New Delhi: The floating aroma of spring flowers whirls in the air when the festival of colours lies just around the corner. But before you go on a shopping spree for colours and spray guns to play Holi with your loved ones, a word of caution from experts -- stay away from harmful synthetic colours for they may leave you with itchy skin, dry hair and burning eyes.
Holi is celebrated with fervour across the country to symbolise the victory of good over evil. The celebration of the festival has undergone significant changes over the centuries, and it is rather sad that the festival is largely celebrated with toxic, unhealthy and deadly chemicals these days.
Industrial dyes are now being used in Holi colours since they are cheaper and often gaudier. These synthetic colours, which were not meant for human use, usually contain toxic substances including mica, acids, alkalis and pieces of glass.
Even the mildest use of such substances can cause abrasions, irritation, itching, rashes, allergies, eye infections and hair roughness.
"I would suggest using natural colours, and moisturising the face, hair and skin evenly using oil. Natural colours are best in Holi as they are washed off easily," says a senior doctor.
"To protect the skin from these harsh synthetic compounds one can lather the face, eyelids and ears and moisturise the skin from top to toe with coconut or olive oil so that the colours get wiped off easily," she explained further.
"One must use cold water or ice in case of redness or irritation in the eyes and skin. I would suggest people use sunscreen twice a day, and not to wear makeup or contact lenses as it can lead to eye infections," the doctor added.
"One shouldn`t use coloured balloons or strong dye colours as they can potentially cause permanent eye damage," the doctor warned.
While taking the aforementioned precautions can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of these synthetic colours, one should ideally play Holi the natural way.
Banke Lal, an elderly Holi enthusiast said, "We used to play Holi using flowers and natural colours. The essence of the festival, in my opinion, actually lies in meeting and greeting the relatives and eating gujiyas."
In order to play Holi the right way, one can make natural colours by simply using turmeric, chandan and henna and mixing them in different combinations.
Such colours are harmless and can easily be washed off. Playing Holi with flowers is the most adorable way to celebrate this festival.
Obviously, you wouldn`t like to rub a toxic powder on the face of your friends, neither would you like your chums to splash a bucket of the acidic mixture on you, which the synthetic colours widely available in the market are. This Holi, use natural colours to make it a memorable Green Holi.