Holi
In picture: A student of Rabindra Bharati University reacts as her fellow student throws coloured powder on her face during celebrations for Holi in Kolkata March 2, 2015. Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India.Reuters/ Rupak De Chowdhuri

Holi is an exciting time for those celebrating it. The carnival of colours brings with it merriment and togetherness, but the one-day madness is more often than not followed by stubborn colour stains, and in some cases, terrible hangovers.

For the moment, here are some tips on getting rid of the rigid colour marks without ruining the skin.

Pre-Holi care

Face: Smear lukewarm coconut oil on the skin to protect it from harsh powdered colours. The layer will keep the colours from penetrating the skin. Also, slather sunscreen roughly 30 minutes before you begin the celebrations.

Eyes: Since the colours available in the market these days are manufactured using industrial dyes, it's imperative that you flush your eyes with cold water as soon as they start to get itchy from the colours. Bottled water should be a go-to in this case, considering tap water may have chemicals which could worsen the irritation.

Limbs: Similar routine for rest of the body. Apply generous amounts of coconut oil and top it off with a layer of sunscreen.

Nails: Coat them with a nail paint of your choice. That way, the enamel stays protected from the rude colours.

Hair: Massage the scalp with hot oil using your fingers and run them through the length of your hair. This will leave your tresses mildly moisturised and at the same time not make you look like you have spilled an entire bottle on self. Also, try and braid your hair or do them up into a bun, making them less accessible to the colours.

Lips: Glide some lip balm and then apply your favourite lip colour. The double layer will keep the colour from seeping in through the lip cracks (if any), and also keeping them nice and moist in the process.

Post-Holi care

Face: Rinse with cold water for a good five minutes. Later, use a mild scrub to remove the stains. Most of it will go away (courtesy coconut oil and the sunscreen), but for the persistent ones use the quintessential besan (gram flour) pack. Avoid facials and bleaches for a week, as the skin would be sensitive from the scrubbing and scratching.

Because colours have the potential to absorb your skin's natural moisture, make sure you keep it hydrated at all times by using the best available face cream.

Eyes: If they are itchy, wash them with cold water first. Milk is also an option. If uneasiness persists, see a doctor.

Limbs: The colour blots in these regions are mostly mild but also stubborn. Use lemon wedges to get rid of them. Also, smear a good quantity of cleansing lotion, let it sit for 10 minutes or so, and clean it using the rough side of a towel.

Hair: Avoid shampooing your hair right after you have played Holi. Concoct and apply a mixture of egg yolk and curd 45 minutes before you hit the shower. This will soften and nourish your hair. Also, a paste of curd and methi (fenugreek) powder is a good option. Steer clear of hair treatments or hair dye for at least seven days or more.

Now that you are armed with the colour-removal guide, enjoy the festival with loved ones this Holi, March 23.

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