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Holi is the most vibrant and colorful festival celebrated all across the world. From gorging on sweets and thandai to playing with gulaal (colors), one can embrace the celebration of spring. As you are all set to celebrate this festival with your family and friends, there are some considerations you should make before you start to play with colors. After effects of which can pose risk to your health and cause discomfort to your eyes, skin and hair.
In this blog, we will give you a complete guide on how these colors impact our skin, what all precautionary measures one needs to take, how we can take care of our skin in Holi and what are the products for the same.

Importance of Skincare During Holi

Artificial colors are loaded with dangerous chemicals that can harm the health of your skin. After playing with these permanent colors, you will find it nearly impossible to completely erase the color from your skin. Even if you change from synthetic colors to organic ones, your skin will still experience breakouts, dryness and other issues. A day before Holi, you can apply oil all over the body and massage it so that it can absorb into your skin. This will help your skin to get less drier than usual. However, it is important to follow a proper skincare regime before and after playing Holi. We will discuss this in upcoming sections.

Understanding Holi Colors and Their Impact on Skin

Holi is played outdoors, therefore, the exposure of sun can have detrimental effects on your skin. This can lower the moisture levels in your skin and tan it. Furthermore, the colors also cause irritation to your skin and result in redness. Both wet and dry colours can be used to play Holi. It could be in the form of pastes, powder or paints. Long syringes often called “pichkaris” or balloons are loaded with watercolors and are smashed over an individual's face and body.

Composition of holi colors

Industrial dyes are largely used as Holi colors as they are cheaper. But the effects of these dyes are tremendous on the environment and human health. Mica, acids, alkalis, glass fragments, and other cheap, hazardous ingredients that are harmful to human health are contained in synthetic Holi colors. These colors are obtained in three forms:
Pastes: There are metallic pastes that give shiny black, silver and white appearances that are extremely toxic to the human body. Lead oxide and aluminium bromide are present in black and silver pastes respectively. These are carcinogenic in nature and may cause skin cancer.
Dry powders: Dry color powders are mixed with toxic heavy metals and silica. They work in combination and disrupt the metabolic activities of the body and make skin drier. The colors also contain shiny substances of lead and mica that can irritate your skin and scalp.
Water colors: This is one of the most popular skin colors that is used during Holi. The presence of gentian violet in the color will cause severe skin ailments and eye problems.

Risks and precautions

Any type of color whether it is in paste, dry or wet form may affect your skin, eyes and respiratory system. The presence of chemicals also result in puffiness of eyes and may cause temporary blindness. Skin becomes dry, chapped and affects other vital organs of the body too. For example: when color is applied on the face, a slight amount of it can be swallowed in. This affects your liver, kidney and nervous system. Holi colors for children are highly toxic in nature and can affect them.
Precautionary measures one needs to follow are:
  • You may use colors made from organic extracts like turmeric, herbs, food crops, fruits and vegetable extracts. These holi colors are eco-friendly in nature, biodegradable and are plastic free.
  • For protecting nails, females can apply nail paint that will add extra protection and will prevent staining them.
  • You can oil your hair before playing with colors. This will form a protective shield and prevent color from going deep into the scalp.
  • To protect your teeth, it is advisable to wear dental caps to protect your teeth from getting damaged.
  • It is recommended to close your eyes, when someone is applying color on your face. If by chance color enters your eyes, instead of rubbing it, wash it immediately.
  • Colors can make your skin dry, it is best to use a moisturiser before playing as this will help in restoring skin’s lipid balance. It is also recommended to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

How to Take Care of Skin for Holi?

For Holi, an individual needs to layer the product in the correct order. Starting with the thinner texture to the thickest ones. Make sure to use a moisturiser in spite of any skin type. Also, do not keep the colors on your face for a long period of time. Do not use scrubs after playing with colors as it will mess the pH balance of your skin. Below is the skincare routine for each skin type in detail:

Dry skin

If your skin is dry, holi colors can make the situation worse. Follow these suggestions before playing with colors:
  • A night before Holi, apply oil to your skin and massage it. For dry skin, we recommend rosehip oil.
  • In the morning, use a gentle, soap free face cleanser while washing your face. Do not use soap as it will strip off the natural oils and leave your skin dry.
  • After washing, use a moisturiser that provides constant hydration to your skin.
  • As Holi is generally played outside, follow your skin with a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more.

Oily/Acne prone skin

For oily skin, follow this skin care regimen
  • Use an oil free gentle cleanser to wash your face.
  • Apply a thick layer of oil-free moisturiser and follow it up with a non- sticky sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
  • If your face has acne, apply acne patches on the affected area before playing Holi.
  • After playing Holi, immediately take a shower so that oil and impurities from color are not combined. This will cause breakouts and acne.
  • You can also apply a hydrating mask on your face.

Sensitive skin

Individuals who have sensitive skin are more prone to redness after playing Holi. Some of the suggestions include:
  • Apply oil one night before playing with colors all over your body.
  • In the morning, cleanse your face with a non-irritant cleanser.
  • Apply a thick layer of moisturiser and follow up with sunscreen.
  • After playing Holi, wash off the color and if redness persists, rub an ice cube all over your face. This will soothe the irritation.

