A four-year-old girl in whom severe, acute contact dermatitis of the face developed following a face painting party is presented herein. Subsequent investigation established that the paints consisted of tempera pigments mixed in a full-strength commercial dishwashing liquid. Similar contact dermatitis developed in at least five other children, all of whom had continued to wear the face paints overnight while sleeping. The dishwashing liquid was implicated as the causative factor in the eruption. Since a full-strength commercial dishwashing detergent may cause severe irritant contact dermatitis in children, this product should be strongly discouraged as a vehicle for face paints.