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10 beauty tips for Holi

Damage-proof your hair, skin and nails this Holi. Dermatologist, Dr Apratim Goel tells Avril-Ann Braganza how
  • A Veeramani
Pre Holi
Use mustard oil generously, on all exposed body parts, to allow colour to slip off, instead of clinging on. Let the skin absorb it for 20-30 minutes. Follow up with a waterproof sunscreen.
You could wear clothes that cover most of the exposed skin. Wearing a swimsuit under your clothes will allow the colour to slide off.
Apply Vaseline or transparent nail polish on the surface as well as the underside of your nails. This will prevent colour from settling inside your nails and on the cuticles. If colour sticks to your cuticles, do not try to scrub it off too hard. This will damage the cuticles and might lead to fungal and bacterial infections.
Areas like the back of the ears have pores loaded with oil glands. Accumulation of colour in these areas can lead to skin diseases. Applying Vaseline to your feet, elbows and behind the ears will prevent the colour from sticking. While the ears produce wax which acts as a protective mechanism, a little mustard or coconut oil helps prevent the colour from settling on the walls of your ears.
Oiling your hair before you play Holi, is unarguably the best way to protect it. But in case you don't want to go out looking like an oil tank emptied itself on your head, try some hair gel. Not the hard or extra hard gel, but the soft gel. Mix it with hair serum and style your hair. Another option is to use leave-in conditioner.
Post Holi
Wash off colour as soon as you're done playing. Do not try to scrub it all off in one day. If colours react with your skin, immediately wash with running water. Use lukewarm water and keep your eyes and lips tightly closed. In case of irritation, use a calamine lotion.
Lemon juice is the most powerful natural whitening agent and is particularly effective for fingers and nails. This should be applied and left for 15 to 20 minutes and washed off with warm water. Follw up with a rich moisturiser.
If the color doesn't come off, try warm olive oil. Gently rub skin with a soft cloth. Mix gram flour and curd till it becomes a smooth paste; then apply it to your face, and massage gently to remove leftover traces of colour.
Replenish the skin with a paste of soyabean flour or besan mixed with milk. You could also use a moisturising soap while scrubbing off colour (never rub skin vigorously). A mixture of sea salt, glycerine and a few drops of aromatic oil that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects can repair the harm caused by chemical colours to some extent. Liberal use of a cold cream or a moisturiser thereafter is a must.
Shampoo hair with a mild shampoo, as soon as possible. Rinse with lemon juice to eliminate colour and beer to bring back shine; don't forget to use a conditioner. If your hair is too dry, use warm oil accompanied with a hot towel treatment the next day.
Pre and Post-Holi: Avoid bleaching, waxing or facials for a week, both before and after Holi and skin tends to be overly sensitive after these procedures

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