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

I sweat a lot and it leaves stains on my clothes. How can I get rid of this problem? - Swati

To protect clothes from sweat stains, you can wear under-arm cotton shields. The use of talcum powder and deodorants does help in lessening perspiration. For excessive perspiration, Ayurveda offers some dietary suggestions. Sip nimbu paani (lemon juice) or ginger tea before and after your meals. Chop fresh ginger root finely and mix with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this before your meal. Sipping warm water with your meal may also help. Light diet and less spices are advised. Eat smaller meals.

I am getting dark patches on the upper and lower part of my elbow. I have used many creams, but without any results. Please suggest tips. - Sushma

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

My face is much darker than my neck, hands and legs. Suggest some home remedies. - Rajalakshmi

Use a facial scrub twice a week. You can either buy a facial scrub, or you can mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the face and rub gently using small circular movements. Leave on for five minutes and then wash off. Mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply daily on the face, at any time. Wash off after 20 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oats with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash after half an hour.

I have dark and dry lips. I have tried using lemon and honey, milk with lime, etc., but nothing has worked. - Dhivya

The skin of the lips is thin and delicate. However, after washing the face, when the lips are wet, you can rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps remove dead skin. Then apply the cream of milk and leave for an hour. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the milk cream before application. Apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave it 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.

My hair has become dry and frizzy. Using a conditioner has not helped much. - Madhu

Use less shampoo when you wash your hair. Apply conditioner or hair serum, massaging it lightly into the hair. Or, mix some water with creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the hair and comb, so that it spreads evenly all over your hair. Have a deep conditioning treatment once a week, before shampoo. Mix one egg, one tablespoon of castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon of pure glycerine or honey. Apply on the hair, wear a plastic shower cap and keep on for an hour. Avoid hot water to wash the hair. After shampoo, wrap a towel around the head and let it soak up the water. Avoid rubbing. If you use a hair dryer, use a big round brush. Blow in downward direction.

How can I fight body odour? - Aarti

Here are some tips for preventing body odour. Be generous while using colognes. They are lighter and leave a lingering fragrance. Colognes can be added to bath water. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply under the arms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with water. Or, mix a little baking soda with your talcum powder and apply under the arms, or on the feet. Potato slices can also be rubbed in the sensitive areas. You can add one teaspoon alum to your bath water. Add 2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.

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