Are You Pregnant? Reasons To Avoid Artificial Colours This Holi

Holi is the festival of colours, so there is no way of keeping them out of your Holi celebrations. However, choosing natural and safe colours can ensure they add only joy and no risk to your festivities. Holi is not the best festival for pregnant women, but that does not mean you must skip it altogether. With some care and precautions for pregnant women, you can have a blast and make it memorable.

Do Holi Colours Affect Pregnant Women? 

They do, and here is how. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is porous. It means whatever you apply to it gets absorbed by the body. It is known as dermal absorption. Chemicals from skin care products and artificial colours too can get absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Research reveals that the following factors determine how fast and how easily chemicals are absorbed into the skin:

  • The properties of the chemical
  • The concentration of the chemical on the skin
  • The duration for which the chemical stays on the skin
  • The condition of your skin

Chemical colours can severely affect pregnant women for these very reasons. Your skin can easily absorb the harmful chemicals in artificial colours and cause toxicity in the body. Anything that enters your bloodstream can affect your unborn child. Many women experience extra sensitivity in the skin during pregnancy. During this time, exposure to strong and harmful chemicals, such as those found in untested Holi colours, can severely affect you and your baby. 

Some Holi colours contain abrasive and harmful chemicals, such as:

  • Copper sulphate
  • Lead oxide
  • Mercury
  • Aluminium bromide
  • Other oxides

Some chemicals, such as lead oxide (PbO), can easily pass through the skin barrier and get absorbed even if you wash them off within 30 minutes of exposure.

Remember, even inhaling these colours can cause harm to you and your unborn baby. Therefore, avoiding such unsafe colours at all costs during Holi festivities is crucial.

Precautions For Pregnant Women

You should not lock yourself indoors during Holi to avoid unsafe colours. Here are some tips for planning to play Holi:

  • Handpick your Holi colours from a trusted source. Make sure the colours are herbal/organic. Many colours marked ‘safe, organic, herbal’ may not be so. Don’t blindly trust labels. 
  • Preferably make your own colours with safe materials such as turmeric, beetroot juice, and other natural products. These are good alternatives if you do not know reliable and trustworthy sources for safe colours. 
  • Avoid inhaling colours by avoiding high-spirited festivities. You may wear a mask for your own safety. The toxic chemicals can gain entry into your system and affect you and your baby via your respiratory passages too. 
  • Don’t let the colour stay on your skin for long. Wash it away quickly and thoroughly with a skin-friendly cleansing agent. Also, wash your hair thoroughly until all traces of the colour are entirely gone. 
  • Coat your skin liberally with coconut oil before you step out for Holi celebrations. It offers a protective layer between your skin and the colours. It also makes it easier to wash off the colours once you are done with the festivities. 
  • Wear eye protection to ensure the colours do not get into your eyes. 
  • Do not let others rub the colours into your skin harshly, as it can cause your already sensitive skin to break or develop rashes. It also increases the chance of the colour penetrating your skin barrier and entering the bloodstream.

Chemical-based Holi colours harm pregnant women and their babies in more ways than one. Sometimes, these colours may even contain dangerous substances such as crushed glass to give them glitter and sheen. Such colours can cause immense damage to your skin and respiratory system when breathing them in. 

Making Your Own Colours

The best way to stay protected from harm due to Holi colours is by making your own safe colours. For example, red sandalwood or sindoor with atta can make a beautiful red hue. Turmeric plus besan gives you yellow. You can use dried flowers for great-looking and smelling colours. For example, the bright flame of the forest flower gives you a nice orange colour when it is dried and powdered. Using these will help you keep yourself, your friends, and the environment safe and healthy. So, the answer to your question, “Can pregnant women play Holi?” is a big yes, but with precautions. Avoid unsafe colours and stick to your circle of trusted friends and family. For more health tips for pregnant women on Holi safety, click here