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Side Effects of Handling Art Materials

Melissa Marsden

An artist creates their work with all different kinds of textures and bases. They mold with clay, paint with all different kinds of paints, oils and pencils. Working with these materials on a regular basis can affect the condition of your skin. There are a variety of products on the market that have proven to successfully protect an artist’s hands from getting messy and absorbing these chemicals.

Side Effects of Handling Art Materials

Working with art materials can have various effects on your skin. Here is an explanation of what to expect:

  • Clays and Ceramics: When working with this material your skin can become dry. This is because clay is abrasive and working with the combination of water and wet clay can strip your skin of its natural oils
  • Oil Paints: When you work with oil paints you usually have to add a solvent to the paint and these solvents usually end up drying your skin. They also have a slight level of toxicity, so prolonged exposure can damage your skin more seriously.
  • Pastels: There is some contradictory information on the side effects of this material but it should be handled with care. Looking into the ingredients in your set of pastels will help determine the safety level.
  • Architecture Materials (Wood, Glass, and Brick): These components all expose your skin to different materials, machinery, and temperatures. All of these can have skin damaging effects.

Preventive Care

Before you start setting up for your next art project there are a few things you can do to help protect your skin.

  1. First, check to see if anything you are working with is actually dangerous to your body; so many toxins that get into our bodies are either absorbed through our lungs or skin.
  2. Secondly, many artists opt for gloves (although they can get in the way of the process at times). So wear gloves when you can. Toxins and pigments are absorbed through the skin and this is the easiest way to stop them.
  3. Thirdly, creating a second line of defense is a good idea. You can add Gloves In A Bottle to your routine as a second line of defense. Gloves In A Bottle is a shielding lotion that bonds with your outer layer of skin to help keep skin irritating toxins out and keep your body’s natural oils in. Applying this before and after working on your projects can help keep your skin moisturized and also help give you that protection you may need.

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