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Updated: April 6, 2012 11:50 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Prachi Desai
PTI Prachi Desai

Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to

My face is oily and dull. Could you advise how astringent lotion is used?Ayesha

After washing your face, apply an astringent lotion, or a skin tonic. This helps reduce oiliness and closes the pores. Twice a week, use a facial scrub. You can buy one, or mix rice powder with rose water and apply it on your face. Rub it gently on the skin with small circular movements and then wash it off. Do not apply the scrub on pimples, acne or rash. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. If your face is very oily, then use the pack daily.

I have very frizzy, thin and dry hair.Divya

Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off thoroughly. After a shampoo wash, massage your hair lightly with just a little of the conditioner. Leave it on for 2 minutes before rinsing it off. Also apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse it off. Or, mix some water with a creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your hair. Then comb your hair, so it spreads right through.

My lips are dark, though I'm fair complexioned. Aishu

The skin of the lips is thin and delicate. After washing your face, rub your lips gently with a soft towel when they're still wet. This helps remove dead skin. Then apply cream of milk and leave it on for an hour. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream of milk before application. Apply pure almond oil daily on your lips at night and leave it on overnight. You can also look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Change your brand of lipstick, because the perfume in certain lipsticks can cause darkness as a reaction to sun exposure.

I wish to have long, lustrous hair.Deepika

The average rate of hair growth is half-an-inch a month. This may differ according to hereditary and other factors. Diet is extremely important for the hair, because the hair is actually fed by the nutrients in the bloodstream. For healthy hair growth, the diet should supply the body with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, along with the required amount of proteins and other nutrients. The daily diet should include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts, leafy green vegetables, curd, beans, peas, dals, fish, lean meat, eggs, paneer and curd. Apply a herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. Apply coconut oil Avoid massaging your head. If there is hair loss, it means the roots are already weak and massaging may aggravate the problem.

What should I do to make my complexion glow?Narendra

Tone your skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Wipe and stroke the skin with them. Then, pat your face briskly with the rosewater-soaked pads. Mix ground almonds with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Rub the skin gently, with small circular movements, and then wash the scrub off with water. For a face pack, mix one tablespoon each of wheat bran and ground almonds with milk and honey. If your skin is dry, add a little almond oil. If it is oily, add orange juice, instead of milk. Apply this pack on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes.

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