Holi Safely Tips
How to stay safe this Holi, and protect your eyes, hair and skin, and to keep from falling ill this festive season.
What are some of the measures you can take to ensure you have an ailment-free Holi?
Holi is a festival of colors which comes when the season is changing from winter to summer. It is played with vigour and often means being drenched in cold water for hours- including the hair.
Having adequate head-gear and limiting the time being drenched can help falling ill. Keep a handkerchief infront of the mouth and nose to prevent inhaling chemicals.
EYES : Use protective eye-wear to prevent colours going into the eyes. Discourage people from throwing colour on the face to protect the eyes. If colour enters the eyes, wash them thoroughly with clean water, but first wash your hands with soap and water as dirty hands can put more chemicals in. Show an eye-specialist if irritation persists. Do not wear contact lenses while playing holi.
The colors used during holi often have heavy metals and harsh chemicals. We must realise that the skin is the largest organ of the body and should not be exposed to and absorb these chemicals. Organic colours or better still turmeric, flowers petals can be used instead. One should specifically avoid black (lead oxide), red (mercury sulphide), silver (aluminium bromide) and green (copper sulphate) colours. They cause allergy, cancer, temporary blindness and kidney failure. Also cover your legs and arms so the skin is not directly exposed to the chemicals.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid artificial colours altogether.
Drink lots of fluids. This will help flush out the toxic chemicals and heavy metals being absorbed by the skin. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
Bhang causes weakening of the immune system, increases heart beating rates, increases the reaction time and increases appetite and should be taken only in moderation. People who frequently fall ill, have blood pressure or heart problems, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those who have to drive, should avoid it altogether
What steps can you take before playing Holi to make sure your skin isn’t damaged?
Applying oil, moisturising lotion, petroleum jelly or sunscreen generously on exposed areas before playing holi. They will limit absorption and enable quick washing off. Apply lip balm or Vaseline on the lips, ears and under the nails to prevent colours from seeping in.
What steps can you take after playing Holi to make sure your skin isn’t damaged?
Wash off all the colour gently using a mild soap/ body wash as soon as possible and apply a generous amount of lotion to limit the damage caused by colours. Avoid using strong detergents, petrol etc as these further damage the skin. Scrubbing the colours off harshly is also not recommended as it increases absorbtion. Do not use hot water. One should avoid excessive sun exposure after playing holi. In case there is any irritation, burning or redness while playing, one should immediately wash the color off and apply a mild lotion like lactocalamine. Consult a dermatologist should irritation persist.
What steps can you take before playing Holi to make sure your hair isn’t damaged?
The easiest way to protect the hair is by first applying some oil on the hair and scalp and then wearing some headgear. The oil reduces the amount of colour absorbed and also makes it easier to wash it off. Chemicals make the hair dry and brittle and also cause allergic reactions in the scalp.
What steps can you take after playing Holi to make sure your hair isn’t damaged?
Immediately wash your hair with a gentle shampoo taking care to massage the scalp and then apply conditioner.
What products should you use to play Holi with? What kind of colours and water?
Organic colours or better still turmeric, mehendi, spinach leaves, gram flour, red sandalwood powder, pomegranate, turmeric- lime combination (orange in colour), tea leaves, black grapes, beetroot, flowers petals can be used instead.
What are some ingredients you should completely avoid?
One should specifically avoid black (lead oxide), red (mercury sulphide), silver (aluminium bromide) and green (copper sulphate) colours. They cause allergy, cancer, temporary blindness and kidney failure. Also cover your legs and arms so the skin is not directly exposed to the chemicals.