Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to askshahnaz@gmail.com

I have oily skin. What should I do to improve my complexion? Honey

Wash your face with soap or cleanse it with face wash, or a cleansing lotion, twice a day. Then apply an astringent lotion or skin tonic, using cotton wool. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it. Wash it off after it dries. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently with small circular movements. Wash it off.

I read that a lemon-and-honey face pack makes the skin glow. How is it prepared? I have facial hair. Will the pack work as a hair remover? Samarsh

Home remedies do not remove facial hair. But they are believed to lessen the growth if used regularly over a period of time. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of the hair growth. Wash it off after it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Or, make a paste of turmeric powder and milk, and rub it on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair, but it may leave the skin looking yellowish. For the honey-lemon pack, mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice. Apply it on the face and wash it off with plenty of water after 15 minutes. Avoid going out in the sun immediately after using this pack. It will not remove facial hair. Honey helps moisturise the skin, while lemon is a cleanser. It also reduces oiliness and lightens skin colour over a period of time.

I apply a paste made of hibiscus flowers and leaves on my hair. Does it improve hair growth? Deepthi

Hibiscus flowers and leaves help restore health to the scalp and encourage hair growth. They are said to prevent dandruff, and add shine to the hair. Both hot and cold infusions can be made from hibiscus flowers and leaves. For hot infusions, add the flowers and leaves to hot water and allow it to stand for 10 to 12 hours. Strain and then use the water as a last rinse, after washing your hair. For cold infusions, the flowers and leaves should be left to stand overnight in cold water. The flowers should be squeezed and the water strained before use. Such infusions can be used to wash the hair and scalp, or applied on the scalp with cotton wool. The paste or juice of the flowers can also be applied on the hair.

My face has become dull. What should I do to look bright and fresh? Maria

Tone your skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Facial scrubs also help refresh and brighten the skin. More so, if your skin is oily. Or, mix rice powder or ground almonds with curd or milk. Dried and powdered orange and lemon peel can be added to a face scrub. Dried and powdered mint leaves added to a scrub helps refresh the skin and make it glow.