Health, Fitness and Wellness

8 best tips to remove nasty Holi colour from the skin

Holi colours in the hands wondering how to remove holi colour from the skin

8 best tips to remove nasty Holi color from the skin

Wish you all a very Happy, Safe and Clean Holi!! Why clean? Let me tell you a little story. I had just finished my 12th Standard Board papers and the festival of colors, Holi was upon us. On Holi, my newly married cousin, his bride and her friends and family visited us “unannounced” to play with colors. As my younger siblings were still writing their exams and did not want to waste time on playing and later on removing Holi colour from the skin for hours, my mother offered me as the sacrificial goat. Yes, that’s true. My exams were already over. I could easily afford to spend a couple of hours in the bathroom to scrub myself clean. So, I went out of the home and they all attacked me with all the color powder that you might have seen and not seen.

To cut the story short, I must have spent at least 3 hours in the bathroom trying to remove Holi colour from the skin. At one point, I had even used kerosene on my skin as some color refused to get off. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I was still showcasing the colors of the rainbow and some more. Since that day, I have become very conscious of what I apply on my skin or my daughter’s skin before we step out to play Holi.

Holi color in hand trying to remove Holi color from the skin

8 best tips to remove nasty Holi color from the skin

Here are a few preventive measures so that you don’t have to scrub and scrub hard to remove Holi colour.

  • Oil yourself well. From head to toe, immerse yourself in oil. I use coconut oil. As your scalp is well oiled, the colors stick to the oil and then get off easily with shampoo. The same applies to your skin too.
  • Slather petroleum jelly. On your face and feet, slather petroleum jelly or cold cream. They work better than even oil.
  • Apply nail paint. Apply nail paint so that the color don’t stick to your nails.
  • Wear full sleeves. I make my daughter wear something that is full sleeved and reaches to her ankles. The lesser skin on display, the lesser the color on her skin.

However, if you have forgotten to take the above measures before stepping out for Holi playing, then these are the tips on how to remove Holi colour from the skin:

Dust away Holi colour: If you want to remove gulal from the face, instead of washing with water, try to dust it away with hands and use water only in extreme measures. Water only helps spread and stick the color to your skin.

Apply oil: Wondering how to remove permanent colour from your face? Apply mustard or coconut oil on your face and wherever these colors have touched your skin. Don’t massage, just dab it locally. Rinse with warm water.

Use natural remedies: Instead of using soap, use homemade natural face and bath powders. At least for children, it’s recommended. In besan, add yoghurt, turmeric and lemon juice. Apply it all over your body and wash it off with cold to warm water. Use a mixture of yoghurt and lemon juice to remove Holi colour from hair.

Take care: Removing Holi colour from the skin is not a one-day process but may take up to 2 weeks for your skin to heal completely. During this period, refrain from any facial or hair treatment. Instead, use natural remedies to revive your skin and hair. Wash your hair with amla-aritha-shikakai water. Use homemade face and bath powders or ubtans to soothe your skin.

How to remove Holi color from clothes?

Well, that’s a tougher!

  • If you want to wear all whites, be prepared that it might be rendered useless by the time you are done playing with Holi colour. However, you can soak it in hot water to which you have added non-chlorine bleach or white vinegar and a good quality detergent. The acid pulls the colour from your clothes. You can ask the laundry guy to bleach it with heavy industrial bleach, but it won’t be the same as before.
  • I usually wear old clothes that I can easily discard post playing. But if you don’t want to discard these clothes, soak them in hot water with detergent and lemon juice for a few hours. And then scrub.
  • Vanish works well too to remove stains from clothes.

Use these tips and remove Holi colour easily and effortlessly! Play safe and smart and enjoy the festival of colours to the fullest!

This post is a part of the #HoliHoppers blog hop hosted by Mandavi, Dipika, RuchieAesha and sponsored by VLCC Beauty Products & Phutawan Thailand


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  1. Since I have sensitive skin & the unsightly clingy colors that refuse to leave your face even after 4 or 5 days, I do not play Holi.

    Twice, I agreed to play with the neighbors when they told me it was edible color. That worked!

    Your tips are really great, Anshu. I agree with the oil part. Today in my daughter’s school they played Holi & it worked great as I had oiled her hair 3 days ago already & the colors from her scalp that I had thought would take at least a week to go, vanished with just 1 shampoo session. I’ll be oiling her hair tonight again for the damage control.

    And I felt clever when I decided to make her wear a simple old dress that we may scrap for her. Her other friends had worn fancy & grand outfits to mark the festival. But I guess, it’s going to be hard for thr moms then. ☺Yet to wash her dress but even if the stains don’t go, I don’t bother?

