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Updated: September 19, 2010 16:56 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Genelia D’souza Photo: S.S. Kumar
The Hindu
Genelia D’souza Photo: S.S. Kumar

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

My skin is oily and brown. Please teach me how to use products such as tell me the order and method of using sunscreen, foundation and compact.  Sudha

For oily skin, wash the face with soap twice or thrice a day, or use a face wash or cleansing lotion meant for oily skin. In the morning, after cleansing, wipe the face with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Then, apply oil-free sunscreen if you intend going out in the sun. Wait for a few minutes, and then apply compact powder. Look for compact powder with beige tones, rather than pink. Leave out foundation, especially during the day. Compact powder will provide a smooth texture. Twice or thrice a week, make a paste of Multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice, and apply on the face. Wash off when dry.

My lips keep getting dry. Can you please suggest a remedy? Subhash

The skin of the lips is thin and delicate. After washing the face, when the lips are wet, rub them gently with a soft towel to remove dead skin. Then, apply cream of milk and leave on for an hour. Every day, apply almond oil on the lips at night and leave on overnight. You can also look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Ask your doctor if you need vitamin supplements.

I have huge thighs. Also, I have curly hair and want to straighten it. Can you please advise me on what should be done? Ashtalaxmi

After consulting your doctor, do the following spot reduction exercises 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 eight 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 five times. Turn on your left side and repeat. For the hair, use a hand-held hair dryer to straighten the hair. The effect will last till the next shampoo. After washing, while the hair is still damp, divide it in sections. Hold the end of a section with a comb or brush. Holding it straight and slightly downwards, use the hand held dryer. Repeat this with each section. Hold the dryer at least six inches away from the hair. However, excessive use of the hair dryer can cause dryness of the hair.

I am 24. I have thin lines on my face, and open pores caused by pimples. Can I use anti-wrinkle cream? — Kanchan

Pimples occur on oily skin. Anti-wrinkle creams should not be used on oily and pimple-prone skin, as they make the skin more oily. Creams can clog the pores and lead to more pimples. You can use a face mask twice or thrice a week. Mix oatmeal with egg white and apply on the face. Wash off when dry. Or, make a paste of Multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice and apply on the face. Wash off when dry. If there is dryness, mix 100 ml rose water with one teaspoon pure glycerine and store in the refrigerator. Apply a little of this lotion every day.

My face is looks dry, but when I apply cream, it looks very oily. How can I make my face glow? — Nalni

You may be having combination skin, in which some parts of the face are oily, while other are dry. Use a facial scrub once or twice a week. Mix rice powder with curd and apply on the face. Rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Wash off with water. Ready-made scrubs are also available. Scrubs help brighten the skin by removing dead skin cells. Mix 100 ml of rose water and one teaspoon glycerine. Store in a bottle and apply a little of this on your face every day and whenever your skin feels dry. It will relieve dryness without making the skin too oily. Nalni

My upper lip is are dark. What can I do to help it them regain normal colour? I have a pink lower lip, but a dark upper lip. Please give me a suitable suggestion — Nandini

After washing the face, rub the lips gently with a soft towel. This helps remove dead skin. Then, apply milk cream to which a few drops of lemon have been added on the upper lip and leave on for an hour. Apply almond oil on the upper lip every night and leave on till morning. You can also look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Meanwhile, apply a brown matte (non-shiny) lipstick on the lower lip. Then, apply the colour of your choice on both lips. This may help both lips to appear in the same colour.

Keywords: health tips



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