It’s that time of the year when watery splashes and powdered colors seem to be a common sighting across the country. Holi is a fun filled festival but can sometimes be accompanied with grief and anxiety especially if you ignore safety measures. Chemically treated colors that have flooded the market these days pose the biggest threat to human health.

Did you know…?

Traditionally Holi was played with vegetable colors but these days most kinds of water colors & pastes contain toxic compounds (used in the base of engine oils) that can easily trigger acute skin allergies as well as temporary blindness. Such colors are not just dangerous to our health but also harmful to the environment. Water runoff containing toxic chemicals enters the soil and rivers, thereby leaving a detrimental impact on our ecosystem.

Lack of knowledge and information about synthetic colors is one of the prime reasons that initiate health related issues post Holi. This year, make sure you celebrate Holi, the safe way. Here are a few precautionary measures that can prevent you from putting your health at risk:

  • Buy good quality organic/natural colors that are made from herbal & vegetable extracts. With artificial colors available in abundance during this time of the year, it can sometimes be very difficult to differentiate between natural & synthetic colors. Safe colors are duly certified by relevant authorities and carry all product information clearly on the product packaging. The best option would be to purchase Holi colors from trusted sources and reliable vendors. Red & Pink come off easily as compared to Green, Orange or Purple which are gaudy colors and contain harsh chemicals.
  • Be careful from water balloons. They can cause serious injuries to the eyes and ears, especially when struck without warning. Several incidents are reported every year during Holi, whereby people travelling in buses and trains lose their vision or hearing ability due to an injury caused by water balloons.
  • Apply a generous proportion of Skin cream, Vaseline or Mustard/Olive/Coconut oil to the exposed areas of your skin before and after playing Holi. It acts as a protective shield and guards the skin to some extent from the damaging effects of synthetic colors. Do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer to your face before stepping out
  • Get a relaxing head massage with a good quality hair oil. Oiling your hair prevents the colors from sticking on to the strands which reduces hair damage. Apart from this precautionary measure, it would also be a good idea to cover up your hair with a scarf, cap, hat or bandana just to offer extra protection from colors that contain hard-to-rinse dyes. Avoid keeping your hair open while playing with colors.
  • Facial skin and eyes are extremely sensitive to powdered colors and chemical based Holi colors. Try to save your face as much as you can from synthetic colors and if possible keep washing your face with water multiple times. Sunglasses not only add to your style quotient but more importantly offer optimum protection to your eyes.
  • Single or double coating of transparent nail polish can save your nails from being damaged
  • Go slow on the consumption of Bhang and avoid overindulgence of food
  • Drink plenty of water to replenish the skin which tends to dehydrate and become dry after coming in contact with the toxins used in artificial colors
  • For removing these colors it is best to use a mild cleanser as compared to soaps which can trigger dryness or skin irritation

And last but not the least – Save water. Wasteful use of water is a common sighting during Holi. Very rarely do we think about the fact that even today multiple cities in India face acute water scarcity. Although water could provide some relief from the scorching heat, try your best to minimize its usage, out of sheer consideration for people residing in areas that constantly face water shortage.

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