The festival of colours is here. While this year the celebrations won’t be as grand as the previous ones due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, there will still be colours and a few close family members to enjoy the day with. So, it is obvious that you should take care and prepare your skin before people smear colours on your face. It is recommended that proper skincare and haircare routines should be followed in order to avoid breakouts, allergic reactions, irritation and hair damage after the celebrations.
Now if you are wondering how you should prepare for the Holi celebrations, worry not, we got you covered. We asked two dermatologists for tips and tricks to protect your hair and skin from any harm that the chemicals in the colours can do. We spoke to Dr Vivek Mehta from the Centre For Advanced Dermatology and Laser Estetica along with Dr Suruchi Puri from Medi Makeover and asked for ways that we can protect our skin while enjoying the festival.
How To Prepare Skin For Holi?
Dr Mehta says, make sure the clothes you pick for the celebrations cover maximum part of your body, preferably either high-necks or full-sleeves. The more area of your body is covered, the lesser you have to worry about taking the stains off. Apply cold cream or oil on all the exposed parts. This makes your skin greasy and slippery preventing colours from settling down. Also, apply a thick layer of waterproof sunscreen lotion before stepping out. This is advised as playing Holi outdoors under the sun, with harsh chemical-induced colours can very well be a cause for getting a severe tan. Application of a thick layer of petroleum jelly under your nails, behind your ears and on lips is highly recommended before you step out.
To add to this, Dr Puri said, apply a thick layer of moisturiser followed by a sunscreen with good SPF (>=30) at least half an hour before going out in the sun.
Holi Preparation For Sensitive Skin
For people with sensitive skin, if they feel itchiness or irritation anywhere, they should wash the area immediately with cold water said Dr Mehta. Washing off with cold water will reduce the instant inflammation, which once subdued can be further treated with a local soothing agent like calamine lotion or a thick moisturiser. Another important tip that he gave was that people should keep drinking water throughout the day. He mentioned that you should always keep in mind that the colours contain chemicals that remove moisture from the skin, so it becomes very important to keep re-hydrating your skin and what better way to do it than drinking plenty of water at regular intervals!
Dr Puri also said if you have dry skin you can even use liberal amounts of olive oil and remember to drink plenty of water or fluids as dehydrated skin can have more irritation or allergic reactions following colour application. Sunglasses are advised to protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around the eyes.
Haircare Tips For Holi
Dr Puri told us to apply olive oil or coconut oil nicely on hair and to preferably cover up our heads with a scarf. She also mentioned that we should try to wash the colours off the skin and hair as soon as possible and shampoo and condition after Holi preferably using an argan oil-based mask.
Skincare After Holi
Dr Mehta said that once you are indoors after a hearty play of colours with your loved ones, you know it is time to face the music of removing colours. Try to start the process as soon as possible, that is wash off the colours while wet. The earliest, the better, for once if the colours dry, it becomes a little difficult to get rid of them easily. Don’t panic though, if you cannot wash them off while wet, they would come off eventually with every shower. Wash off colours from your face using lukewarm water and then apply a mixture of sea salt, glycerin and few drops of aroma oil. This mixture is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which helps protect the skin from the harsh effects of chemicals in the colours. Never rub your skin vigorously with soap in a quest to wipe the colours off your face. This won’t remove the colour as much, instead, it will damage the skin more. Go for a facial cleanser or baby oil instead of soap to wash your face and apply a lot of moisturiser after that. Also, strictly avoid bleaching, waxing or facial for a week before and after Holi. This regime is important to follow because these procedures leave the skin pores open which can prove to be harmful as the residue of colours can easily seep into these pores and make its way to the inner layers of skin.
If you want you can also rub some lemon wedges over your skin. The natural bleaching agent in lemons helps remove the sturdy stains which otherwise don’t go away easily. Rub it on for some time and then wash it off. After washing it off, make sure to apply ample moisturiser to prevent the skin from dryness. The best way to avoid the hassle and ensure a healthy play of colours, choose herbal colours as alternatives to the ones induced with metallic chemicals. Herbal colours are easily available in the market, and much to your surprise can be easily made at home too.