Happy Holi
How to stay safe from colours on HoliReuters

The festival of colours has arrived and people are all geared up to play with colours and water the entire day. Though Holi brings great joy and fervour, it also invites skin damage, hair-fall and infection to eyes, if proper measures are not taken.

Dr. Apratim Goel, a well-known cosmetic dermatologist and laser surgeon in Mumbai, talked about how to stay safe from colours to International Business Times, India. She says Holi is a festival of colours but it is not celebrated the way it was in earlier times. Now people use colours that contain acid, glass particles and many more toxic substances.

"You have to be very safe with your skin during Holi. Don't roam around playing Holi with unknown people as you don't know what colours they are applying on your face. You don't know what toxic substances are present in those colours," Dr. Goel said.

Here are a few pre-Holi and post-Holi tips given by Dr. Goel.

Pre-Holi tips:

Skin: Put protected clothing on the skin. Try to cover your body as much as you can and it is better to wear swimming dress or gym dress, which is body-hugging, while playing Holi. Apply barrier cream to your skin in every two hours to prevent it from harmful colours. Do not apply oil.

Hair: Instead of putting oil, apply stay on conditioner to the hair. These conditioners are impermeable to colours, so it will protect your hair. Also, one can wear cap to avoid colours to contact your hair. "I would not recommend oil because you will apply lot of shampoo to remove it and this will affect you scalp," Dr. Goel said.

Eyes: There are several eye protecting drops to protect your eyes. If possible, wear glasses.

Post-Holi tips:

  • Don't rub lime everywhere to get rid of the colour. Lime alters the pH of the skin, so Dr. Goel recommended to use milk powder and also, glycerin to remove the colour.
  • Micellar water, which is a combination of water and oil, is one of the best products to remove the colour. Micellar water is mostly used as make-up remover but it is not harmful as it hydrates the skin as well.
  • Never use hot water to remove colours.

"Holi colours cannot be removed at one go, so don't rub your skin hard. It may get you rashes and swelling," Dr. Goel said.

According to her, Holi colours can cause several damages to your skin and hair. Hair can get frizzy and break-off, while one can have swellings, acne and other allergies to the skin. "You are blocking the facial gland openings, so acne and other allergies will occur," she said.

"I am not saying don't play with colours, but if you want to play then celebrate in a healthy way like the Tomatina festival," Dr. Goel added.

When asked about home-remedies she said that people go over-board with home-remedies. If they are asked to apply something for half an hour, they keep it for one hour and more. This will harm the skin.

A little bit of scrub can be used to remove the colour and wash the skin with cold water. Dr. Goel recommended making colours by your own. She says organic colours that are made by petals are safe.

The 44-year-old doctor asked people to avoid roaming on streets while they have colour on their skin. "Colours attract UV light, it will damage your skin," she said.

While Dr. Goel gave tips on how to protect skin and hair during Holi, another well-known expert from Surat Dr. Joy Shah, Managing Partner and Strategic Consultant of Venus concept, gave more tips to play safe Holi.

"Holi is a colourful festival, so use natural colours like Abir and take proper precautions," Dr. Shah said, "Now-a-days people play Holi with mud as well, so it is a better way to play, instead of playing with toxic colours."

He further said that in case of any emergency, contact your nearby dermatologists. He asked to use Refresh eye drops to protect eyes, but also said to recommend doctor before using any eye drop.