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

What should I do to prevent my nails from splitting? Sonal

If you have brittle nails include adequate protein and calcium in your diet by consuming dals, beans, sprouts, milk and milk products and leafy green vegetables. Consult a doctor before making changes in your diet. Avoid filing your nails for some time. Or use an emery board (wooden file) to do so. File your nails in one direction only and not back and forth. Dissolve one teaspoon of gelatine in a little boiling water. Cool the water and add it to fruit juice. Drink this daily for 10 days. It helps strengthen nails.

I have oily skin. How many times a day should I use astringent? Can I apply make-up after applying astringent? Can I apply honey and lemon juice? Hema

If the astringent lotion is not too harsh, you can use it 3 or 4 times a day, whenever the skin feels and looks oily. Mix a little rose water with the astringent lotion and keep it in a bottle in the refrigerator. This can be applied several times a day. Or, look for a skin tonic for oily skin. Yes, you can apply make-up after applying astringent lotion. Apply honey and lemon juice first. Wash it off after 10 minutes and then apply the astringent lotion. There is no point applying astringent lotion first because you will wash it off along with the honey and lemon juice.

My body is pear-shaped. It looks awkward from behind, especially when I wear a sari. Suggest suitable exercises. Bhuvana

You can do spot reducing exercises. After consulting a doctor, do the following exercises daily: Lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place your 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 in this position. Supporting yourself with your hip, elbow and hands, raise your right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this exercise five times and then turn on your left side and repeat the exercise. Lie on your stomach, resting your chin on your hands. Lift one leg upwards at a time, without raising your hip off the floor. Hold the leg straight. Repeat the exercise five times with each leg.

I have white heads on my nose. Kirtiga

Facial scrubs help discourage white heads. For dry skin, use the scrub only once a week and only on the affected areas . For oily skin, scrubs can be used more often. But, do not apply it on pimples, acne or rash. Make a paste of fenugreek leaves and apply it daily on your face, washing it off after an hour. Grated potato or potato juice may also be applied. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and apply it daily on the affected area. Wash it off after five minutes. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking barley water is also believed to prevent white heads.

I get pimples only in summer. What is the reason? Ritu

In summer, oil secretion increases and the pores get clogged, causing pimples. The sweat and oil also attract dirt and grime. Cleansing is important. After washing your face, wipe it with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Buy an astringent lotion and mix it with a little rose water. Keep it in a bottle in the fridge and wipe your face with it 2 or 3 times a day to remove oil and refresh the skin. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on your face daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Boil neem leaves in water over a low flame. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it on your face. Mix multani mitti, rose water, sandalwood paste and lemon juice into a paste. Apply it on your face 2 or 3 times a week. Wash it off after it dries.

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