Holi is one of the most widely celebrated and popular festivals in the country, especially in North India. It brings together a mix of sumptuous delicacies, colour-filled water balloons and of course, celebration with rainbow colours. Like many other festivals, holi is also emblematic of the triumph of good over evil. It is a celebration of all things good, auspicious and merry over negativity, malice and evil.
Aptly called as the festival of colours, it is that time of the year again when people come together, rejoice and apply colour (abeer) on each other to share their joy. However, the only downside of the festival is the aftermath of the play with colours. Let's face it, unlike the days gone by- when colours were derived from natural ingredients - today, we often don't know what goes in those artificial colours. Unfortunately, dyes, chemicals, heavy metals and sometimes elements like acids, mica, glass powder and dangerous alkalis replace these natural ingredients like turmeric, rose petals, tesu flowers, etc.
What you need to know
Chemicals can cause itching and rashes, and serious injury to the skin upon scratching. So whatever you do, do not scratch. If any open wound or cuts are there on the body then use a band aid or bandage prior to playing Holi. This is to avoid entry and absorption of harmful chemicals in your blood stream that could later have more damaging effects like cancer, blindness etc. The toxins used in colours can result in a range of diseases including skin allergies, irritation leading to chronic skin eczemas etc.
What you need to do before stepping out for Holi
1. Dry skin allows chemicals to penetrate easily so ALWAYS oil the whole body. Try using coconut oil and if not, then use olive oil, vitamin E oil. For your hair use mustard oil generously.
2. Oiling in places like behind the ear, between finger tips, near finger nails is very important
3. Paint your nails with the darkest colour possible so that the Holi colors cannot go inside nail bed preferably
4. Wear protective glasses while playing Holi even old pair of sunglasses is a good idea as that even looks fashionable! Always, wash your eyes clean with cold water and see an eye specialist if the irritation persists after few hours of Holi.
5. It's difficult to make out differences between natural colour and a dye colours. So take precaution. Try to use only herbal colors or else home-made colours that you can make in your kitchen or garden. For example, tesu flowers, genda flowers to beet root juice maybe.
How to clean yourself after Holi
1. First things first. Standing under running water for 5 to 10 minutes is a must. Don't scrub yourself too hard and don't scratch.
2. Use liquid soap gently and after that use home-made packs or scrubs on stubborn color so that it goes away.
3. Some home-remedies you could try - apply some lemon juice, use a curd and sandalwood mix and also add turmeric and white flour in it for a better combination.
4. For the face, use olive oil with cotton to remove the colours. This is after washing it in cold water for a few minutes.
5. If the colour refuses to wear off after a long shower then indulge in the home-remedies mentioned above for a few days.
Wishing all of you a colourful Holi and hoping you'll have a herbal and safe one!
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