The legend says that Lord Krishna was not happy with his body complexion and wished to have something identical to that of his beloved Radha. It is then his mother recommended that Krishna should smear the color he loves on Radha’s face and this is how the celebration of Holi, the festival of colors, which is also observed in the subcontinent to commemorate romantic love, is widely believed to have originated.
While the quintessentially spiritual festival proudly finds its origin in the subcontinent; Holi as people know today eventually transcended into an epic and timeless expression of love and unity that is celebrated across nations, cultures, and religions with prodigious zeal these days; especially among the Indian diaspora around the globe.
The various dyes and pigments used in Holi were originally prepared from plant-based natural sources. For instance, yellow was obtained from turmeric, red from the rose flowers, and olive green was made from henna (alternatively spelled as hina) or the mignonette tree. However; with the progress of time; those were replaced with mass-manufactured synthetic colors that are laden with harmful chemicals and could cause a number of critical health conditions in humans as well as animals; particularly in people who have allergies, asthma, and/or a weak immune system.
As the age-old idiom goes that prevention is better than cure, you should prepare your skin beforehand and safeguard it from the damages caused by today’s dubious-quality stainers and colorants, which are produced by the domestic small-scale industry in colossal volumes.
We at PatientMD are committed to making Holi enjoyable for each of you so that you do not need to worry about getting a rash or dry skin at the time of celebration. All you are expected to do is simply follow the tips that we have particularly handpicked for you to protect and replenish your skin during the festival.
A week before the festival
Avoid anything that could potentially cause damage to your skin, such as waxing, threading, laser procedures, and peeling, to name a few. If you have dry skin, make sure to apply a branded moisturizer on the body until its texture becomes normal again and the dryness disappears. You might require to consult a dermatologist if you have redness, itching, pimples or irritation on the skin. We at PatientMD aim to take the patient-practitioner engagement to the next level and you can use our state-of-the-art healthcare platform to schedule an in-clinic or a video-consult with reputed skin specialists, such as Dr. Md Belal Farooqui and Dr. Yara Chinmayee, to name a few. You may either visit our online portal or download the patient app from Google Play/App Store to book an appointment with your preferred physician in dermatology and other fifteen specialties without leaving your home/office or on the go.
Just prior to indulging in the festivities
Massage your head to toes with oil
Take the required amount of coconut oil and start massaging your entire body, that is, from the head to your toes. Make the skin slippery and shiny by slathering oil on your body as it is not only to minimize the extent of color being absorbed into your skin but also to prevent it from becoming dry.
Wear cotton garments that can cover your entire body, for instance, full-sleeve shirts or tees along with ankle-high pajamas or a pair of trousers. Use a cap or a fashionable bandana to cover your tresses and prevent them from getting colored.
Protect your nails
Make a point to trim your nails first before coating with your favorite paint and put petroleum jelly on them as soon as they are to become dry.
Use a sunscreen
Skin rashes that are caused by colors usually surface due to periodic exposure to the heat and sunlight. Do remember to apply a premium quality sunscreen on all the uncovered areas of your body and put a good quality balm with SPF (sun protection factor) on the lips.
The Bottom Line
By following all the aforementioned suggestions, you would be able to ensure that the damage to your skin is minimal and insignificant. It is equally imperative for you and everyone else to use organic colors only so that our mother earth and her children remain unharmed. Finally, always remember to consume enough fluid, such as plain water, thandai, or homemade fresh juices for staying hydrated and avoid the alcohol like a plague as it is to only dehydrate your body. Have a blast this Holi and keep watching this space to learn more about how to continue flaunting a flawless skin even after the festivities are to come to an end.
(Thandai is a kind of Indian beverage that is prepared from fennel seeds, almonds, rose petals, watermelon kernels, vetiver seeds, black pepper, saffron, cardamom, sugar, and milk.)