You know it's spring when the sun shines bright yet the breeze is cool. As the spirit of summer awaits at our doorstep, Holi brings back the happiness of colours and water into our lives. Among many other things, skincare and haircare must be taken very very seriously during this festival of colours. Although nowadays we get organic and vegetable dyed colours in the market, we cannot be sure what kind of colours the person we are playing with is using. The so called 'pakka' colours can be very dangerous for both our skin and internal organs.
Some of the hazardous chemicals that are used in these colours are copper sulphate that can cause allergies in the eyes, puffiness and also temporary blindness in some instances. Aluminium bromide often present in the silver colour can be carcinogenic, mercury sulphite is at times added in the red paste and it can lead to severe skin allergy because of its toxicity. Amidst all these chemicals, there are a few things we can do to keep our skin and hair safe in this time of Holi.
Try to remember and follow the following things before stepping out to play with all the colours:
- Apply Jojoba oil or Hemp seed oil generously all over your face, neck and your hands and legs as the colours often comes in contact with your skin that is exposed. Jojoba oil has a natural SPF 4 and Hemp Seed oil has a natural SPF 6. Apply a good water proof sunscreen after applying either of the oil. The oil will will form a protective layer which will be a barrier. You need a sunscreen as SPF 4 or 6 is not enough when you are out in the sun for so long. The oil will also make it easier for the colour to come off, when you wash your face once you are done playing.
- Make sure you carry a small Rose water mist spray, so that you can spray it if you feel any kind of irritation on your skin. It soothes the affected area.
- Try to wear cotton fabric so that it doesn't stick to your skin. Synthetic material may cause irritation.
- Make sure you don't wear lens when you are playing with colours.
- Don't forget to apply oil behind your ears and around your fingers as these small nooks and corners are often forgotten about and the stubborn colours refuses to leave their mark.
- If you have any open wounds or cuts, do not forget to cover them with surgical tape or band aid.
- Drink water before you step out so that your skin is hydrated and carefully keep sipping water in between so that you are not dehydrated after all the playing around and dancing.
- Apply a coat of nail paint so that the colours don't find its own place in your nails and you don't have to sport Holi dyed nails.
- Massage your scalp and your hair with Almond oil before leaving your house. Along with nourishment, it will also protect your hair from all the chemicals.
- Tie your hair up in a pony or a braid such that it doesn't get tangled when you are playing.
- You can also sport a bandana or a scarf; it looks good and it will protect your hair and scalp as well.
- Before leaving home you make a mask with two tablespoons of cold pressed Sweet Almond oil, one tablespoon honey and one table spoon curd.
- Rinse the colour off your face with cold water.
- Take some Jojoba oil in a cotton pad and cleanse your face and neck. Jojoba oil is a natural cleanser and work beautifully on the skin.
- Avoid using too much soap because the alkalinity may cause dryness after all the colours and harmful chemicals.
- You can make a home made ubtan/face mask with two table spoon besan (chickpea powder), one table spoon honey, one tea spoon of curd, a pinch of turmeric and some Rose water. Apply this on your face and neck and let it dry. Gently wash it off with cold water. It will leave your face fresh and clean. After that spray some Rose water on your face, it is a natural toner.
- While in the shower use a mild body wash and a natural loofah to scrub off the colours. Moisturise your body with a good, cold pressed Sweet Almond oil after the shower and let your skin have all the natural goodness and vitamin E from the oil.
- As already mentioned, applying a coat of nail paint will prevent holi colours to stick onto your nails, but more often than not the colours might stick on top of the nail paint coat making it look unpleasant. Here comes in the Lemongrass essential oil. At Speaking Herbs, the Lemongrass oil is of therapeutic grade, and all you need to do is put 2-3 drops of it on a cotton pad and rub it on your nails. It might need a little more effort than the regular nail paint remover but again you are using something that is alcohol free, devoid of synthetic chemicals and on a lighter note, your fingers will smell lemon-y.
- Brush your hair slowly and carefully after playing Holi. Try to take out as much colour you can by brushing your hair. Make sure to use a soft brush.
- Apply the mask on your hair and leave it till you are done with cleaning the colours off your body. Rinse it off with tepid water and use a mild shampoo.
- Do not be too harsh on your scalp while trying to take off the colours. It may take a day or two for it to go.
- You can add a couple of drops of Jojoba oil to your shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly. This way you don't have to use any conditioner.
- Go for a nice hair spa after a few days and let your hair be pampered.
Above all, be safe, eat healthy and enjoy this beautiful festival of colours with your near and dear ones. And kindly, do not let anyone put colours on the poor animals who can't say no. It is definitely not good for them. Have a happy and wonderful Holi.