This Holi, Play It Natural

Enjoy this festival of fun with safe and healthy colours

Pallavi Shankar Updated: Mar 12, 2020 15:26:12 IST
This Holi, Play It Natural Image used for representative purposes only (via Pexels)

You’d agree that the toxic chemicals in Holi colours sold in the market rob the spirit of this spring festival. “Common chemicals used in these colours are copper sulphate (green), mercuric sulphite (red), aluminium bromide (silver) and lead oxide (black). Possible side effects vary from simple skin and nasal allergies to asthma, eye problems and skin cancer. The harm caused by each colour depends upon the concentration of chemical ingredients but it’s difficult for the consumer to find out the exact composition,” reveals Dr Abhay Talati, dermatologist, Skin Space. So, what’s the solution? “Opt for eco-friendly natural colours made from henna, sandalwood powder, turmeric and flower extracts,” suggests ´┐╝Talati. You could also look for safe colours at an organic store.

Don’t fall for claims like ‘herbal’ often used falsely by several local brands. Natural beauty expert Suparna Trikha shares some recipes for a safe Holi.

Natural ochre gulal

Rub together 200g arrowroot, 100g turmeric powder, 20g sandalwood powder, 10ml sandalwood oil and a handful of marigold petals, with the palm of your hands. Mix the colour, oil and flowers slowly until it becomes a beautiful, even colour.

Pre-Holi precaution

Before you step out, oil your hair with coconut, almond or olive oil. Use a good moisturiser or olive oil all over the face and body and then use a sunscreen of SPF 40. Trim nails, and apply a darker shade of nail polish to prevent staining.

Home-made scrub

Soaps cause dryness and peeling of skin so avoid them for at least a couple of days after Holi. Try this: 50g almond powder, 20g sandalwood powder, 200g oatmeal, 50g rice powder, 40ml olive oil, 5ml sandalwood oil, handful of rose petals, milk to make a paste. Mix all the ingredients and keep in a terracotta vessel.

A version of this was carried in the Prevention magazine in March 2014.
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