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

I am 15. I have, of late, been getting small pimples on forehead and face. Suggest natural remedies.Subiksha

Check if you have dandruff, or oily hair, which can lead to spots and pimples on the forehead and face. Keep your hair away from your face. After washing your face, apply an astringent lotion with cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after it dries. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning.

Does hair growth stop at the age of 15? I have split ends and my hair seems to have stopped growing.Amrutha

No, hair growth does not stop at the age of 15. You have not mentioned your hair type. Cut off the split ends and give your hair proper care. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on the hair. Apply it on the ends too. 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 three or four times. This helps the hair and the scalp absorb the oil better. After a shampoo wash, apply just a little leave-in conditioner or hair serum, especially on the ends. Diet is important for hair growth. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd in your diet.

My elbows, knees, feet and hands are darker than my face.Nowreen

Rub lemon halves daily on your elbows, knees and feet. Wash it off and then massage the skin with sesame seed oil. Make a paste of gram flour, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric. 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. For the hands, take 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Mix these together to form a paste. Apply it three times a week on the hands. Wash it off after 15 minutes.

My skin is very dry. I can’t apply moisturiser because I also have acne. What should I do?Ranjani

Acne occurs on oily skin. However, there may be superficial dryness of the outermost layer. Avoid too much soap and water washing. Boil neem leaves over a low fire. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after half an hour. Mix cinnamon powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey to make a sticky paste. Apply it only on the pimples daily, leaving it on for one or two hours.

Once daily, at any time, mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. It helps relieve dryness and prevent pimples.

I have hair on my upper lip and chin. Will electrolysis or laser treatment help?Vaishali

In electrolysis, the diathermy method was common. It involves the use of fine needles, through which an electric current is passed. But now transdermal electrolysis is done, in which needles are not used. Re-growth has been known to occur. It is important to find a very skilled operator. Laser is said to be a permanent method of hair removal.

However, initially re-growth can occur for some time. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicles. The laser disables the follicle’s ability to produce hair. Cooling devices are used to prevent damage to the rest of the skin. It is very important to find a good laser clinic in order to minimize the side effects. You should find out the number of sessions that may be needed and the cost involved.