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

My skin looks dull and dry. What should I do to make it soft and smooth?Gopika

Avoid soap and use a cleansing gel or cream. Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Keep the skin moisturised during the day. At night, after cleansing, apply nourishing cream and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water. Wipe off with moist cotton wool before bedtime. Mix one teaspoon of honey with a little milk and apply daily. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes.

Suggest some exercises to reduce flab around my thighs and hip. — Rosalin

After consulting your doctor, do the following spot reducing exercises. Lie on your back and roll the hip to the right side. Try to touch the floor on the right side with your left foot. Do the same on the left side touching the floor with the right foot. For the thighs, lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place the 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. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, try to raise the right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this 5 times and then turn on your left side and repeat.

I have dry skin and wrinkles, which is a hereditary condition. How can I prevent my daughter from getting wrinkles? — Gayathri

You should consult a skin specialist. Apart from treatments, the specialist can prescribe vitamin supplements that will counteract skin dryness. You can apply sesame seed (til) oil daily before a bath and massage it on the skin. Use mild glycerine soap. Immediately after your bath, apply a body lotion while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in the moisture.

After typhoid, I am losing a lot of hair. I also have split ends and dandruff. — Pearlin

Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Apply olive oil once a week the night before shampoo. Apply on ends too. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. After shampoo, apply hair serum on the ends and leave on. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

What should I do to make my hair fragrant?Aarti

Apply warm olive oil on the scalp, using cotton wool and rubbing gently to remove sweat deposits and impurities. Leave on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash the hair after 15 minutes. For a fragrant hair rinse, add the juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use as a last rinse after shampoo. You can also put a few drops of eau-de-cologne in a mug of water and use it as a last rinse.

Post-pregnancy, I am experiencing severe hair loss. — Prema

Hair loss after pregnancy is very common. Once the hormones settle, hair loss should be controlled. Meanwhile, apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Apply coconut oil or olive oil once a week the night before shampoo. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd, in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.