This amazingly colorful festival crosses all boundaries of religion and nationality; it is not that different from the tomato festival in Spain or the grape festival in Italy.
Once you are outside - spattered by friends with color, the child in you takes over and all the good intentions of being gentle and using herbal colors take a back seat, you merrily use whatever is at hand and blow the consequences.
AdvertisementSo be well prepared and the consequences are very manageable. Take 10 minutes to prepare yourself for the event.
Wear light colored clothes preferably white, which cover you well, full sleeves etc.
Slather your face, neck and any exposed areas with dense oil like castor oil or olive oil. Wait for ten minutes and cover this with a sunscreen. A combination of sun, water colors with dyes can give a very severe tan.
Oil your hair thoroughly and plait long hair to minimize color seepage. If you have color tints use a hair conditioner instead.
Paint your nails, a transparent coat will do, and for long nails paint the underside also as color is hard to remove from nail beds.
If the heels of your feet have dry skin cracks, use a scrubber - color can remain for months once it enters the fissures.
Those prone to acne - firmly pat some compact on the face as the oil can aggravate pimples.
Drink enough water and fluids as the body can get very dehydrated.
If color enters your eyes, wash hands thoroughly and wash eyes well, if the discomfort persists see your optician. Never rub your eyes.
These tips are for the preparation, after you have had a ball - the time to deal with removing the color can be frustrating at the least.
Firstly try to have a shower at the earliest as color when wet washes away easily.
Don't use soap more than once, either use a shower gel or an oil or cold cream. Scrubbing too hard will harm the skin.
The best method will be to soak some fuller's earth or multani mitti, add some rose water to this. Apply on the body and wait for 30 minutes, it washes away most of the color and dyes - leaving the skin soft.
Add 2 teaspoons of lime juice to a cup of thick curd. Add a teaspoon of gram flour to make a thick paste. Apply thickly and leave for 30 minutes before washing off.
Even when color remains on the skin after all these efforts - never resort to kerosene oil or spirits to remove stubborn stains. This can really harm your skin. The color will gradually wash away.
Never use a bleach as the tiny particles of mica or dye can enter skin pores. Wait for a week at least before using bleach.