The festival of colours is round the corner and preperations are on for its celeberation. With the increasing use of chemical colours for celebrating Holi, all of us need to take some steps for preventing the skin, hair, eye damage and also know the correct methods of removing the colours.
Traditionally, spring flowers were used as a source of colours for Holi, but with time artificial colours have replaced these natural ingredients. For yellow, turmeric powder was used, hibiscus flowers made for the red colour and henna was for green. But today, markets are flooded with expensive artificial colours with chemical solvents mixed in them. These colours are actually industrial chemicals – black (lead oxide), green (copper sulfate and malachite green), silver (aluminum bromide), blue (Prussian blue, cobalt nitrate, indigo, and zinc salts), and red (mercury sulfate). Occasionally, additives such as mica dust and glass particles are added to the colours to give them a shine. These again are very harmful to the skin. The sale of such products is largely unregulated.
Industrial colours carry side effects including itching, dryness, exfoliation of skin, erosions of skin and eczema. Skin abrasions can occur due to scrubbing of skin to remove the colour along with secondary bacterial infections and aggravation of acne and pre-existing eczema. Also, chemical colours when applied to the skin can cause loss of hair (alopecia).
Contact of chemical colors in eyes can cause irritation, watering of eyes, corneal abrasions and conjunctivitis. In rare cases, systemic side effects can occur due to chemicals which can manifest as breathlessness and cyanosis. These chemicals can even cause serious injury to the skin upon scratching besides leading sadly sometimes even to life long impairments like blindness, skin diseases like vitiligo. Liquid colours available in the market are even more harmful than powder colors as they tend to collect in fold areas such as groin and armpit area.
•To prevent your skin from getting damaged: Apply oil on the skin as well as hair.
•Wear nail enamel so that the colours
cannot go inside the nail bed.
•Wear protective glasses while playing Holi.
•Splash eyes with clean water multiple
•Do not scrub aggressively while removing.
•Use a mild soap to wash off the colors.
To remove oil paint from your face, mustard or coconut oil can be used. Use cotton to apply the oil on your face and rinse it off gently with both hands. If you want to remove gulal or dry colour from your head, on never make the mistake of pouring water to wash it off. This only spreads the gulal all over your body and makes it stick. Try to dust away the gulal by using dry hands first, and use water only when this does not work. For washing the colour off your hair, use a mild herbal shampoo or a home-made one. Soak shikakai, reetha and amla or Indian gooseberry overnight, boil and strain it in the morning and you have a very good shampoo ready. If you had already applied oil on your hair before playing with colours, it would not be too difficult to wash the colours off. Try to opt for home made herbal remedies to do away with holi coours like, lemon which is a natural bleaching agent and is useful in getting rid of colour stains. Lemon contains citric acid which is a perfect component for lightening Holi colours. Mix lemon juice with equal amount of honey or curd, and apply it all over your face, body & hair. Leave it for 15 minutes and then apply plenty of moisturiser after that.