Holi, the festival of colors, is played in splendid atmosphere throughout India. But, it can also damage our health as we can face many threats from sunlight, toxic colours, water etc. Times of India published an article written by Anwesha Mittra which tells us about the threat to skin, threat from sunlight, threat to hair, threat to nails from Holi colours and precautions to be taken to get rid of these problems.
Threat to your skin
The substitute synthetic colours on the market comprise toxic components such as lead oxide, engine oil, diesel, chromium iodine and copper sulphate which lead to rashes on the skin, allergies, pigmentation, frizzy hair and eye irritation. In extreme cases it can turn into blindness or cause a serious skin disease.
“Wearing full length clothes is the best way to dodge colours. But make sure you apply copious amount of almond oil, olive oil, cold cream or moisturiser on all exposed body parts,” says Dr. Seema Malik, laser expert at the Eleganza Rejuvenation Clinic, Delhi. She also stresses on how important it is to stay hydrated by having a good liquid diet before playing holi to avoid any skin related disorder. “Apart from moisturizers, you can apply a generous amount of tea tree oil, for it has healing properties. It works best for the skin and prevents chemical accumulation,” says Simmi Ghai, makeup expert, Xpressions.
Threat from sunlight
The toxic colours together with the ultra violet sunlight can cause a ‘photo-toxic reaction on you skin.
Says Dr. Seema, “It is imperative to apply waterproof sunscreen on your face, neck, palms and feet, as liquid colours easily wash off ordinary sunscreens. You can use any good sunscreen with a SPF 30.” She is all for applying a thick layer of makeup foundation just before playing holi. It is a great way to provide your skin a base to protect it from damaging colours. “While skin needs utmost care, your delicate lips are not to be neglected either. You can apply a fat coat of lip balm or Vaseline or lime glycerine concoction to your lips,” she adds.
Threat to your hair
Holi colours, both dry and liquid, strips your hair of their natural sheen, their lustrous quality, and makes them dry and frizzy. This can cause permanent damage to your scalp ending up in serious hair loss.
“Hair care is a must before and after playing with colours. Hair tends to get brittle, damaged and awfully dry if not oiled or washed properly as the chemical residues gradually settle down on your scalp,” she explains. She further adds, “Oiling your hair is the key before playing holi. Nothing works better than a head massage with warm olive oil. Caster oil and coconut oil are good alternatives too. By adding a few drops of lemon juice you can avoid any infection triggered by the chemical colours.” According to Simmi, a mixture of jojoba and rosemary oil makes the right base oil for your hair. “It effectively prevents the harmful colours from settling down,” says she.
Here are a few quick hair care tips from Dr. Seema after playing holi…
- Rinse off your hair with mild shampoo immediately.
- Hair conditioning is must after shampoo.
- Apply a pack of olive oil and honey to after shampooing.
- You can even go for a scalp and anti-dandruff hair toner.
- If rash or allergy persists, take any anti-histamine tablet.
Threat to your nails
Nails get brittle and dry after playing with colours. They develop jagged edges and often it takes months to get rid of the stubborn colours that settle around the corners. Many complain of nail polish removers not having an effect on such occasions.
“You can protect your nails by applying a coat of nail booster, now easily available across cosmetic shops and big departmental stores. Using nail polish is also a good idea. The purpose is to shield them from the toxic colours that tend to stick on,” suggests Dr. Seema.
A word of caution from her: “Never ever wash off skin with soap after playing holi because it can further damage your skin or leave bruises. Use cold water to remove colours, as hot water takes longer to wash off. Try adapting more traditional methods such as a paste made from besan, turmeric powder and milk or sandalwood powder with milk and lime juice on your skin before taking a bath. Chemicals will harm your skin if you let them remain for a prolonged period. So, bathe and shampoo as quickly as you can to minimise the impact on your body. And make sure to dab some body lotion after bathing.”