Holi is all fun and games till all the colours are flowing in the air and we’re painting our loved ones red during the festivities. But, the struggle begins as the post-party blues start to set. The real problem truly is the removal of colours after playing Holi. During ancient times, vegetable dyes, flowers and plant products were used to obtain colours for Holi. They were certainly safer than the chemicals that are present in the Holi colours and “gulal” of today. The dry “gulal” and the wet colours of today are not derived from natural sources.
Beauty and skincare expert Shahnaz Husain says, “Holi colours disrupt the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin and scalp, leaving them vulnerable to allergies, itching, rashes, sensitivity and eruptions. Chemicals in Holi colours can lead to allergic rashes or pimples and acne. The skin can also suffer from dryness, flaking and rough reddish patches. These substances also collect on the scalp, causing dryness and itching. Also, the hair texture suffers, becoming dry, rough and unmanageable.”
Shahnaz Husain adds, “Keep your skin type in mind when removing Holi colours. Whatever your skin type, first rinse the face with plenty of plain water and then use a cleansing cream, or lotion, according to skin type.”
In dry skin, the oil-producing glands are less active. Seasonal changes also influence the skin. Holi comes after the dry winter season, which causes loss of moisture and makes the skin dry.
Make sure that you protect the skin from moisture loss due to sun exposure. Apply sunscreen before playing Holi.
Cleanse the face with a cleansing cream or gel, containing aloe vera, which helps to check moisture loss and also rehydrates the skin. Apply the cleanser, with a light massage and wipe it off with moist cotton wool. Tone the skin, with rose water.
If the skin feels dry, mix honey with one teaspoon of orange juice and apply on the face, to make it soft and smooth. Wash off after 20 minutes.
In oily skin, the oil-producing glands are overactive. The oozing of oil onto the skin surface enlarges and thickens the pores. This is why oily skins have a coarse texture. They are prone to open pores, blackheads, spots, pimples and acne.
For a homemade cleanser for oily skin, take half a teaspoon of lemon juice, and add one teaspoon of cucumber juice. Apply on the face with a gentle massage. Leave on for 10 minutes and wipe off with moist cotton wool. Then wash with plenty of plain water.
An astringent lotion helps remove oiliness. After cleansing, wipe the skin with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool.
Apply aloe vera gel or juice on the skin. It moisturizes the skin, relieving dryness. It also soothes sunburn as it contains zinc, which is anti-inflammatory.
Exfoliation is an important aspect in the cleansing of oily skins. This involves the use of cleansing grains or scrubs for deep pore cleansing.
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A combination skin is the most common skin type. Both dry and oily skin types exist in combination skins – i.e. some parts of the face are oily, while the rest is dry. Different areas need different care.
For cleansing and removal of colours, use mild glycerin soap, or light cleansing milk. Deep pore cleansing with scrubs may be necessary for the oily areas to prevent and reduce open pores and blackheads. Apply the scrub on the oily areas and rub gently on the skin with small circular motions. Wash off with plenty of plain water.
Take half a teaspoon of lemon juice, and add one teaspoon each of cucumber juice and cold milk. Apply on the face with a gentle massage. Leave on for 10 minutes and wipe off with moist cotton wool. Then wash with plenty of plain water.
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In sensitive skin there can be an immediate allergic reaction to colours, so one should play Holi very carefully. Sensitive skin may become red and start itching, due to urticaria or dermatitis.
Very mild cleansers should be used for sensitive skin. Cold milk can be used. Apply on the face and wipe off with moist cotton wool after 10 minutes.
For mild allergic reactions, some natural ingredients may help. Sandalwood paste reduces redness and itching. Aloe vera gel can also be applied to soothe the condition.