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

I have oily skin and a rash that resembles prickly heat on my nose. Suggest suitable home remedies.Uma

After cleansing your face, apply an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. You can also apply sandalwood paste on the affected area daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix multani mitti with rose water and apply it two or three times a week on your face, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after it dries.

What should I do to get rid of the marks left by chickenpox? — Keerthana

Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and a little water. After washing your face in the morning, apply the paste only on the marks. Wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Rice powder and curd make a good scrub. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently with small circular movements, especially on the marks. Wash it off with water. Twice a week, mix one teaspoon of multani mitti, two teaspoons of ground almonds and one teaspoon each of honey, curd and egg white into a paste. Apply this on your face, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. For dry skin, add one teaspoon of pure almond oil.

My mother has puffy skin under her eyes.Avni

Consult a doctor to ensure that her kidneys and sinuses are functioning well. Seek dietary advice too. She should not leave cream on around her eyes at night when she sleeps. It can lead to puffiness. She could try these simple home remedies. She could apply a compress of iced water or cold milk directly on her closed lids and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Or soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and let them rest beneath her eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. Grated potatoes or potato juice, applied around the eyes also helps reduce puffiness. So do tea bags. Steep them in hot water, allow them to cool and use them as eye pads.

Despite applying curd and oil, my skin is still dry.Jaishree

Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream. Apply sunscreen lotion before going out in the sun. Keep your skin well-moisturised. At night, massage your face for three to four minutes with nourishing cream or pure almond oil diluted with a few drops of water. Wipe off the excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. Once daily, at any time, mix honey with milk or egg yolk and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Weekly salon facials that include a massage would help.

I have wheaten complexion. My skin looks dull and tired. What should I do to look fresh for a longer period of time?Swetha

After cleansing your face, wipe it with chilled rose water. If your skin is oily, mix astringent lotion with chilled rose water in equal quantities and apply it on your face, using cotton wool. Use a facial scrub twice a week. This helps remove dead cells and brighten your skin. Apply a day cream if your skin is oily and leave it on. For normal to dry skin, apply moisturising lotion. Then, apply compact powder. Mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply it daily on your face, at any time. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Or, take two teaspoons of curd, add a pinch of turmeric to it and apply it daily in the same way. Wash it off after 20 minutes with plenty of water.

My hair is dry and curly. It was long, but I cut it. Subsequently it grew till shoulder length, but not longer than that. What should I do to improve hair growth?Nithya

Growth does not show when the hair is curly. The average rate of hair growth is half an inch per month. There may be some differences due to hereditary factors. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water, and wrap the towel around your head like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and the scalp absorb the oil better. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and make fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soya bean and curd part of your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

Keywords: beauty tips