Maybe we don’t tend to do a whole lot of work during cold and flu season, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to protect our clients, and ourselves from the spread of germs. Some simple habits will help a lot.
Its obvious that its a good idea to wash our hands between clients. That’s easy enough if you’re working in a studio, but what about at a party? Do you leave your station between each client to go wash? Or even worse, in a busy festival setting? Totally impractical! Consider instead germ killing wipes like Wet Ones or Germ-X Soft Wipes. They are also handy for wiping down dirty feet before you begin application. If you’re concerned about the waste of using wipes, hand sanitizer is a great solution. Don’t forget to keep your hands LOOKING clean too. We may be used to looking at stains and muddy smudges on our hard working hands, but prospective clients can easily be turned off by what appears to be neglect and filth. Try to wipe your cone tip on a towel or napkin rather than your hands. Do you best to clear any errant henna blobs before they can stain. Clean hands will be a clear indicator to your clients that you care about hygiene.
Also consider your work space. After dozens of people come in and out of your chair its bound to get yucky! Make sure to wipe down hard surfaces on a regular basis thought the work day. Wash cloth table and seat covers between each gig, if not after each day. Glitter may not be germy, but people sure do see it as contagious. Believe it or not, not every client wants to leave your chair with sparkles. Its a good idea to keep the glitter as contained as possible. Take care that your tools are stored properly when not in use and that your space does not become littered with bits of paper towel, tape, dead cones, and other detritus. I like to keep a wast basket in arm’s reach of each work station. To help keep things tidy.
Its also very important that we keep our tools clean and free of germs. Its helpful that henna applicators don’t make much contact with skin, With the exception of dragging lines, dealing with body hair, and shading, most henna artists keep the applicator tip at least a tiny bit above the surface of the skin. Essential oils in paste are, for the most part, pretty hardy germ killers, so that’s helpful too. I would also encourage people to clean the tip of the applicator with an alcohol swab between clients to kill any germs it might pick up. You can also nip that in the bud by making sure the skin is as clean and germ free as possible before you begin. Using an alcohol swab on the skin before you begin removes and lotion, oils, or sweat, kills germs, and if you use it, keeps glitter from sticking in places you don’t want it.
Here’s a link to a great article about hygiene for face painters. Obviously there are some differences, but its helpful to take a look and see what parts of best practices in a related field can be adopted for our own. Face Painting Health Guidelines.
Please feel free to comment below with your own tips for keeping yourself and your workspace sanitary!