Holi Day Skincare Tips

Holi colors can lead to allergic reactions and redness all over the face. As we have discussed that these colors contain chemicals that are harsh for your skin. Here are some easy skincare tips that will prevent damage to your skin while enjoying the festival of colors:

Avoid leaving coloured powders on your skin for too long

As soon as you play Holi, the first thing you should do is to wash your face. Do not leave colors on your skin for a longer period of time. This is because it will make your skin irritant and dry. Apply a moisturiser after washing as it will hydrate your skin.

Cover your skin

You should wear clothes with full sleeves with loose fittings. This will minimize the amount of exposed skin that may lessen skin damage. This will create a barrier between skin and colors. Avoid wearing tight clothes as it may cause irritation to your skin.

Use sunscreen

People generally play Holi outside. However, prolonged exposure to the sun, colors and water might dehydrate your skin. This will make it both dry and sun-tanned. It becomes difficult to restore the natural color of your skin. Therefore, applying a substantial amount of sunscreen will help avoid this issue.
Kosmoderma PhotoProtect Spf 40 Sunscreen

Drink plenty of water

When we celebrate this festival, people often forget to drink water in enjoyment and excitement. Thus, leading to dehydration in the body as well as dryness in skin. Try to drink enough water and eat foods rich in vitamin C.

Avoid touching your face

When your face is full with colors, do not touch your face again and again. This is because the color can go into your eyes or mouth, leading to irritation. It is possible that your hands are unclean, and rubbing your face can cause abrasion.

Holi Skin Care Products

While playing with colors, you need to follow a proper skincare regime. Here is a list of dermatologist recommended skin care products with its ingredients and benefits:

Kosmoderma Ultra Moisture Blast

The lactic acid moisturiser that can be applied on the face and body. It will help you to heal the dryness of skin and will moisturise it from within. This cream can be applied before as well as after playing Holi. Lactic acid is the main active ingredient in the moisture blast that provides a smooth appearance to your skin by removing flakiness and dryness. The presence of glycerin hydrates and refreshes your skin.
Kosmoderma Ultra Moist Blast

Kosmoderma Moisture Boost Cream

A gel-based moisturiser that soothes your skin by preventing water loss. The presence of hyaluronic acid in the cream refreshes and renews skin cells. It is light, non sticky in nature and can be used by any skin type. The formulation of this product also contains ceramides that prevent dryness of your skin and protect it from environmental stressors. It can be applied after cleansing your face in the morning as well as at night.
Kosmoderma Moisture Boost Cream

Kosmoderma Gentle Skin Cleanser

Before playing with colors, the first thing to do in the morning is to cleanse your face with a gentle, soap free cleanser. Kosmoderma gentle skin cleanser provides an oil- free glow to your skin. The addition of cocoyl taurate and shea butter hydrates, cleanses and protects your skin. It does not cause irritation and is suitable for all skin types. The presence of oats as a natural ingredient in the cleanser reduces dryness and flakiness. Thus, improving skin complexion.
Kosmoderma Daily Gentle Skin Cleanser for all Skin Types

Kosmoderma Photo Protect Sunscreen Gel SPF 40

As Holi is played outdoors, protecting your skin from UV rays is mandatory. Use this sunscreen as it is light and easy to use that provides a non-sticky and non-oily look. This broad spectrum sunscreen gives you a thick layer of sun protection and is non-comedogenic in nature. The combination of propylene glycol and ascorbic acid prevents water loss, providing you a smooth and healthy skin.


Protecting your skin during Holi festivities requires you to follow a proper skincare routine. The skincare tips mentioned in the blog will help you look fresh and revived the whole day long. Furthermore, it is recommended to use organic colors rather than using chemical ones due to the side effects they provide to your skin and body. Use colors made from flower petals, turmeric and beetroot. By using proper skincare products and layering them in the correct way, you are all set to step out for Holi this year.

Summary of key points

  • Taking care of your skin is necessary during Holi celebrations. An individual needs to follow a proper skincare regime before and after playing with colors.
  • For different skin types, a different routine should be followed. You may use products accordingly to give you a refreshing look in Holi.
  • Holi colors are made from chemical ingredients that give adverse effects to skin, hair, eyes and body. Therefore, organic and natural colors may be used.
  • Always use sunscreen before going outside to play with colors and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Holi Skincare

Does coconut oil remove Holi colour from the face?

Yes, applying coconut oil on your face and massaging it gently will remove color from your face. The oil melts the color from the face. Next, wash your face as usual with a mild face wash.

Does aloe vera remove Holi colour?

Yes, you can use aloe vera directly on your face to remove Holi colors. You can also use products containing aloe vera extracts as it is a highly potent remover of color from your skin.

My skin tends to itch after exposure to certain products. How do I make sure the Holi color doesn’t affect my skin?

Make sure to use only organic colors in this type of skin. Also, remember to apply oil all over the body before playing Holi. If you experience redness after playing, rub ice cubes all over your face.

How can I soothe redness and skin irritation after color removal?

To calm your skin you can spray rose water and pat your skin. You can also soothe redness and skin irritation by rubbing an ice cube all over your face and neck.

What should we put on our faces during Holi?

Before stepping out to play Holi, firstly use a gentle cleanser and cleanse your face. Now apply a moisturiser that suits your skin. Follow it up with sunscreen and enjoy playing with colors.

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