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Updated: December 1, 2013 16:14 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Malaika Arora Khan
PTI Malaika Arora Khan

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

I am getting married soon and I have tanned skin. Can you help me? — Pushpa

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 on the skin using small circular movements. Leave it on for five minutes and then wash it off with water. Mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply daily on the face, at any time. Wash it 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 entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

I have dark circles under my eyes. Please suggest some remedies. — Jayasree

Some of the reasons for the formation of dark circles around the eyes are hereditary factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep, sun-sensitivity, etc. So, along with external care, you should check these aspects. As a home remedy, you can daily apply pure almond oil sparingly (very little quantity) around the eyes and massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly under the eyes.

I am losing hair near my forehead due to sweat and oily scalp. I have dandruff too. Help me. — Anu

Avoid tying the hair tightly as a matter of habit, as it can lead to hair loss, especially at the hairline in front. Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage, etc. Apply a non-oily, herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. Avoid massaging. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three or four times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half-an-hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons of vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. Once a week, heat olive oil or til oil, and apply it on the scalp at night. Leave it on overnight. The next morning, apply the vinegar as advised, half-an-hour before shampoo. Include fresh fruits, raw 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 have it first thing in the morning. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

During pregnancy, I got stretch marks on my stomach. Suggest some home remedies. — Puja

Stretch marks usually fade with time, but never disappear totally, because they form due to destruction of skin elasticity. Apply olive oil daily on these areas and massage it into the skin. Mix besan with curd and a little turmeric, make it into a paste, and apply on these areas three times a week. Wash it off after half-an-hour.

My neck is quite dark and not so soft. Also, my knees and elbows are dark and rough. Chaitanya

For the neck, apply til oil daily and massage it into the skin. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little haldi (turmeric) and apply at least three times a week. Wash it off after half-an-hour. Then apply til oil and massage it into the skin, as recommended. For elbows, take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin. Then apply the same besan paste on the elbows the same way. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.

My skin type is oily and I have pimples on my face. Which facial will suit me? Is a clean-up good for me? — Sunaina

Cleanse your face in the morning and at night with a face wash or cleanser for oily skin. After cleansing, apply astringent lotion with cotton wool. Apply sandalwood paste on the pimples and leave it on for half-an-hour. Mix cinnamon (dalchini) powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey and make it into a sticky paste. Apply only on the pimples daily and leave it on for one or two hours. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice, make it into a paste and apply on the face two or three times a week. Wash it off when it dries. Avoid creams and moisturisers. Use only oil-free products. Include fresh fruits, raw 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. Ask your doctor to prescribe you vitamin and mineral supplements. You can have clean ups at a salon, where blackheads will be extracted. As you know blackheads can lead to acne.

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