The festival of Holi is one of the most awaited and celebrated festivals in India. Being the most vibrant and colourful of all annual events, it is celebrated with the utmost enthusiasm and gaiety. But as it is the day of colours it is very important to be watchful about one’s skin. If you are not careful the toxic elements in the colours can easily damage your skin
and hair. 

Earlier the colours were traditionally made from herbs and dried flowers but with the advent of harsh chemicals and dyes it gradually replaced the natural ingredients with harmful and toxic elements. 

As the festival is around the corner, Guardian 20 spoke to the leading brand and dermatologists who guide you to have toxic-free colour during this Holi

There are certain brands who still believe in nurturing their clients with natural ingredients. And Kama Ayurveda, India’s leading luxury beauty brand, has come up to celebrate this festival without harmful chemicals. The brand has introduced a unique Holi box, specially curated with products that offer a natural “protect and cleanse” regime to help prepare for the spring celebration of Holi. 

The product selection in this box is based on a healthy, ayurvedic regime to provide both protection as well as nourishment, keeping in mind one’s pre and post Holi needs. Recently, the brand collaborated with Delhi-based NGO, Prabhat who have made eco-friendly Holi colours by using unique Avacayam colours created from temple flower waste by the differently abled employed at the NGO. 

The flowers are sorted, sun-dried, processed and packed by the Avacayam project participants to create the eco-friendly colours. These beautifully fragrant, natural colors are a wonderful and safe alternative to synthetic colors and are also bio-degradable thereby preventing water and soil pollution.  The ultimate purpose of Prabhat’s Avacayam program is to recycle flower waste to create skin-friendly, natural colors that also provide a welcome earning opportunity for their differently-abled participants.  This association by Kama Ayurveda and Prabhat collectively aims to raise awareness about the need to celebrate the festival of Holi in a natural, compassionate and safe manner without harming the skin or the environment. 

Talking about the skin-care part, celebrity dermatologist, Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra from Skin Alive, says, “The effects of toxic colours are highly dangerous as when they come in direct contact with the skin they tend to penetrate into the deeper level of the skin. The effects of toxic colours also lead to short term impacts like skin eczema since the chemicals and toxins present in colours are highly toxic substances. People with sensitive skin are prone to allergic skin reactions such as redness, red bumps and itchiness.” 

“Different colours have different levels of toxins present such as the silver colour, contains small particles of silica, another chemical which is harmful for skin. These particles can cause major damage to the eyes, ears and respiratory organs causing respiratory problems.T hese harmful colours can also increase asthma problems in those who are prone to allergies. Therefore, people who are prone to allergies must pay attention when they are playing with colours,” adds Chhabra.

Another celebrity dermatologist, Kiran Lohia from Lumiere Dermatology, says, “Organic colours use naturally derived colours that are water soluble so they wash right off. These are the same as natural dyes. These are more expensive and harder to find, and the colours are not as bright. But one can use measures to avoid skin damages during this festival. Use natural colours as opposed to commercial artificial colours. These are gentler, less allergenic and wash off easily, thereby preventing the majority of problems caused by Holi. Wear barrier oils or ointments on your hair and skin. By applying vaseline or coconut oil on your face and hair, you create a sort of shield against the Holi colours so they can’t stick to you as much. Make sure you re-apply this barrier throughout the day as well to keep it strong! Wear sunblock! Holi keeps you out in the sun, resulting in common sun issues such as sun allergy, tanning and pigmentation. Wear a ton of sun block every 4 hours to prevent these common problems!

But the measures one can use post festival are also very important. Chhabra suggests, “Once the festival of colours is over, it is highly recommended to take measures in order to wash away all the colours from the skin and hair. Take a bath with a good moisturising soap. Use a milk and gram flour pack on face and body. Avoid scrubbing your skin too hard since the skin gets sensitized when colour makes contact. Scrubbing your skin too hard will only aggravate the skin condition making it worse. Avoid going out in the sun for the day after the shower, apply a good moisturiser and sunblock. Also, if your eyes tend to get itchy and red, or if your skin develops a rash,c onsulting a dermatologist is recommended.” 

Despite the doctor’s warnings, there are numerous cases of accidents happening each year where people pay no attention to these warnings and end up ruining their skin. So, say no to toxic colours and make this an occasion of fun and frolic.

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