How to Remove Turmeric Stains from Your Skin

How to remove turmeric stains from your skin

Turmeric, or ‘Haldi’ as it is called in Hindi, is a key spice used extensively in Indian cuisine. Turmeric is a part of the spice mix of almost every delicacy in Indian culture. The use of turmeric is not limited to food; it is also used on the skin owing to its numerous benefits.

Well, you must have come across several DIYs for getting glowing skin, which involve turmeric being used with other natural ingredients such as yogurt, honey, sandalwood powder, etc. In Indian wedding ceremonies, there is a day dedicated to the Haldi ceremony, wherein turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and the groom.

By now, it is evident that turmeric is versatile and has many uses. With numerous benefits, it comes with a drawback. If used in excess, it leaves strong yellow stains, leaving that yellow pigment on the clothes, skin, and nails.

Removal of Turmeric Stains Using Natural Ingredients

If you are interested in knowing the methods to remove turmeric stains from your skin using natural ingredients commonly found in the household, keep reading!

People prefer using natural ingredients over chemical substances. This is because natural substances have fewer side effects than chemical substances. Following natural substances can be used to remove turmeric stains from the skin.

1. Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemon juice is most commonly used for lightening or removing turmeric stains from skin and nails. Though it can be used alone for removing stains, it is usually mixed with other ingredients to strengthen the removal properties.

  • Lemon – Lemon may be used alone to remove turmeric stains from the skin. Cut a lemon in half and start rubbing on the stain. Let the lemon juice remain on the stain for a bit. Then, wash it off using soap and water. You may repeat the process to lighten the stain further. Do not do it too much at once; it can damage the skin barrier and make the skin dry.
  • Lemon Juice and Honey – Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey in a bowl and make a consistent paste. Apply this mixture to the area and let it dry for some time. Wash it off with normal water.
  • Lemon Juice and Baking Soda – This is another powerful way of using lemon juice to remove turmeric stains from the skin. Mix equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice in a bowl and make a paste. Stir the mixture till it has a uniform and spreadable consistency. Apply this paste on the skin and let it dry. Wash it off completely using soap and water.
  • Lemon and Sugar Scrub – Mix equal parts of lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Rub it on the stained skin in gentle circular motions to avoid redness and itching. Do it for about one minute, then wash it off using water.

2. Warm Oil

Warm Oil

Warm oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil can be used to remove turmeric stains from the skin. Coconut oil is used as a DIY for removing makeup, and it is effective in removing turmeric stains as well. Oils have a better ability to dissolve pigments of turmeric as compared to water. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a bowl.

Use warm oil on the skin and apply it in circular motions. Do this for about one minute, and then wipe it off using a cloth or a cotton pad. Wash the skin using a cleanser and water. Do not use too hot oil; make sure it is only warm.

3. Raw Milk

Raw Milk

If lemon is too strong for your skin and you do not like to use oil on your skin, you can go for milk. Raw milk can cleanse, and it also hydrates the skin. Raw milk helps in lightening stained skin. Soak a cotton cloth in a bowl of raw milk. Squeeze out the excess milk from the cloth and start rubbing on the skin in a circular motion. Follow up by washing with a cleanser and water.

4. Sugar Scrub

Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrub helps in the removal of stains from the skin. It also exfoliates the skin. Sugar scrub is prepared by mixing equal parts of sugar and water. Rub this scrub in circular motions on the stained part of your skin. Do this for about one minute, and that too gently. Scrubbing too hard and too much can irritate the skin.

Removal of Turmeric Stains Using Chemical Agents

1. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda has the ability to remove turmeric stains from the skin. It can lighten the turmeric stains as it has a bleaching ability. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water to make a spreadable paste. Apply this paste on the stained areas and let it sit on the skin till it dries. Wash it off using lukewarm water first, and rewash using a mild cleanser and water.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is used with water to remove turmeric stains from the skin. This is one of the fastest means to remove turmeric stains from the skin. It also helps in nourishing the skin. Though it is acidic, so if you have sensitive skin, this can irritate your skin.

Hence, it is advised to use a diluted form of apple cider vinegar on the skin. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl and apply it over the stained skin areas. Apply this mixture using a cotton pad or cloth and gently rub it over the stain. Let it sit on the stain for some time. Wash it off using water.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide also acts as a bleaching agent. It can help in lightening turmeric stains on the skin. Hydrogen peroxide is used with water to remove stubborn turmeric stains. After preparing a mixture of water and a little bit of hydrogen peroxide, soak a cotton pad in it and dab it over the stained areas. Let it sit for some time. Rinse it off using water.

