Holi is round the corner and there is no way you can avoid the inevitable splashing of water and colors and splurging on food and drinks. Colors make Holi but gone are the days of skin friendly dyes. Today the market is flooded with chemical-based synthetic and toxic colors which are bad for the skin and the hair. So while Holi celebrates new beginnings and better promises, it brings its share of messed up dry and brittle hair, rough skin, dry and brittle nails, darkening and pigmentation of nails, allergies and sometimes, eye injuries.
It’s always a good idea to take precautions for all age-groups to minimise the potential effects of harsh colors and dyes on skin and hair days before and after Holi.
- Apply a thick layer of water-proof agent like oil, petroleum jelly/Vaseline, cold cream or moisturiser on all exposed body parts including the area behind the ears, lips and fingertips to create a protective greasy layer an hour before stepping out for Holi festivities in the sun.
- Since Holi is an outdoor festival, apply a layer of sunscreen to prevent sunburns, darkening and rashes thanks to the dyes present in the colors. Maintain minimum exposure to the sun. Prevention is always better than cure. Why visit a dermatologist after the damage is done!
- Apply baby oil or coconut oil to the hair days in advance but please remember overuse of shampoo may lead to hairfall.
- Have nails painted with transparent colors to avoid stains.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of fruit juices, buttermilk and water to prevent dehydration.
- Cover the body as much as possible by wearing long sleeves (an old set of polo-shirts and denims is ideal) and if possible, a turban or a cap for the head before the festivities to minimise color exposure.
- Protect eyes at all costs with good quality swimming googles and sunglasses.
- Protect teeth with dental caps for any unwanted color stains.
- Opt for skin-friendly organic herbal colors instead of the easily available metallic colors.
- Use a soap-free cream-based cleanser or baby oil to remove colors from the skin instead of soap. Soap contains esters that erode the skin and cause rashes.
- Apply aloe vera, moisturiser, calamine lotion or baby oil generously after bathing and removing colors to soothe any irritation.
- Use cold water for washing off colors instead of hot water. Hot water tends to stick the color to the skin.
- Avoid washing and scrubbing hard to remove colors as they can increase irritation and abrasion of the skin.
- Avoid using kerosene, spirit, and petrol or nail-polish remover to remove colors as it dissolves the protective layer of the skin.
- If hair is dry and brittle, apply oil and leave it overnight and wash gently with shampoo and conditioner the next day.
- The area around the eyes can be soothed with rosewater dabs.
- Lemon and sugar is a natural home-made bleaching agent which can be used on stubborn color stains on the skin.
Have a happy and safe Holi!