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Ashvini. I so agree with you, while other moms wash and scrub, we can take the liberty to bin it. 🙂 Just 1 wash for my daughter and all her hair colour was gone. Thanks to the oil application. 🙂

      I have stopped playing now because of water conservation and other pet peeves, but my daughter loves it and I let her enjoy it.

  2. These are some really helpful tips, Anshu. You’ve not only shared tps to remove color quickly, but suggestions to avoid smearing it all over too. Wonderful post.

  3. These tips are really helpful for us as well as the kids. Oiling is so damn important if you are playing with colours.
    Manisha Garg recently posted…Bura Na Mano Holi Hai…My Profile

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Manisha, I agree too. Oiling is very important if you don’t want to spend hours on washing.

  4. Deepa

    These are some simple and easy to follow tips. I normally discard my Hoil clothes as we choose the ones which we don’t normally wear. I will try that lemon water tip next time.

    • mammaspeaks

      Thanks Deepa. True, we normally wear old clothes which can be discarded. I remember though once I had worn a white salwar kameez a la Chandni, it looked pretty with all the colours on it.

  5. Ruchi Verma

    Wow, these are great and easy tips to remove colors even I remember, my mom used to give us uptan for removing colors and its so good for skin too!!

  6. Wow Anshu thus is a must needed post after Holi, all d mothers goin crazy as to how these colours b removed from skin as well as clothes, u r their saviour? Ur tips r really helpful I’m sure I’m gonna suggest a few to my friends?

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Jameela. These tips have stayed with me for more than 20 years now and done me a whole world of good. 🙂 Thanks for spreading the word.

  7. Noor Anand Chawla

    Wow these are really amazing tips. To be honest, I rarely play Holi because I hate the cleaning up part. I’m glad I’ve read your remedies, so I can be prepared in the future.

    • mammaspeaks

      Noor like you, even I hate the cleaning part. As a child I used to love this festival, but now not so. However, my daughter loves it, and I can’t stop her from playing. So all these tricks help me eventually post Holi. 🙂

  8. Every year I would only apply coconut oil but this year on your suggestion I applied petroleum jelly and it worked wonders. Thanks for participating in the #HoliHoppers blog hop.

    • mammaspeaks

      Coconut oil is light, hence it gets absorbed into the skin very quickly. Petroleum jelly on the other hand stays on the skin for a long time. 🙂

  9. These are some great tips Anshu, I am one of those who is afraid of getting colored. Never liked the idea of getting painted first and then spending hours cleaning it up and punishing the skin.
    Well, that’s me but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Holi. Abeer (as we call gulal in U.P) is my favorite. This time I applied a good thick layer of virgin coconut oil to Kavya before we went ahead to play Holi.
    It helped a lot in post cleaning exercise.
    Thank you for linking with #HoliHoppers

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Dipika. That’s a great thing you did Dipika – VCO has many benefits and it is very mild on child’s skin too 🙂

  10. zainab mabood

    I think white is the essence of Holi. Maza nahi aata jab tak white na ho 🙂

    • mammaspeaks

      Baat to sahi hai…One time in college, I had dressed up in white, it was a great feeling to wear bright white and step out for Holi 🙂

  11. Great post. Must read for everyone who loves paying holi. I would like to add to it- holi colour can even be removed using makeup remover. Tried it this time and it worked.

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you so much Gayatri. That’s a great tip – I will put it in my repertoire. However, I don’t use make up, hence no remover also at home. I use astringent/baby cream to remove lipstick. 🙂

  12. This year I slathered loads of oil on my kids but forgot to apply it myself and ended up becoming a rainbow. 😛
    I love playing Holi and am glad that natural and dry colours are now popularly used. Skin and hair damage is rampant during this time and so is discarding Holi clothes. 😀
    Good tips here, Anshu. Homemade remedies are always a better bet.

    • mammaspeaks

      Ha ha, Varsha, you made me laugh with your choice of words – rainbow! LOL, you should have taken a picture or two, would have loved to see you! I agree homemade remedies are the best – easy on the skin. 🙂

  13. Wow tips to remove holi colours. Will definitely try them. Happy Holi

  14. I used your tip and smeared coconut oil all over our body, face and hair. And after wash the only place we found color was on our palms. Everywhere else was shining clean 🙂

    • mammaspeaks

      Hey Mandavi, you don’t know how happy you made me by writing this. I am glad you made use of the tip and stayed colour free! 🙂

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