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The Holi beauty guide!

Dr Parul Kolhe | March 24, 2005

There is no festival more vibrant, colourful and exhilarating than Holi, the exuberance of spring finding expression in clouds of gulal and showers of coloured water.

Everyone wants to celebrate this festival actively. Yet, later, many of us suffer from skin problems, allergies, breakouts and irritations.

HoliHere are some ways to have a fun, but healthy, Holi session. 

Gear up with your beauty armour

i. Liberally coat your entire body with oil, rubbing it into fingernails and body folds.

Olive oil is the best. Even coconut oil will do. This prevents permanent staining and forms a barrier to protect your skin from potential allergens.

ii. Oil your hair similarly.

Colour will wash out more easily later and not leave your hair feeling like a bundle of rope.

iii. Use nail paint and transfer-resistant lipsticks (like the Colorstay range by Revlon, approximately Rs 245, also available in other brands), which stay put on your fingers and lips, besides protecting your fingernails, nail folds and the delicate skin of your lips.

iv. Colours and sunlight combined may cause a 'photo toxic' reaction, so sunscreens are a must. Use waterproof sunscreens because liquid colours can wash off ordinary sunscreens.

Try Banana Boat SPF-30 (Rs 250, available at most cosmetic outlets) or Spectraban SPF-28 (Rs 90, available at all chemists).

Use quality colours

i. Use water-soluble colours; stay away from the 'permanent' colours -- they contain cheap dyes that can cause reactions.

ii. Also avoid metallic colours, like gold and silver.

iii. Most dry colours are safe, but avoid the glittery ones -- they contain silica particles that can abrade your skin.

iv. Feel the texture of the colour before buying it. It should feel powdery, like talc, and not grainy or gritty. 

Post-play beauty action

i. Bathe and shampoo as soon as possible afterwards you play Holi to minimise skin contact time.

ii. Use Glycerine-based soaps like Pears (Rs 18.50, available at all grocery stores and chemists) or Glyfresh (Rs 40, available at all chemists).

iii. Use a mild shampoo. Conditioning is a must. 

iv. Apply moisturiser immediately after your bath on damp skin.

v. For permanent colour stains, use a cotton ball soaked in acetone (your nail polish remover) or kerosene and rub off.

Wash immediately as these chemicals can remove colour but may harm your skin on prolonged contact.

A problem situation? Try these remedies!

i. If your skin feels irritated and is itching or burning, wash it properly.

Then, mix one part of Flucort lotion (Rs 20, available at all chemists) with two parts of moisturiser or calamine lotion and apply.

ii. For a more severe reaction with eruptions, take a tablet of Zyrtec 10 mg (Rs 15, available at all chemists) and apply Fucibet cream (Rs 48, available at all chemists). Consult a dermatologist immediately.

iii. For dull, dry hair, try this hair pack.

Mix half a cup of olive oil, an egg white and 4 teaspoons of honey.

Coat your hair with this mix for half an hour and wash off.

iv. A soothing face pack can be made with a mixture of pureed banana, 2 teaspoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of milk cream.

This hydrates, softens and soothes the skin.

v. After all that partying in the sun, you are bound to get tanned.

Try this natural recipe. Puree a tomato. Then apply on your face for about 20 minutes.

Fresh crushed tomato pulp is supposed to remove the immediate tanning.

I am sure these guidelines will help you have a better, safer and a healthy skin Holi!

Photograph: Arko Datta/AFP/Getty Images

Dr Parul S Kolhe is an M B B S, DDV and DNB in dermatology.

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