Important Update About Neon Paints

Yeah! This post contains some good news of changes companies have been making to clear up the neon situation, and we even found out that DFX, and most likely the other brands, have an ingredient list that didn’t fully explain the Formaldehyde breakdown in a way that was clear, and it was open for misinterpretation.

In fact, according to TAG, the levels of “Free Formaldehyde” ( which is the FDA’s concern) is lower than that limit! Yes folks! We can get that F word out of our search engines! The high level was a compound that contained Formaldehyde embedded in it, but not pure free formaldehyde.

No company had a clear understanding at their fingertips about the formaldehyde in their paints. DFX did not see that their was a difference, like TAG finally did.  From what I know now, Formaldehyde is not the concern for TAG, and probably not for the other brands.

So what is the ingredient that the FDA hasn’t approved in the regular neons? According to TAG, certain neon pigments, and that is it. We were worried that the formaldehyde made these pigments the problems but it is just the colors themselves that haven’t been approved as safe.

These pigments would need to be sent from the factory that produces them to the FDA for testing. The FDA would then determine if they were safe or unsafe for use in cosmetics. This process has not occurred, so we do not know if they are safe or unsafe for cosmetics.

That is a little better (there is a chance that  they are safe), but legally we are still in the same boat when using them on the public.

Kryolan has been selling these paints for decades, and I wonder why the factories that produce the Pigments haven’t gotten them tested?  Is the money really the issue, or is it the fact that face painters just keep using them with out demanding the testing be done first?

We got a ton of positive responses to the blog. Many people didn’t know what the labels meant, and though we had an error, the fact still remains that they are not for cosmetic use, according to the FDA, and that means that they are not intended to be used on skin.

I am really sad that some people thought this was just a scare, and did not get that the main point is that many face painters have ordered paints, and been left in shock and confusion because they get these regular neon paints with warnings that basically say “You just bought something that really isn’t facepaint” Shouldn’t we know this before we buy them, shouldn’t the companies really tell us the whole story so that we can make the best decisions for ourselves? Shouldn’t the manufacturers and vendors have a clear understanding about what they are selling?

As you can see, I didn’t have a clear understanding (but I did have a warning for a year straight once a customer made a point of it), even after sending numerous annoying e-mails asking for help. I am very proud of TAG for doing the research needed and addressing this situation right away. I expect that the publishing of the blog post helped get the attention, and though we did have an error in our post about the level of free formaldehyde, we finally got some action towards better labels and hopefully more stores posting the warnings.

I also see that DFX understands that the proper labeling is important to a lot of face painters, and clarity in warnings is also important.  They are working on new consistent labels and a clearer post on their site. I also am proud that DFX took the time and effort to create some safe neons for us to use for black light events.

If you really want those neon pigments tested, please let your manufacturers know in whatever way you think will work.

If you want to make sure that you are not liable for using them in the U.S., call your insurance company and tell them WHAT THE LABELS SAY (or should say if they were mislabeled), and see what they say then.

If you know that you are using  products that haven’t been determined safe or unsafe by the FDA, you can put on the pressure so that maybe one day you can use the neon colors with total confidence.

I hope you understand that we called the FDA, companies in charge of designing FDA compliant labels, companies that deal with the paints before they get to the manufacturers, lawyers, and we read all that we could handle in a 6 month period of time. We did not just post the blog to scare people, we sell the paints too, for heaven’s sake. We just wanted to make sure we were selling something safe, and we wanted to be able to answer our customers questions about where they could use the paints. We’ve gotten so many mixed answers from manufacturers, that we felt we needed to look into it more closely.  We have no right, or need to claim what you should choose to do with the information. And we really truly apologize for posting an error in the blog, but we did give our best effort and finally we got a clear response!

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in this discussion. I still feel that it is one worth having until the situation is totally resolved.

(This does not having anything to do with the DFX NEON WHITE, VIOLET AND BLUE which DFX took a great move and found out how to make them using only FDA approved ingredients, however they are not bright under regular light, which is what most face painters are looking for. )

12 comments on “Important Update About Neon Paints

  1. Anna, thank you! Thank you! Thank you for taking the time and doing the research. Thank you for informing us, even if it did cause some unhappy feather ruffles with a select minority! They weren’t understanding the important message you were trying to get out there. EVen if there was an error, the discussions are going on thanks to you! Because of you, I will no longer buy blindly assuming that ALL paints are safe. As proffessionals, we should work together and strive to bring face and body painting to the highest levels of safety! Most of us are dealing with young children, for squirrel’s sakes!!

  2. Another Jenny says another thank you! I appreciate the effort invested! With all my kiddos I barely have time to breath much less research and notify. And the spare time I have is being spent learning this whole virtual community thing! That’s why I’ve been so timid about posting to the forum. But I just had to say how much I appreciate the effort you have made. So thanks for being willing to do the hard, time consuming work to keep/get things straight and then share it all with the community.

  3. Anna & Santi,

    I am so glad you guys did post this blog AND the first one on the subject. I am happy that because of the “controversy” that you (by asking for the research- and us for talking about it on such public forums) stirred up, products are now going to be labeled more properly & one of the companies was forthcoming enough to explain something that was obviously not clear before. It also let us know some traits of our fellow face painting buddies (good and bad). Good job for all of your hard work & for thinking highly enough of us to educate us every step of the way! You guys are amazing in my book! 🙂

  4. thanks anna for getting this going I really like the neons but have stopped using them untill I hear from you that they are safe

  5. Anna & Santi,

    Thank you for all your diligence in searching out the safest products for us to use. I hope one day we will have safe, FDA approved neons to apply to our hearts’ content. You two are the best!

    Oh, and big thanks for the warp speed shipping on my order this week. The bubble wrap and sucker were wonderful surprises. I used them to unwind from my 160 kids in 4 hours gig!

    Big hugs,

  6. Hi Anna,
    what a great effort of my collegue’s at TAG! cudos for them!
    We are in the mean time, investigating our ingredients and datasheets for the US market, but also as you also say, our website.

    If any customer has a question, we are open for them, but since i am recovering from a nasty illness… i’m not so quick in responding as i’m usualy am.. gimme a little patience for a week or 2 please ;D.

    Also, when people really want to achive the neon effect, you CAN put the white FDA Neon, very transparent ( you do that, while you use a bit more water than you normaly would( over any essential color.

    And even when we alway’s say, don’t mix your brands, i don’t see the harm, in using them over an TAG color, that is FDA approved.

    The Neon effect is not as bright as would be with a regular neon paint, but you still have a neon effect. ( and can have any color you wish in a neon shade)
    So.. a trade trick from me..


  7. Great information and social responsibility Anna and Santi! I just looked at my neons and they do say not for cosmetic use. So the key here is to choose weather or not the painter wants to take the responsiblity to use at their own risk. The rules of body painting have changed in the small time I’ve known about it and will probably continue to do so.

    thank you for all your informative blogs!

    Cheers, Elaine

  8. Pingback: Information About Neon Paints « Annawilinski's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s