Holi has passed today and we now look forward to warm days and new beginnings. A festival of rejuvenation and rebirth, Holi spreads color into Indian landscape smeared in rich and vibrant colors of life.
Every heart wants to dance in clouds of ‘gulal’ and get soaked in showers of colored water. But most of us refrain ourselves from being an active part in the play of colors because of the fact that the harsh chemicals in the colors cause skin problems, allergies, breakouts and irritations later on. Especially individuals with a history of skin reactions are at a higher risk of developing allergies upon contact with colors and dyes.
Tips to be followed before and after playing Holi:
- While you dig out old clothes from your cupboard for a splash of colors, make sure you pick up clothes that cover maximum part of your body, preferably either high-necks or full-sleeves. The more your body will be covered, the lesser you have to worry to take the stains off.
- Apply cold cream or oil on all the exposed parts. This makes your skin greasy and slippery preventing colors from settling down skin deep. Also apply a thick layer of waterproof sunscreen lotion before stepping out. This is advised because, playing Holi outdoors under the sun, with harsh chemical induced colors can very well be a cause for getting the severe tan.
- If during the play you feel itchiness or irritation on your skin, make sure to wash the area immediately with cold water. Washing off with cold water will reduce the instant inflammation, which once subdued can be further treated with a local soothing agent like calamine lotion or a thick moisturizer.
- Keep drinking as much as water you can, both before leaving the house and after coming indoors. You should always keep in mind that the colors contain chemicals which snatch away moisture from the skin, so it becomes very important to keep re-hydrating your skin and what better way to do it than drinking plenty of water at regular intervals!
- Application of a thick layer of Vaseline under your nails, behind your ears and on lips is highly recommended before you step out. Because, as mentioned above; strong chemicals in colors leave the skin dry and dehydrated, so along with being conscious of drinking plenty of water, application of petroleum jelly is also important. When skin is dry, pores of the skin open up resulting in absorbing more of the colors. So, prevention should be taken on the first place itself to keep pores of the skin closed by applying Vaseline.
- Once you are indoors after a hearty play of colors with your loved ones, you know in your heat it is time to face the music of removing colours! Try to start the process as soon as possible, i.e wash off the colors while wet. The earliest, the better, for once if the colors dry, it becomes a little difficult to get rid of them easily. Don’t panic though, if you cannot wash them off while wet, they would come off eventually with every shower.
- Wash off colors from your face using lukewarm water and then apply a mixture of sea salt, glycerin and few drops of aroma oil. This mixture is anti-bacterial & anti-fungal which helps protect the skin from harsh effects of chemicals in the colors.
- Never ever rub your skin vigorously with soap, etc. in a quest to wipe the face off colours. This would remove less of colors and instead damage the skin more. Go for a facial cleanser or baby oil instead of soap to wash your face and apply a lot of moisturizer after that. Also strictly avoid bleaching, waxing or facial for a week before and after Holi. This regime is important to follow because these procedures leave the skin pores open which can prove to be harmful as the residue of colors can easily seep into these pores and make their way to inner layers of skin.
- If you want you can also rub some lemon wedges over your skin. The natural bleaching agent in lemons helps remove the sturdy stains which otherwise doesn’t go away easily. Rub it on for some time and then wash it off. After washing it off, make sure to apply ample moisturizer to prevent the skin from dryness.
- The best way to avoid the hassle and ensure a healthy play of colours, choose herbal colours as alternatives to the ones induced with metallic chemicals. Herbal colors are easily available in the market, and much to your surprise can be easily made at home too!
In a nut-shell, enjoy Holi in the most lively manner with great vigor and fervent. At the same time, remain cautious towards ‘post Holi’ effects on your skin and take precautions well in advance.