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Check out these before and after tips, that will keep your skin happy while you get busy with the colours.
First, the stuff to check out before you head out to play Holi.
How to pick your Holi colours?
Let’s start with the material to play with. Holi powders can be chemical or organic. Organic Holi colours are made from cornstarch or similar material, and the colours are usually the same as your food colourants. Now, here is the twist – you can have both chemical and organic food coluring agents, and that’s why even so called natural or organic Holi colours can actually have synthetic food colours. In contrast, organic food colours are made from natural sources like beetroot, turmeric, marigold etc. So yes, you may need to look for this organic part specifically, but do not worry, these are easily available on Amazon!
Which is better, the spray gun aka pichkari, or the powder itself?
Let us give you a research backed answer for this one! A study done in 2016, showed that Holi powders have between 40 to 75% of PM10 particles (particulate matter sized 10 microns or less), and such particulate matter inhalation can create health problems in humans, in addition to causing environmental pollution as well. And if we add the factor of synthetic Holi colours, as above, this can mean long term health issues.
The same study also found that these gulal powders, were able to create negative inflammatory responses in cell cultures. Unfortunately, even cornstarch which is considered organic, was able to create an inflammatory response, when used in the powder form. Also, some powders may also contain fungal elements, which can lead to infections if such particles are inhaled – and inhalation of gulal is inevitable when Holi is played properly!
So our suggestion is that, you go with the spray gun – but choose the low velocity setting on this one.
What to wear when playing Holi?
Definitely from the above discussion, MASKS! Particulate matter inhalation is a big concern, and masks can make a huge difference at keeping this out. To give you an idea of the particulate matter, it is almost 100 times larger than your average corona virus. Again, since eye injuries are common, a cool looking pair of shades, to complete the look. Given that we all have those masks and eye wear lying at home, from our Corona prep, this should be easy!
And of course, a spotless white outfit, whose only job is to live and die on Holi-day!
How to prep the skin?
Now is when you need to have a real strong moisturizer ready. Apply moisturizer generously on all the exposed parts of the body before you step into the colour zone. This will help reduce the adherence of particles to the skin. Make that a moisturizing sunscreen, if you are going to be in the sunny outdoors. Use a thick coating of your leave on hair serum, and make sure you generously coat the hair strands – all of this is preparation to make the wash out less tedious. Avoid dyeing or colouring your hair very close to the event. Opt for a root touch up with one of those washable hair colour sticks.
Avoid sessions of chemical exfoliation, for 2-3 days before the event. We will have plenty of time to reach out for the Milk Route® for a moisturizing body exfoliation, after all the colour action is through.
And here’s the road to recovery!
But bath first! You will need quite some time for this one. Make sure that the water is lukewarm, since the skin could be sensitive from all the colours and the action. Avoid very cold and very hot water. Before you get to your shower, apply baby oil, and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes.
The ideal cleansers would be Cetaphil Baby Bar, for some firm, but gentle cleansing, and of course, body washes like the Sebamed Fresh Shower Gel are again, thorough but gentle cleanser. Avoid using harsh soaps, in an attempt to get clear of the color, it would only make the skin that much more dry and sensitive.
You should use soft cotton towels to dry yourself and avoid too much friction. Most of the colour goes away eventually, and very quickly if you have used predominantly organic or plant derived colours.
Moisturize with one of the baby moisturizers, follow the 3 minutes rule, and apply body moisturizer within 3 minutes of your bath/ shower. For the face, you can get back to your sunscreen routine if the sun is still out, or you can head over to your face moisturizer.
Here’s one time that you can use coconut oil on your hair and scalp, soak for 10 minutes and wash it off with a clear shampoo. Follow this up with a good leave on conditioner.
You can schedule your Milk Route® UNSCRUB® ritual after a day or two, and do a moisturizing exfoliation, which will get rid of rough and flaky skin, and restore your skin to baby softness!
Why is cleansing off so important, when it comes to Holi colours?
As enjoyable as the whole holiday is, Holi colours can have a few side effects. The first is allergic contact dermatitis, where the skin reacts to the harsh chemicals. This can be temporary, but sometimes can take pretty long to clear up. The second is delayed pigmentation, and persistent tanning – this can be due to a skin reaction from the pigments that stay on for too long. Again, for some people, this can mean long term trouble. This is why it makes sense to prepare well, as explained above.
Happy Holi to you!