Holi was originally celebrated by throwing scented powder and perfume on each other. However, now industrial dyes and harmful chemicals have taken the place of natural colours which can damage the skin beyond repair.
While the city will celebrate Holi on Monday, there are some steps which, if taken, can save the skin, hair and nails from damage. Dr Ashish Gupta, consultant, department of plastic surgery at SPS Apollo Hospitals, says: “Natural flowers, turmeric, herbal colours available in market and multaani mitti are the healthy alternatives to synthetic colours for playing Holi.”
“The biggest problem for people is that they have no control over what the person on opposite side will use and thus one should take some precautions. Apply oil or moisturiser all over your skin and allow it to be absorbed by the body for 15 minutes. Next, smear waterproof sunscreen on your skin. Soak your hair liberally with hair oil so that all colours slide away when you sit down to remove them after the day is over. Wear clothes that can cover maximum part of the body. Use Vaseline for your nails,” he says.
One should prefer red or pink colours because they can be easily removed as compared to colours like yellow, green, orange or dark purple as they have comparatively more harmful chemicals in them. While playing with colours, ensure that your eyes are protected all the time, he adds.
For removing the colour, he says, “Wash the colour off from your skin with lukewarm water and lemon wedges. Avoid hot water as it fixes the colour to the skin. Add a few lemon drops to the bathing water and use mild soap. Rub the skin gently. For getting rid of traces of colour left, use the paste of gram flour (besan) with milk on the skin. Avoid removers such as strong soaps, petrol and kerosene for removing colour because they can cause skin irritation.”