Dyeing skin/makeup

Dyeing ones skin with pigment/Applying makeup: [1]  

In the process of eating: There is no problem involved at all in [dirtying] ones hands and face with the pigment of the food that he is eating, as [the] coloring [prohibition] only applies towards an item which is commonly dyed.

Applying makeup: It was prohibited for a woman to apply makeup on her face due to the coloring [prohibition], as was explained in Chapter 303 [Halacha 25[2]], due to that this is commonly done on woman.

Applying eyeliner: As well to apply eyeliner was prohibited whether for a man or woman due to the coloring prohibition, being that this is commonly done.


Summary- Dyeing Skin:

To dye areas of skin that are commonly dyed is Rabbinically forbidden. Thus one may not apply makeup.

To dye other areas is allowed. Thus one may eat fruits that have pigment, despite getting the coloring on ones skin.



May a woman apply nail polish or lip stick on Shabbos?[3]

No. In addition to containing a dyeing prohibition it may also contain the Mimacheik/Smearing prohibition. This applies even if the nail polish or lipstick is of a clear color.[4]


May a woman apply face powder [“foundation”] to her face on Shabbos?[5]

If the woman had put on makeup on her face from before Shabbos and now desires to apply face powder to it then this is forbidden according to all being that the powder clings on to the makeup and enhances its color. [6]

If however the woman does not have makeup on her face, then this matter is disputed amongst Poskim. Some Poskim[7] rule it is allowed to be done being that so long as the powder does not stick on to ones skin [as does a paste] it is not defined as a dye. However other Poskim[8] rule it is forbidden.


May one apply cream to their face on Shabbos?[9]

No, this contains the Mimacheik prohibition.


May one smear Dead sea mud on their face on Shabbos?



May one remove nail polish on Shabbos?[10]

If a woman must go to Mikvah that night and forgot to remove the nail polish before Shabbos then she may do so on Shabbos.


May one take a suntan on Shabbos?

This matter is disputed amongst Poskim. Some rule[11] that it is forbidden even when done for mere pleasure.[12]

Other Poskim[13] however rule that it is allowed when done for mere pleasure[14], and is done in private, and one has no intent to tan his skin. However according to others[15] it is even allowed if he intends to tan the skin being that he himself is not adding any dye.

[1] 320/27

[2] In Michaber /Rama

[3] Ketzos Hashulchan page 31 footnote 20

[4] SSH”K 14/57-58

[5] SSH”K 14/59

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 20

[7] Ketzos Hashulchan 146 footnote 20

[8] Igros Moshe 114; Rav SZ”A brought in SSHK ibid

[9] SSH”K 14/60

[10] SSH”K 14/61

[11] Minchas Yitzchak 5/32

[12] Due to a dyeing prohibition, and a possible pain afflicting prohibition [if it is very hot], and it being a degrading act which does not keep with the spirit of Shabbos, and it may come to cause one to smear creams on him. If done for healing, then it is also forbidden due to a healing prohibition as one may come to try to heal himself with herbs. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid-Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as since people sunbathes for mere pleasure, thus the healing is not recognizable and should be allowed.]

[13] Az Nidbaru 2/30

[14] As if done for healing it is questionable whether it contains the healing prohibition.

[15] SSH”K 18 footnote 70

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