is the festival of colours, water balloons, gujiyas, bhang, and freedom for pure colour madness enjoyed not only by Indians, but, now, by people across the world. But as lighthearted as the fun of playing with colours is, there is the danger of having low-grade colours being put on you that may lead to itching and rashes, and even serious injury.
Traditionally, Holi colours were made from natural ingredients like flowers and herbs, but that has changed drastically over the decades, with many people preferring more ‘pakka’ or permanent colours. (How else would you explain your colleagues’ pink and blue faces the next day at work). Though, organic natural colours have made a comeback, it is always a good idea to play it safe and be careful, without compromising on the fun.
Before you go out armed with your colours, ready to attack, it would be better to cover even the slightest of cuts and scrapes with a waterproof band-aid, as some chemicals in the colours can even lead to later-stage cancer, blindness, skin diseases, or (in extreme cases) even loss of limb should they enter your blood stream through the cut and get absorbed. Some of the toxins used in the colours can result in a range of diseases, including skin allergies, systemic amyloidosis, irritation leading to chronic skin eczemas, etc.
So, to make sure you have loads of fun this Holi, but don’t rue it later, here are some tips to keep in mind before the colour games begin.
* Dry skin allows the chemicals present in Holi colours to penetrate easily, so always oil the whole body. Preferably with coconut oil, olive oil, or vitamin E oil. For your hair, you can use mustard oil in copious amounts, at least an hour before you start to play. And remember to tie it up, if you have long hair.
* Take care to oil areas behind your ears, between your finger tips and even near your fingernails.
* One way to potect your fingernails from absorbing all that Holi colour is by painting it with the darkest colour possible so that the Holi colours are unable to go inside the nail bed.