Guard yourself before stepping out for Holi

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Reach out for oil therapy, dress up smartly and follow the no-synthetic rule to shield your skin and hair from the harsh effects of Holi colours, says an expert.

Dermatologist and skin care expert Meghna Gupta shares a few tips:

* You may avoid washing your hair before playing Holi, thinking it will anyways get dirty. But when the pre-dirt mixes with colours, it can further damage your hair, making it rougher and vulnerable to breaking. So wash and condition your hair well before playing with colours.

* Do not forget to apply sunscreen before playing Holi as it is really easy to get tanned while playing outdoors.

* The synthetic colours available in the market may contain harmful chemicals and even glass particles. It is highly advisable to take steps that will minimise your skin’s direct contact with colours. Applying a thick coat of oil on your skin and hair is a good way to do this.

Lather yourself in oil an hour before stepping out. The oil acts as a protective layer and makes it easier for the colour to come off later. Don’t miss out on places like behind your ear, between finger wedges and near your finger nails.

Give yourself a thorough head massage with coconut or olive oil to prevent damage not only from the harsh colours, but heat and dirt as well. This prevents the colour from settling on your scalp. Dryness also makes your skin and hair more vulnerable to toxic colours, making it easier for the colours to penetrate deep into your skin. An oil therapy will also help prevent this.

* The lesser your skin is exposed; the better it is for you. Wear full sleeved and full length clothing to give your skin maximum protection from colours. While picking your Holi ensemble, choose breezy cotton clothes that completely protect your skin from the colours.

Get yourself a headband or a bandana to protect your head and keep your hair from tangling. Tie up your hair in a bun, this will again ensure maximum protection to your hair and scalp. Wear an oversized pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes.

* Use safe, non-toxic and natural colours as far as possible. A good option is to make colours at home. You can use dried and powdered fruits and vegetables and their peels, and mix them up with talcum powders. Dried orange peels are a good idea. Adding a dose of natural spices such as turmeric powder, ginger root powder, and cinnamon powder can make your home-made colours all the more skin friendly.

But be careful, as rubbing colours that have not been powdered properly can cause rashes, redness and even irritation.

* After playing, remember not to use harsh soaps to get rid of the colours. Do not wash your face with a soap immediately because its alkaline nature causes further dryness. Use a cleansing cream or lotion instead. This will soothe your skin while cleaning and removing off the colours.

Rinse your hair with plenty of water to wash away the dry colours and tiny particles of mica. Apply a mild natural shampoo which deeply cleanses your hair without causing further damage. Add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. This helps to restore the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. Beer can also be used as a last rinse to soften and condition the hair.

–IANS

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