Henna is loved by many cultures because of the intricacy of the design as well as the semi-permanent abilities of the pigment. It can last up to a month if it is taken care of well. But this can be frustrating for some users who are in more of a rush to remove this henna stain from their skin. We list a few of the easiest ways to remove henna tattoos.
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How Long Do Henna Tattoos Last on Average?
Henna tattoos will generally last a minimum of two weeks and can even stick to skin without fading or cracking of the pigment for up to a month. Depending on how much care is taken before and during application, along with careful aftercare, henna tattoo pigment can imbed deeply within the epidermis and stain the skin quite well, making for a long-lasting piece of art.
Unfortunately, whether for work, personal reasons, or otherwise, you may encounter a situation where you want to get rid of this henna stain a little faster.
How to Remove Henna Tattoos Safely
While the molecule in henna that’s called lawsone binds quite intensely to skin, making it pretty much impossible to remove all at once, there are a few ways that you can help the stain fade more quickly. Dr. Marie Hayag, a dermatologist, states, "There is no solution for removing all of the pigment from the dye all at once, but it can be faded relatively quickly."
Here are some of the best suggestions to help you remove your henna tattoo:
The acidity of lemons naturally lightens skin and combats stains, which makes this an excellent choice for your henna, as well.
- Cut a lemon and rub a piece on your henna covered skin for around one or two minutes. Be gentle!
- Rinse the area with warm water.
- Pat the dry and apply a moisturizer so the acidity doesn’t dry out your skin.
Bonus tip: add baking soda to the lemon juice for an extra-powerful punch! Just be sure to moisturize afterwards, and beware of irritation.
The molecule which dyes the skin, lawsone, only stains the epidermis. This means that with continuous exfoliation of your dead skin cells, you can certainly fade the henna stain. Use a natural exfoliator, such as one that has sugar, salt, or fruit shells. Be sure to moisturize the area when you are done and repeat daily if needed.
Henna fades quickly when it comes into contact with oil-based products and moisturizers, such as coconut oil.
- Apply the oil to your henna stained region in an even layer.
- Allow the oil to sit on the skin for at least 15 minutes or more.
- Wash off the oil with warm water and a face cloth that scrubs the region.
Salt is a natural detoxifier and exfoliant. This process can be done either in a bath or in a bowl if your henna tattoo is on an easily accessible region such as your hand. Use epsom salts and very warm (not hot) water. Soak the henna stained region for at least twenty minutes.
This gentle cleansing water may be just what you need to pull that henna stain from your skin. Dr. Sheila Farhang, a dermatologist, states, "Micellar water has been shown to help pull out the color from the skin.” Apply the micellar water to a washcloth and gentle scrub the region of your skin that has a henna tattoo.
Makeup remover can also be used in the same manner as micellar water and may produce similar results.
Olive oil, an emulsifier, is particularly powerful in removing henna stains when it is paired with any kind of salt. It’s best if you rub this mixture on your skin using a soaked cotton ball, let it sit for around 10 minutes, rinse with soap, and repeat the process as needed.
Don’t underestimate the power of a really good soap! You may need to repeat this method several times throughout the day, but it’s sure to help fade your henna a little faster over time. In addition, a high-quality soap won’t dry out your skin in the process; have a look at a few of our favorite antibacterial soaps.
What Not to Do
If you can’t seem to get that stubborn henna stain off your skin, don’t panic. There are no real “tricks” to remove it completely, other than time, so don’t trust anything that tells you otherwise. Avoid products that will definitely dry out your skin and leave you with chapped, broken, or vulnerable skin irritations. Beware of suggestions like chlorine or hydrogen peroxide which can leave you with skin burns.
Our Final Thoughts
The good news about henna tattoos is that they are semi-permanent, so even if you don’t do anything at all, they will fade in due time. Daily exfoliating scrubs and thorough antibacterial washes with each shower will help remove that stain a little bit faster if you need it. Remember to keep your skin moisturized if you try any of these methods.