4. Shaving Cream

Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is used as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide may or may not be easily accessible to everyone. Shaving cream contains hydrogen peroxide. Apply shaving cream on the stained skin and rub it in circular motions for some time. Wash it off using some water.

5. Makeup Remover

Makeup Remover

Makeup removers and cleansing balms have the ability to remove turmeric stains. If you are skeptical about using DIYs on your skin, you can always rely on a good makeup remover. Use a good makeup remover on the affected areas, followed by washing it off using water.

6. Rubbing Alcohol/ Hand Sanitizer

Rubbing Alcohol: Hand Sanitizer

This method is beneficial for removing fresh turmeric stains. Hand sanitizers or rubbing alcohol as such can be used to remove fresh turmeric stains from the skin. Apply sanitizer on the affected area and rub it gently to remove the stain. Wash it off with water. Repeat the steps if the stains don’t lighten the first time.

7. Dish Soap

Dish Soap

Dish soaps that have citrus or lemon as one of the ingredients work best in removing turmeric stains from skin and nails. It is advised to use a diluted form of dish soap. Add some dish soap to water in a bowl or a bucket, depending on the requirement. Soak your hands or legs in it for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with water later.

Things to Keep in Mind to Remove Turmeric Stains

  • Hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar are acidic. These may irritate your skin if you have sensitive skin.
  • Similarly, baking soda and dish soap are basic and are potential allergens.
  • If you have oily skin, you should not use any kind of oil on your skin. Oil can clog the pores on your skin.
  • While using any kind of scrub, do not rub vigorously, as it can damage the skin barrier and cause irritation, itching, and redness.
  • Do not forget to moisturize properly after removing turmeric stains from the skin.

Benefits of Using Turmeric on Skin

This multipurpose yellow-pigmented spice is used extensively in food, cosmetics, and therapeutic areas. The beneficial properties of turmeric in skin care and therapeutic purposes are backed by scientific evidence. It has shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial activity. It also controls hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Here are some of the many ways in which turmeric is used for treating skin-related issues.

  • Antioxidant Potential – According to Healthline, turmeric has a lot of antioxidants that are essential to stop free radical damage to skin cells.
  • Acne – Turmeric has anti-microbial activity. It helps in treating acne by controlling the microbes responsible for causing acne. It also helps in the reduction of post-acne scars.
  • Oily Skin – Turmeric helps in controlling excessive oil secretion. Hence, it is beneficial for people with oily skin.
  • Hyperpigmentation – Turmeric has skin-brightening properties. Studies have shown that turmeric is effective in reducing hyperpigmentation with consistent use.
  • Delays Signs of Ageing – Since turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it delays the onset of aging signs. It does so by reducing damage to skin cells due to free radicals in the body.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Turmeric on Skin

Though turmeric has innumerable benefits for your skin, it can only be beneficial till the time it is used wisely and not in excess. Even something as useful as turmeric can also turn harmful if used improperly. The quantity and the frequency of use of turmeric on the skin should be kept in check.

Keep the following things in mind while using turmeric on the skin.

  • Do a patch test – It is highly recommended to do a patch test before using turmeric on your entire skin. If you feel irritation and redness appear on the skin, it is possible that your skin is allergic to turmeric, and you should not use it.
  • Do not mix too many ingredients – Unnecessary addition of ingredients to make the turmeric mask “powerful” is not advised. Turmeric may react with the ingredients and cause adverse effects on the skin.
  • Duration of application – Do not keep turmeric masks on your skin for too long. It may leave stains on the skin and can also cause acne breakouts and irritation. Do not keep any turmeric mask longer than 20 minutes on the skin.
  • Quantity of application – Adding too much turmeric will again result in staining of the skin. So, the quantity of turmeric should be kept minimal.
  • Proper rinsing – Rinse your face properly after applying a turmeric mask. Use water only to rinse your face and skin after the removal of turmeric. This will help in preventing staining due to pigments present in turmeric.
  • Uneven application – This is a common mistake while using turmeric on the skin. Make a paste/mask with an even consistency and apply it evenly on the skin for best results.


Last but not least, there are several ways to remove stubborn turmeric stains from the skin. Some involve the use of natural ingredients such as lemon, oil, honey, raw milk, and sugar.

At the same time, chemical agents are also used to remove turmeric stains, such as hydrogen peroxide, shaving cream, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, etc. These methods can be used together as well to lighten the stains on the skin.

Prefer a method of removal of turmeric stain according to your skin type. Although these methods are effective, it is not necessary that they completely wipe off the stain. Repeat the process 2-3 times more, but not more than that in one go.

The takeaway is to use turmeric wisely on the skin to avoid staining in the first place.

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