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Oh No! I've Dyed my Fingers!

Published on 19th March 2010

Anyone who has dyed their hair with a strong hair dye before has probably dyed their skin at some point. A lot of times its possible to avoid bad stains but sometimes it can’t be avoided and accidents do happen! Here are some tips for removing stains from skin in the least harsh way possible.

Okay so to start the best thing to do is to try to prevent the stain in the first place. Using petroleum jelly on your hairline, forehead and neck will help keep your delicate facial skin from getting stained. Another necessity are gloves to keep the dye off your hands and fingernails. When your skin gets dye on it the first layer of dead skin is essentially dyed with pigments and it can be fairly hard to remove. Make sure to remove any spots or drips of dye promptly so they don’t have time to soak into your skin. For that you can just wipe it off with a wet towel (not your moms best though!). It can be harsh to your skin when you try to remove the color because you also take away the skins protective layer. Over time harsh rubbing and scrubbing can damage skin causing overly dry skin, peeling or wrinkles in time. Some of the things I have found that help remove dye from skin contain some form of alcohol. Alcohol is drying to skin but not as drying as washing and re-washing with dish detergents and the like. If you have a good facial toner at hand you can use it to remover stains from skin on your face and neck. It will work for your hands too. You can get away with using some cotton and rubbing alcohol for really tough stains but it will be more drying and can make your skin burn. On your hands you can use rubbing alcohol or I have found hairspray to be really effective. All you need to do is spray hairspray on your hands, scrub them together and wash with hand soap. Fingernails are a little tougher to clean because they are essentially a thick layer of dead cells so the dye can get more deeply absorbed. Nail polish remover works the best and you don’t need too much to remove the stain either. Don’t be temped to use nail polish remover on your skin though because it can be absorbed into your skin and it contains harsh chemicals. You can also try using a gentle exfoliator but be sure not to scrub your skin too much because it can be irritating, and your skin needs the top layer for protection. When you get the stains off you should always follow up with a good moisturizer to keep your skin moist and healthy. And remember not to over do it, if they stain doesn’t come off completely on your first try it should at least be less noticeable and will come off within a day or two. These techniques will also work for dye that rubs off on your skin but it should be easier to remove than an initial stain.

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  • Spray hairspray on your hands, rub together and then wash with soap and water.
  • Nail polish remover will remove stains from nails.
  • Avoid using harsh detergents which may damage your skin.