The Hidden Danger of UV Fluorescent Body Paints

March 6th, 2023 | Blog

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One of the most popular choices for SFX makeup in the haunt and film industry are UV fluorescent colors. These types of paints can add a pop of color and interest to an otherwise dark setting when under a blacklight. But beware! It’s important to keep in mind that not all UV colors on the market are skin-safe using all FDA approved ingredients, meaning they can have potentially harmful and damaging effects. All it takes is one adverse skin reaction to become a serious, potentially harmful, and legal, issue.

Which UV Colors Are Safe For Skin?

UV fluorescent paint colors are a special case in the SFX makeup industry. These paints use a special UV-reactive color, and while most of these colors can be used on hair and nails, only some should have direct contact with skin. UV paints may be an easy and affective way at making a scene, actor, or artpiece look unique under certain lighting conditions, however, extra care is going to be needed to choose safe colors. So, what are those colors?

Here’s the FDA quote itself for reference: “only the following fluorescent colors are approved for use in cosmetics, and there are limits on their intended uses: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28″

Yellow and Green UV fluorescent colors are not approved by the FDA for use on skin. And we recommend you be wary of brands that include these colors, as they may not be complying with quality and legal guidelines. After all, if they don’t comply with the safety standards of UV colors, why would they comply with the quality standards of their other paints?

Keep in mind that the skin-safe UV reactive colors can still be combined with skin-safe non-UV pigments to create colors like blue, pink, purple, and other combinations along that color spectrum. However, if you see green or yellow UV paints, these are NOT approved for skin use, can be dangerous, and should be avoided.


Using pigments that aren’t FDA approved on skin can cause adverse skin reactions and damage. Namely, Yellow and Green UV colors. So, we recommend you stay away from them in the best interest of safety and compliance with the law. However, there are many other skin-safe UV paints that are offered in various other colors! We’ve pointed out where you can find our FDA approved UV colors in the image below.

FDA approved UV fluorescent colors.

  • Fluoro Blue
  • Fluoro Pink
  • Fluoro White
  • Fluoro Magenta
  • Fluoro Orange