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17.03.2022 Lifestyle

Keep your skin healthy during ‘festival of colours’

By Dr. Shireen Furtado
Dr. Shireen Furtado, Consultant - Medical  Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI HospitalDr. Shireen Furtado, Consultant - Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital
17.03.2022 LISTEN

Holi, one of India’s most celebrated festivals, is finally here. The ‘Festival of Colours’ is celebrated on the occasion of the arrival of spring, the end of winter and the beginning of a good spring harvest season. This fun-filled festival is enjoyed by everyone where people smear and drench each other with colours. Water guns, water-filled balloons are also used to play. As with all activities that involve fun, there are a few practices that are not totally safe and healthy. The use of chemicals in colours is still rampant during Holi and these irritate the top layer of the skin and can cause allergies and many skin intolerances.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic is still on simmer mode, take extra care and exercise precautions. Celebrate Holi at home with family and close friends. For the cautious person and for people already suffering from eczemas, here are some pro tips to avoid damaging your skin.

Pre-Holi Skincare Tips

Well prepared skin routine to minimise skin damage due to harsh colours. To prep the skin, one can use a thick hydrating cream and ensure that the skin is well-hydrated, this will help protect the skin from the chemicals and partially prevent the chemical from penetrating the skin. On the body apply a light oil like almond oil. It contains vitamin E and provides nourishment to the skin and acts as a protective layer between the skin and the colours. And top it off with a waterproof sunscreen which will help prevent skin damage from heat, the sun and colours. Physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide is safe and effective.

Stay Hydrated. As you are mostly outdoors and under the sun, keeping yourself hydrated is much needed. Avoid wearing too much makeup as the chemicals that are present in your cosmetics can react with the colours further causing a skin reaction.

Post Holi skincare

Various colours and use of water can damage our skin and leave it flaky and dry. Post Holi skin care is essential to nourish the skin, prevent damages and get back that natural glow.

Gently massage the skin with light oil to take off the colour and wash off with a mild cleanser. A quick luke warm water bath to wash off the colour easily. Avoid scrubbing as it may dry out the skin and make it itchy and uneven. Seal the skin with a hydrating moisturiser soon after bath.

Seek help from an expert in case the skin is reacting adversely

For patients of eczema who want to enjoy playing with colour, preferably do a patch test in the inner aspect of the forearm the previous day to rule out the possibility of an allergic contact dermatitis to the colour. Do this despite the packaging claiming to be organic/natural. People with sensitive skin are more prone to have adverse effects that can cause redness, irritation or breakouts. If someone is experiencing skin allergies, having irritation or some other skin infections, it is recommended to see a dermatologist rather than trying to treat it on your own at home. Basis your skin types, a skin expert will be able to analyze your skin condition and suggest an appropriate treatment to control the situation.

Authored by Dr. Shireen Furtado, Consultant- Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital

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