Does your child’s Halloween costume call for face painting? Or maybe your little one is like mine and just loves to have their face painted. Either way, be careful how you go about coloring that precious skin – store-bought face paints are typically composed of toxic ingredients.

Did you know that 100% of the face paints tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics contained lead, a neurotoxin? Also, the Centers for Disease Control say there is no safe level of lead for children. Fortunately it’s really easy to create face paint using supplies you likely already have at home!

safe baby healthy child natural face paint blog post

Homemade Halloween Face Paint

I have gotten pretty good at making homemade, natural face paint (and of nailing a pretty good likeness of a unicorn) since one of my daughter’s favorite things in the world right now is for me to paint her face. The recipe I use is below, and I like it because it’s really easy and you only need to make a little bit at a time.

Safe & Natural Face Paint Recipe


  1. 1 tsp cornstarch
  2. ¼ tsp water to make paste
  3. 1/2 tsp Diaper rash cream for staying power! (California Baby and Burt’s Bees are good, but you can choose another natural brand.)
  4. Colorful foods (pureed in a blend) to make desired shades (you can also use natural, organic pigments or food coloring, see below)

Mix the first three ingredients together to make a thick white paste. Then, take a little bit of the base and mix with different foods to create your desired colors. We’ve had a lot of success with blackberries (pretty rose color), avocado with a squirt of lemon juice (green) and hummus (orangey-brown). You can also use coffee/tea (browns, black), corn (yellowish color) and cherries (red). As different foods have different water content, you make have to add a bit more cornstarch to the mix depending on if your paint gets too runny once you add the colorful foods.

Use a clean sponge, paintbrush, or fingers to apply the paint. You can easily remove it with soap and water.

If you aren’t able to achieve the colors you want with food, or are just short on time or produce, you can always add natural, organic pigments or even food coloring to your base. Food coloring is not natural, but it’s still much, much safer than the store bought versions!

Have a Happy Green Halloween!

Post by Penny Bauder, Owner, Green Kid Crafts

Check out our Green Halloween webcast to see some of the colors we’ve made and to get some additional ideas to create a more eco-friendly Halloween. I talk about green Halloween costumes, like our make-your-own Mermaid Costume and Superhero Costume Kits, costume swaps, recycled jack-o-lanterns, and more. Visit