Spring has sprung! We for one are excited to welcome the new season with the colourful fiesta that is Holi. However, the festival of colours is also a dreadful time for our skin and hair, which can take a beating from the harsh colours and stains that last for days. Dr. Sachin shares some advice on a things you can do to protect your skin and hair, so you can have care-free, colourful fun!
1. Apply petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, is an occlusive agent and works by providing a physical barrier to the top (epidermal) layer of the skin. This keeps the skin moisturised, while blocking the colours from seeping in. Apply the Vaseline generously on exposed skin, and especially around the nails (cuticles) to protect your skin. Also, avoid getting facials or scrubbing your skin right before Holi. The skin releases natural oils that are an important protective barrier, and scrubbing away that top layer will make your skin more vulnerable.
2. Oil your hair
The Holi colours can be very harsh on hair, and may cause long-lasting damage like dryness, split-ends, etc. Moreover, you probably don’t want to emerge the day after holi with the odd tint from the mix of colours splattered on your hair! To protect your hair, massage it with a vegetable oil or olive oil, before you head out to play with colours. The oil serves as a barrier and prevents the colours from sticking to the hair cuticles or your scalp, making it easier to wash off later. It also provides some added nutrition, and protects from dryness.
3. Play with organic herbal colours
Beware of the colours you play Holi with. Chemical-based colours are unfortunately too widely available in the market. These chemicals contain lead, iron salts and even industrial copper dyes which can be carcinogenic when exposed to the body for a significant time period. The ingredients in chemical colours can also cause serious allergic reactions and skin damage. We recommended buying herbal colours which are made from natural plant sources and do not contain these dangerous chemicals.
4. Protect your eyes and mouth.
Eyes and mouth contain mucous membranes from where colours can penetrate the skin more easily. Some Holi colours, like the gulal, contain very tiny particulate matter which can enter into your body and cause health effects like eye irritation, inflammations and in adverse cases even respiratory illnesses. The simplest way to protect your eyes is to wear glasses that prevent colours from splashing in.
5. Be gentle cleaning up after Holi
If you have taken the above mentioned precautions before playing Holi, then the clean up afterwards should not be too bad! Avoid using strong soaps, scrubs or detergents, which are harsh and abrasive on the skin and can cause dryness and even allergies and eczema. Our recommendation is a gentle soap-free cleanser, and sulphate-free shampoos.