great experiment to try with gluten-free flours!


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Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


This article is for informational purposes only. This information is provided “as is” without warranty.

It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. We do not offer medical advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other opinion on your conditions or treatment options. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ruan Living.

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