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Updated: October 27, 2013 13:56 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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

In what ways can astringent lotion be used? Can I use it in a face pack? — Ayesha

Astringent lotion helps reduce oiliness and close pores. It may be applied on oily skin after cleansing it with cotton wool. It can also be mixed with rose water in equal quantities to make a toner for oily skin. A rose-based skin tonic can also be used. Cucumber juice has an astringent effect. It can be applied instead of astringent lotion and washed off with water after 15 minutes.

I have been suffering hair loss for a long time. My scalp is oily. Suggest a suitable oil. — Shraddha

Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage (caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming, straightening), etc. You can apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on your scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it in. Apply olive oil once a week the night before a shampoo wash. Avoid massaging your scalp. If there is hair loss, it means the roots must be weak and massaging your head may only aggravate the problem. If the hair is very oily, avoid oil application. Diet is important. Eat a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean and curd in your diet. 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.

I have freckles on my nose and cheeks. I use SPF 60 and have tried laser treatment too. But it did not help. — Sangeetha

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF approximately 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Re-apply the sunscreen if you stay in the sun for a long duration. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub it gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Add a pinch of turmeric to curd or buttermilk and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

I have been having acne for the past two years and it leaves black scars. — Mohan

Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and night, with a medicated soap. Then wipe it with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Boil neem leaves on 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 into a sticky paste. Apply it only on the acne daily and leave it on for one or two hours. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. It will help both the acne and the scars. Once the acne subsides, the scars can be removed with scrubs and vegetable peel. Avoid creams and moisturisers. Include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning.

What should I do to have soft skin? How should I use curd on my face? — Vaishnavi

If your skin is normal to dry, apply moisturisers during the day and nourishing cream at night. Apply honey mixed with a little milk daily at any time. Wash it off after 15 minutes. This helps soften the skin. For normal to oily skin, use a facial scrub at least once a week. It removes the dead cells and improves skin health. Honey mixed with lemon juice in equal quantities also helps soften the skin. Add a pinch of turmeric to curd and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Curd can also be added to face packs along with oats, wheat bran, ground almonds, honey and egg.

My knees and elbows are darker than rest of my body. Suggest remedies to make them lighter. — Preethi

Take lemon halves and rub them daily on your elbows and knees. Wash it off and then massage your 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.

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Ask ShahnazNovember 17, 2013

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