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

My mother’s skin is wrinkled. Even the skin on her face has folds. What can be done to make her skin look fresh and youthful?Shanmugapriya

She should avoid using soap on her body and use a soap-free shower gel instead. She should apply mustard oil daily before a bath. Immediately afterwards, she should apply body lotion while the skin is still damp. This helps seal in moisture. For the face, she should avoid soap and instead use a cleansing cream or gel. After cleansing, she should apply rose water with cotton wool. She should apply a sunscreen before going out in the sun, or a moisturising cream or lotion and ensure she leaves it on. At night, she should massage her face with a nourishing cream mixed with a few drops on water. The excess cream should be wiped off with moist cotton wool. Weekly salon facials are recommended.

I am always under stress. Suggest remedies that will help me look fresh.Suresh

Consult your doctor before you take up regular exercise, which helps reduce stress, improve blood circulation and puts a glow on your face. Tone your skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Wipe and stroke the skin with them. Then, pat it briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads. Use a facial scrub once or twice a week to brighten the skin. Mix ground almonds with curd. Rub the skin gently, with small circular movements, washing it off with water. Mix together ripe papaya pulp, grated cucumber, curd and oats. Apply this on your face and wash it off after half an hour.

I am pregnant and my hair has started greying. Could pregnancy be the reason? Suggest a suitable remedy.Priya

Pregnancy does not lead to greying hair. Amla is said to check greying, so add amla to henna powder. However, henna turns grey hair reddish brown. It will not colour dark hair. If you would like to try it, then soak a handful of dry amla in about 2 to 3 cups of water overnight. The following morning, strain the water, but do not throw the water away. Grind the amla. To the henna powder, add the ground amla, four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons oil and enough amla water, so that the henna mixes into a thick paste. Allow the paste to stand for two to three hours before applying it on the hair, taking care to cover the entire head with it. Keep it on for at least two hours before washing it off. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamins B-Complex and C.

My hair becomes very rough a few days after a shampoo wash. What should I do to have soft, smooth and silky hair?Sanjana

Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around your head like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use very little shampoo, taking care to rinse it off well. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner. Take very little of it and massage it lightly into your hair. Leave it in for 2 minutes and then rinse it off. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse it off.

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