Lifestyle Desk: Holi, the festival of colors is one of the most favorite festivals among all age groups. The colors have a lasting impact on mind, mood as well as skin and hair. Following rituals and following small steps can help preventing damage to hair and skin, letting you enjoy without being worried about post-Holi rashes, dryness, irritation of the skin, dry lusterless hair, acne breakouts, burning, and red scaly skin.

According to Dr Smriti Naswa Singh, Consultant Dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, here’s what will help you prep better for Holi.

Pre-Holi preparation:

Avoid bleaching or waxing or doing facial one week before and after Holi

Apply a thick coat of oil or petroleum jelly or cold cream on your skin; do not forget the lips, areas behind the ears, and the navel.

Oil your hair and beard too, liberal use is advised

Sunscreen should be applied in generous amounts on all sun exposed areas, 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and repeat every 3 hours if you are outdoors

Cover yourself with long sleeve clothes

Nail polish is a good idea to protect nails from Holi colors, that stain them Blue and Green

During Holi:

Prefer playing with dry colors and those that are certified safe’, if using wet colors, opt for organic colors

Avoid colors which are actually Golden and Silver paints

Wash your skin immediately after you see the 1 st sign of irritation or itching

Keep the moisturizer handy, applying moisturizer immediately reduces irritation, and the coat of moisturizer protects topmost layer of the skin from irritants in the colors

Keep yourself hydrated, drinking water ensures that the deeper layers of skin are nourished

Avoid consuming too much alcohol

Post Holi cleaning ritual:

Take a bath while the color is still wet

Soaps vs. cleansers vs. uptan – uptan-like packs made of earthen clay (Multani Mitti) or a combination of Wheat flour, Curd, Haldi can be applied all over the body to remove the color. This ensures the skin doesn’t get too dry as against using the soap, as its detergent action might dry-out the skin.

Lukewarm water always helps. Use cleansing milk and lukewarm water must be used on the face, as second wash after using the Uptan. You can also apply a combination of sea salt, Glycerin and an aromatic oil to remove the color.

Do not scrub, remove the Uptan while it is still wet, this is especially important for those with acne prone facial and truncal (chest and back) skin

Shampooing is necessary to clean the scalp and conditioner will help condition and moisten the hair, preventing them from getting frizzy

Post bath:

Liberally apply moisturizer for the skin, and serum for hair Hand and foot cream should also be used specifically because these areas have maximum contact with color.