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Getting RID of your henna stain ... safely!

All good things must come to an end ... including a killer henna/mehndi design.

Most folks are content to let their henna just fade into the sunset, but a fading stain can look funky:
  • Palm and sole stains usually fade to orange (and even sometimes a weird green color) before disappearing. 
  • Elsewhere, the design can look patchy or spotty as skin exfoliates unevenly.

The Times of India ran an article titled "Don't like the look of fading mehendi?" with advice on how to get rid of a fading stain. I don't know if the author is an actual mehndi artist or consulted with artists, but I do question some of the methods recommended. Let's review:

Bleach? NO. Just no. Do a Google search on "dangers of skin bleach" and see what I mean. And don't even think about using Clorox! 

Baking Soda and Lemon? If you're not allergic to citrus, okay, but I wouldn't recommend leaving it on your skin like the article recommends. Simply combine the baking soda and juice and gently scrub the skin, then rinse.

Toothpaste? Uh, I suppose. Still, I wouldn't leave it on until it dries. Just use it as an exfoliant. Better yet, stick to baking soda.

Hand Washing? Yes, but not to the point that your hands are red and chapped.

Olive Oil and Salt? Probably the safest method but again, be gentle.

Salt Water? Also pretty safe, whether you're talking about ocean water or adding salt to a bath. Keep in mind that salt is hydrophillic, which means it draws moisture out of your skin. Don't overdo it.

Swimming in Chlorinated Water? Go for it! Ditto chlorinated hot tubs and Jacuzzis.

My preferred method: Run a warm bath and add a cup or two of Epsom salt. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a cotton washcloth to gently scrub henna-stained areas. If the stain is a week or more old, most or all of it will come off.

Bottom line: Be gentle and be patient. 

The article also mentions ways to get henna stains out of clothes. Here's what works for me, but keep in mind that not every fabric will stand up to this: Wash your garment in hot water with regular detergent plus OxyClean powder (half a cup for half a load, etc.). This successfully got henna smears out of a light blue T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans without damaging the fabric color.

Thanks for reading! Please like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or Instagram (as @bluelotusmehndi).

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