Holi, also known as the "festival of colours" is one of the vibrant festivals of India. It signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for few it is a day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.
While the festival is a lot of fun, the aftermath can be very unpleasant at times as a result of skin rashes, discoloration of hairs, eye allergies, respiratory allergies such as asthma etc.
Traditionally Holi colours were made from herbs and spring flowers and such preparations had therapeutic effect on our health. However as technologies came in and people find less time in making such laborious preparations and slowly moved into toxic chemicals and industrial dyes. Such artificial colors and dyes can have detrimental effects to skin including skin irritations, itching, dermatitis, discolorations, rashes, dryness of the skin and even eczema.
A great wellness tip is to celebrate Holi safely so that such adverse reactions can be minimized. The below are some points to remember celebrating Holi in a healthy way
- As much as possible try to use homemade colors and avoid synthetic ones. Homemade colors can be made using flowers such as rose, marigold etc. and spices such as turmeric etc.
- As we all know, skin is one of the largest and important organ for toxic elimination, it is important for us to safeguard this organ. Most of the synthetic colours contain toxic ingredients such as mercury sulfide in red color, lead oxide in black color, copper sulphate in green and aluminum bromide in silver color. This can penetrate the skin and cause damage and hence avoid darker colors and also wear protective clothing that covers most part of your skin.
- Apply non-tanning moisturizers or oil on your face and body. This will prevent direct exposure of skin to the chemicals.
- While removing the stains on the skin and hair, use mild agents such as herbal soaps and shampoos and avoid harsh ones. Using of petrol, kerosene etc. can further dry your skin and hence avoid them. A natural mix of moong dal or almond powder can also be used for mild exfoliation.
- If there is any persistent itching, immediately wash off the colours and apply a soothing lotion to the skin. Aloe Vera mixed with Coconut milk can be a very good cooling agent to the skin. Skin rejuvenation can be done with herbal packs, mud baths, and steam baths or by using natural exfoliants.
- Your hairs can be very sensitive to colors that contain chemicals and if you have brittle hair, it makes it even harder to remove colours from the hair. Wear a protective cap or hat before you start to play Holi.
- Another sensitive area is your eyes. Wear a fitted sunglass to prevent any dust going into the eyes. Remove contact lenses and if you get any signs of eye irritation, immediately rinse the eyes with plain cold water.
- Respiratory allergies and asthma are very common especially if you are prone to it. Avoid exposure to any known allergens such as dust and pollens. Also to prevent this it is better to play with wet colors than dry ones.
- Our mouth is a major entry to many of the infections. During Holi, it is better to avoid eating with hands unless you have cleaned them properly. Cold and allergies are very common during this times of changing season. Always consume foods that are warm and not refrigerated.
- The official drink of Holi is bhang. This must be consumed in moderation to avoid any complications arising from high blood pressure. People who have any cardiac conditions must avoid this drink. Opt for any hydrating or detox drink to feel rejuvenated.
Detox treatments post Holi
- Hydrating Aloe Vera body wrap – using a mixture of Aloe Vera, coconut milk, neem leaves and turmeric.
- Herbal hair treatment – using a mixture of Mehndi, Hibiscus, Aloe Vera and a paste of Methi seeds.