Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
I've had acne for years and tried a lot of creams. Nothing has worked. — Bharath
Wash your face twice a day with a medicated soap. Then wipe it with astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix cinnamon powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey into a sticky paste. Apply it only on the pimples daily and leave it on for one or two hours. If there is any dryness, once daily, at any time, mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. Use only oil-free products. Include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning.
I have developed scars and dark spots over the last two years. — Mohd. Sarwar
Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on your face, rubbing gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the scars and dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Take two teaspoons of curd, add a little haldi to it and apply it on your face daily. Wash it off with plenty of water after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on your entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.
Suggest remedies for body odour. — Sumaiya
Use colognes. They are light and their fragrance lingers. Colognes can be added to bath water. They have a cooling effect too. Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) helps prevent body odour. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on areas such as under the arms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off. Or, mix a little baking soda with talcum powder and apply it under the arms or on the feet. Add one teaspoon of alum to your bath water. Rose water can always be added generously to bath water. It is a natural coolant and fragrant. Add 2 drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.
I have very dry hair. What should I do to soften it? — Vidhya
Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze it out and wrap the towel around your head like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and the scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use just a little shampoo and take care to rinse it off well. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner, taking a little of it and massaging it lightly into your hair. Leave it on for 2 minutes, before rinsing it off. Or, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse it off.