Holi-Play it Safe!!!

The festival of colors is here. Along with fond memories of Gulal, rain dancing, pichkaris and bhang, if you have repeated nightmares of skin and eye allergies or other serious problems due to the colors here is a bit of Information that will help you.

Why you need to avoid synthetic colors:

Recent studies have found safety issues with all three forms in which the Holi colors are produced: pastes, dry colors and water colors. The various ingredients found in synthetic colors like lead oxide (black), mercury sulphide (red), aluminum bromide (silver), copper sulphate (green), Prussian blue have been known to cause various health problems ranging from dermatitis (skin becoming red and blotchy), eye allergies, skin problems and even temporary blindness.

 

Tips to protect your hair and skin from synthetic colors:

Hair: After playing Holi, you might have noticed that your hair becomes very dry, frizzy and brittle. To avoid this,

  • Massage your hair well from scalp to hair tips with coconut, olive or castor oil. This oil gives your hair a protective covering and shields it from harmful chemicals, dust and dirt.¬† This will help the colors come off easily later.
  • Try and cover your hair with a bandana or cap to decrease contact with colors.
  • After the celebrations, rinse hair with plain water to rid it of dry colors and other particles. Apply a mild shampoo followed by a good conditioner.

Skin:

  • Wear clothes that cover a lot of your skin.
  • Cover the skin on your face, arms, legs etc. with copious amounts of olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or mustard oil.
  • Use a waterproof sunscreen (SPF 30 and above).
  • Cover your lips with a thick coat of Vaseline or lip balm.
  • Protect your nails from the colors by using transparent nail polish. If you have long nails, you can use it on the underside of the nails as well (remove this after the celebrations).
  • ¬†Remember not to use harsh soaps to get rid of colors from your skin.
  • Wash your hands every time you touch food

Since a lot of the Holi colors are in the form of fine powders, they often tend to get mixed up in boxes of dry fruits, nuts and sweets that you put out for guests. Make sure you keep your food covered and also wash your hands properly every time you reach for that plate of goodies. One more important thing to remember is to prevent excessive wastage of water.

  • Use Kitchen ingredients like wheat flour powder and lemon to remove color gently
  • Drink plenty of water

You might get dehydrated due to all the running around and chasing your friends that you is likely to do. Since Holi falls in a summer month, it’s essential that you drink enough water.

 

Other potential dangers of Holi:

  • If you are a known asthmatic or suffer from severe dust allergy, it is advisable not to venture out to play Holi with colors, especially the dry variety.
  • If you wear contact lenses, do remove them before going out to play Holi. If someone is spraying coloured water on your face, close your eyes.
  • Bhang, the official drink for Holi, when consumed in large quantities can lead to effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate, psychosis. Never consume it on an empty stomach and do not mix it with alcohol.
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