Here’s How I Care For My Sensitive Skin Post Holi

Holi Skincare Tips

I have dealt with adult acne flare-ups for over seven years; which for someone in their mid-to-late twenties, is just an absolute downer. After consulting with countless dermatologists and taking up multiple routines, I have realised that in unfavourable conditions, my sensitive skin will betray me quicker than Cassie from Euphoria. This is why I am always wary about what I put on my skin – from makeup to skincare and even my own hands which are not always clean – my face is off-limits. Having said that, I also happen to be the biggest fan of celebrating Holi. I love colour play, the boozy rain dances and lowered inhibitions of asking people if their colour is organic or not. This, obviously, is a recipe for disaster for my skin, which needs extra care post the holiday. 

My Colour Play Skincare

FYI, do not slather oil, especially coconut oil, from top to toe before playing with colours. The oil just sits on the skin and clogs pores to break you out later. If you leave the skin dry, you can dust off dry colours, which will otherwise stick to the skin if you apply oil.

All I do is wear a hydrating SPF and I am good to go! Holi colours, whether organic or not, still put the skin through a lot. For me, who suffers from dry acne, sitting for long hours with colours on makes my skin excessively dehydrated and stressed by the end of the day. To top it, if I come in contact with chemical Holi colours, which contain compounds like copper sulphate, aluminium bromide, and mercury sulphide, there are chances of contact dermatitis, irritated eyes and even chemical burns on the skin. 

My Post Holi Routine

Before I dive into my not-so-well-kept skincare secrets, I wish to quickly let you in on my cleansing and care routine post the Holi celebrations. The goal is to not stress my already irritated skin any further. So, it’s crucial to properly cleanse without scrubbing the whole using physical exfoliators. In terms of the process, I follow the double-cleansing, toning, and moisturising routine. Ingredients that dominate my calming skincare routine are centella asiatica (Gotu Kola), liquorice, bisabolol, and allantoin. And no, dear reader, Aloe has never worked for me. Swipe through to take a closer look –

1. Cleansing Oil
The best decision I ever made for my sensitive, acne-prone skin was to start double-cleansing. The only thing I trust to get all that gunk, liquid and powder colours out of my pores is a cleaning oil, and J-Beauty is where I look to find my favourite cleansing oils!
2. Hydrating Cleanser
Post oil cleansing, I go in with a creamy or foam cleanser to get any remaining oil or dirt traces off of my skin. I use an intensely moisturising formula so as to not irritate my already dehydrated and stressed skin any further. Plus, after spending a whole day with icky colours on your face, a soft, smooth cleanser is just what my skin needs.
3. Toner
Usually, I am not a big toner fan and only use one when I am feeling extra greasy. But I still crave that instantly hydrating action of a toner post-cleansing. On days my skin needs extra calming, I go with balancing water or soothing essence instead.
4. Gel-Based Cream
To further let my skin relax and breathe, I use a gel-based balm/cream as my last step of the routine. I apply a thin layer of the product all over my face, neck and décolleté
in order to keep it hydrated without having to load up on a heavy moisturiser.


My Post Holi Skin Care Habits

As someone who is a fan of serums, it is indeed a mind game to let go of them from my routine even if it’s temporary. But once my skin gets back to normal, I add the humble hyaluronic acid to my routine from the next day. Some of the care habits that I follow for the next two weeks are –

1.  I avoid chemical exfoliators like AHAs and BHAs, which means I avoid salicylic acid which is crucial for my acne-care routine. However, I keep my benzoyl peroxide product in place and as someone who has found a non-irritating and non-drying formula from Malezia, it does not bother my skin. 

2. SPF is essential, even indoors! As someone who works with beauty, I already am aware of the absolutely essential nature of an SPF. But during the week following a Holi colour play, my SPF routine is enhanced. I make sure to use physical sunscreen as chemical SPFs can be a little irritating on my dehydrated skin. 

3. My priority in the weeks after Holi is to rejuvenate and repair my skin. Some of my go-to protecting and barrier-building ingredients are niacinamide, ceramides, and peptides. I make sure to also add an emollient-rich moisturiser in my nighttime to allow my skin a good dose of hydration while I sleep. Remember, you need to maintain a good level of hydration while your skin is healing from any kind of trauma, or else it will refuse to bounce back. 

4. In addition to these basic steps, I like to supplement my skincare routine with sheet masks before bed. I stick to the ones with snail mucin, vitamin E, squalene, and the OG hydrating ingredient, glycerine! 

5. Unlike the women in my family, I steer clear of any at-home treatments to reset my skin. This is the time to let my skin breathe and relax. If I do end up getting a bump or a rash, I make sure to consult my dermat because contact dermatitis needs a prescription topical fix and not anything from the kitchen cabinet.

Photos: Instagram

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