| (From top) Two kids epitomise the Holi spirit; abir being sold at the market; actress Mahima Chaudhary is all colour
You are likely to be in the last stages of planning that perfect Holi bash ' the clothes are all decided, the platter has been picked and the CDs to belt out your favourite numbers have been sorted out. All you need to do now is generously stock up on colours and gulal for a dhamaka do.
But don’t go into this Holi-day blindfolded. Be well aware of the hazards that this festival brings with it. Skin rashes and other problems are par for the course on Holi and after.
Dr Sachin Varma, consultant dermatologist at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital says: “Festivals like Holi have social and psychological advantages that we cannot deny. The kind of life we lead, there is hardly any chance to catch up with friends and family except on these few days. But you must remember to play it safe and play it in the right spirit.”
GoodLife draws up a list of things to do and not to do to make this Holi a memorable one.
Prevention is better than cure. Beauty care or boisterous fun, make sure you know what to go for and what to keep away from. Personal safety and choosing the right colours are top priorities.
• Organise the right kind of clothes, preferably in thick fabrics.
• It is good to wear clothes that will cover most of your body.
• Wear caps to protect your hair. Those with long hair can tie them up.
• Make plastic vests for children. Take a big plastic sheet, keep the open end downwards and cut out a semi circle at the other end and also on the sides so that it can be slipped on easily. Leggings are a good option for the lower limbs.
• Apply a thick layer of moisturiser, coconut or any oil on your body and hair till they glisten. “This will help prevent harmful chemicals from entering your body,” points out Dr Varma. It could also help keep some of the frenzied mob at bay!
• A sunscreen is a must as colours and sunlight combine to cause a photo toxic reaction.
• Paint your finger and toe nails with transparent nail polish.
• Wear dental caps to save your teeth from any unwanted stains.
• Arrange for the old 70s’ shades. They not only guard your eyes against the misfire of harmful colour or water jets but also make a prominent style statement.
• Feel the texture of the colour before buying it. It should feel powdery and not grainy or gritty. Stay away from permanent and metallic colours. They contain cheap dyes that can cause reactions. “If you are playing wet Holi make sure you dissolve water soluble colours in small proportions rather than a thick solution,” says Dr Varma.
• Organic colours are the best option. Here are some quick ways to whip them up at home ' mix a spoon of powdered haldi in a cup of flour or gram flour or talcum powder for a dry yellow colour; chopped pieces of beetroot soaked in water for a few hours give a wonderful magenta colour; green can be obtained by mixing a paste of spinach, coriander or mint leaves in water.
Most disasters happen when you go overboard while at play. So it is best to keep reminding yourself that irrational activity of any kind could be injurious to family and friends.
Now comes the part you dread the most ' coping up with the after-effects of festive frenzy.
“To bring back the shine and volume in your hair, rinse it with lemon juice or leftover beer,” Dr Santhanam offers.
“Use steam on your face to open the pores and release the colours trapped in them,” she adds.