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Updated: December 11, 2011 16:37 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Actor Freida Pinto.
AFP Actor Freida Pinto.

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

The skin under my chin is rough and has small boils. My hair is dry and thin. Suggest remedies.Sindhu

Eruptions such as pimples and acne are common on the chin, but not so much under it. Apply sandalwood paste on the boils. Mix cinnamon powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey into a sticky paste. Apply this only on the boils daily, leaving it on for one or two hours. Boil neem leaves in water. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the neem leaves and apply it on the boils. Applying curd or egg half-an-hour before a shampoo wash helps add body and nourish the hair. Diet is important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet.

My mother is 46 and fair-complexioned. She has a black spot on her cheek which has grown a little bit. How can she get rid of it?John

Your mother should apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. She can mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. After applying it on the face, she should rub the skin gently with tiny circular movements, especially the dark spot. The scrub should be left on for a few minutes before it is washed off. She could mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on her face. It should be washed off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, she can apply a face mask. For this, she should mix 3 teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. The mask should be applied on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. It can be washed off after half-an-hour.

My skin is pigmented along my cheek bones and I have comedones on my nose.Lakshmi

Comedones or blackheads occur on oily areas of the skin. You may be having combination skin. After washing your face in the morning, wipe the blackhead-prone area with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it on the areas with blackheads and the dark patch daily. Wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub three times a week on the blackhead-prone areas and the dark patch. Readymade scrubs are easily available nowadays. Alternatively, ground almonds can be mixed with curd and used as a scrub. Stubborn blackheads can be removed at a beauty salon.

What should I do to have clean and shining nails?Divyarsha

A weekly manicure at a beauty parlour makes the nails look healthy. At home, soak your hands in warm water to which a little shampoo has been added. Rub the nails with a soft nail brush. Clean beneath them with a cotton bud. Then wash them. Massage the nails with cream, especially the skin around them. For healthy nails, your diet should include adequate protein and calcium. Consume skimmed milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, fish and sprouts. The nails can also be buffed. This is usually done with a piece of chamois leather. The nails should be gently rubbed with it, to make them shiny.

My skin is very dry, especially in winter. I often apply cream, but it never remains for long.Pavithra

Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply a moisturising lotion or a sunscreen if you are going out in the sun. At night, after cleansing, massage your face for 3 to 4 minutes with a nourishing cream to which a few drops of water have been added. Wipe off the excess cream with moist cotton wool. Once daily, at any time, mix egg yolk or pure almond oil with honey and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Weekly salon facials and massages would help.

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