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

Suggest some exercise to reduce thigh fat. - Rubia

After consulting your doctor, you can try the following exercise. Lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place the left hand on the floor, palm downwards, in front of your chest. Lift your left leg about 8 inches off the floor and hold it. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, try to raise the right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Bring both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this five times and then turn on to your left and repeat.

I have oily skin, which becomes darker along the day. How can I improve my complexion? — Sruthi

Use a face wash that contains ingredients such as neem and tulsi. After cleansing, apply an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Once daily, mix rose water with lemon juice or cucumber juice in equal quantities and apply on the face. Wash it off after 10 minutes. Twice a week, use a facial scrub. Mix rice powder with milk and apply on the face. Rub gently on the skin with circular movements and wash off with water. Apply face pack two or three times a week. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face. Wash it off when it is dry. If the face is very oily, apply the face pack daily. 

My hands and elbows are dark. What should I do? — Swetha

Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil on the arms and elbows. Massage it on the skin. Make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply the paste on these areas at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.

How can I take care of my rebonded hair? — Barkha

After-care is extremely important with chemical hair straightening methods such as rebonding. Use mild shampoos and creamy conditioners. After shampoo, apply creamy conditioner, massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for two minutes and rinse with plain water. The use of hair serums after shampoo, or even on dry hair, gives shine and added protection too. Once a week, give your hair hot oil therapy. Then, do the hot towel wrap. Use a wide toothed comb to disentangle your hair. Deep condition your hair once a week. Mix together one egg, one tablespoon castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon pure glycerin. Massage this into the hair. Wear a plastic shower cap and wash hair after half an hour. 

I have very dry skin with a lot of flakiness. What can I do to make it smooth? Can I apply a paste of gram flour and green gram, and also a mixture of olive oil and almond oil?Suchitra

If the skin is dry, gram flour and green gram will make it drier. Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply rose water, using cotton wool. Then apply moisturising cream. Or apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. At night, after cleansing, apply pure almond oil on the face and massage it on the skin for 3 to 4 minutes. Yes, you may add olive oil. Wipe off excess oil with moist cotton wool before bedtime. If the skin still feels dry, apply a moisturising lotion. Once daily, at any time, mix honey with egg yolk and apply on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. If you want to avoid egg, add cream of milk.

Is there any home remedy for pigmentation on face? — Ashrafa

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. You can mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply only on the dark patches and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily on the dark patches. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix three teaspoons oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.