The most colourful day of the year, Holi is here and with it comes joy and laughter. But as much fun as it is to play with colours, it is equally important to protect one’s skin from the potentially damaging effects of chemical dyes and harsh detergents used in store-bought colours.
Sima Singh, a homemaker from Ahmedabad says, “Playing Holi is great fun, but it is important to follow a skincare and hair care regime while playing it.”
Singh applies a layer of moisturiser on her skin to prevent it from drying. She also takes care of nails by applying nail paint. A palm full of coconut oil goes in protecting her hair from the harsh colours.
Dr Shoba Sudeep, Bengaluru-based consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist and Dr Mikki Singh, consultant dermatologist at Bodycraft Clinics, Bengaluru share some tips on how to take care of one’s skin while playing Holi.
“Chemicals from abrasive colours when applied on the skin can cause rashes, itching, minor cuts, allergies, and discolouration. It can also block pores in some people,” says Dr Singh.
The foremost step before playing Holi is to use a good moisturiser as it creates a protective layer and prevents the skin from drying. “For oily skin, opt for a lightweight, non-greasy moisturiser. If you have dry skin, massage your body with coconut oil,” says Dr Sudeep. This acts as a barrier between your skin and colours and makes it easy to remove the colours thereafter, she adds.
- Apply sunscreen with 50+ SPF. Apply generously on all the exposed parts (like hands, face, and legs) of the body. If you have oily skin, then use a gel-based sunscreen.
- Wear cotton clothes instead of synthetic or woollen.
- If you have nodulocystic acne (inflammatory acne that causes cysts) or atopic dermatitis, it is advised to refrain from playing with colours, as it would severely flare up the condition.
- Apply coconut oil on hair or use a serum or conditioner.
- Tie your hair up into a braid to protect it.
- Choose clothes that cover up most of your skin.
- Avoid parlour trips a week before and after Holi.
- A thick lip balm will protect your lips from harmful colours.
- A coat of paint applied on your nails before Holi will help prevent the colour from staining your nails.
- Stay hydrated. It is the start of summer and getting caught up in the Holi fun is easy.
To know more about a healthy skincare routine read here
Holi care regimen for children
Children also require special care while playing Holi. While some of the preparatory tips are similar for both adults and children, such as using organic and non-toxic colours, extra attention is needed for children. This includes applying petroleum jelly on their feet, lips, ears, and around their nails. Additionally, oiling their hair and covering it with a bandana is recommended.
As multiple rounds of cleansing is required, remember to scrub the skin gently with a loofah and use gentle face and body wash with lukewarm water.
Refrain from using too many homemade face packs just after Holi. Apply nourishing balm or oil over dry areas. Apply a moisturiser to rehydrate your skin after washing. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.
Post-Holi home remedies
- After washing yourself with a cleanser, you can rub tomato pulp or papaya which acts as an effective cleanser and cooling agent over the skin, says Dr Sudeep.
- Another cooling agent is cucumber juice which can be applied as a layer.
- Refrain from using turmeric, lime juice or harsh home-made products such as soap nut powder right after playing with colours as these ingredients can further irritate the skin.
- If there are sunburns, allergic reactions or contact dermatitis, see your dermatologist promptly.
Pro-tips from experts
Dr Singh suggests some more pro-tips to get rid of Holi colours from skin and hair naturally.
- Apply egg yolk or curd to the hair for about 30 minutes.
- Use cold water instead of hot water to remove the colours easily.
- Do not scrub your skin too much while washing off the stains.
- Lacto-calamine lotion will soothe the skin in case of any irritation. Visit a dermatologist in case any irritation persists for more than a few days.