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Updated: November 18, 2012 16:34 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Actor Ileana D'Cruz. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
The Hindu
Actor Ileana D'Cruz. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

I have lots of black heads and pores holes on my face. My skin is oily. Kindly suggest a suitable face pack, face cream and soap. Suja

Blackheads and open pores occur on oily skin or oily areas of the skin. After washing your face in the morning, wipe the blackhead-prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Then, apply a paste of baking soda and water on these areas and wash after five minutes. Use a facial scrub thrice a week on blackhead-prone areas. Apply on the area and rub gently using small circular movements. Leave on for five minutes and wash. You can also mix oats with egg white and apply it twice a week, washing off when dry. Use a face wash for oily skin. Avoid creams. Use only oil-free products. For a face pack, mix Multani mitti with rose water and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash when dry.

I have a lot of pimple marks. How can I get rid of them? — a few pimples but I have a lot of marks left by them. How can I get rid of them and make my face bright? Amirtha

Mix rice powder with curd and use as a scrub once or twice a week. Apply on the face and rub gently with tiny circular movements, especially on the pimple marks. Leave on for a few minutes and wash. Do not apply this on pimples, acne or rashes. Mix equal quantities of honey and lemon juice and apply on the face, every day, and wash after 15 minutes with water. Twice a week, apply a face mask made of Multani mitti, rose water and lemon juice. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash off after half an hour.

I have dandruff and a greasy scalp. Please suggest a remedy. — Pradeep

For dandruff, apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp every day, using cotton wool. Leave it on. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo four times a week, using very little shampoo. Rinse well with water. For the last rinse, add the juice of a lemon to half a glass of water. Half an hour before shampooing, lightly massage two tablespoons of vinegar into the scalp. Applying egg white 20 minutes before shampooing also helps reduce oiliness. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink six to eight glasses of water every day. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.

Whenever I get bitten by a mosquito, a blister develops on that spot. How can I prevent this? When a mosquito bites me, it turns into a blister the next day. Please help. — Swathi

Scratching may cause this problem. Never burst a blister; it can lead to infection. Mix equal quantities of rose water and astringent lotion and apply on the area. Or, ask your doctor for a soothing lotion. Dip a tea bag in cold water and apply it on the mosquito bite. This is said to stop itching and soothe swellings. Honey can also be applied as it has anti-bacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar or aloe vera gel may be applied on blisters.

Please suggest a remedy to tighten the skin under the chin. Also, how long can I store a besan and milk mixture (for daily usage) and for how long? Mariyam

Try the following exercise every day. Open your mouth as wide as possible. Hold that position for about 10 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise a few more times. This helps because the muscles that open and close your mouth are located below the chin. For faster results, place a tennis ball underneath your chin while doing this exercise. Massage the area under the chin with nourishing cream or almond oil, every day. Using both hands, start from chin and go downwards, one hand following the other. The pressure should be downwards. You can store besan and milk or besan and yoghurt mixture in the refrigerator for two to three days. If the mixture turns hard, just add some milk or yoghurt to soften it.

I sweat a lot, especially on my back. I also suffer from body odour. comes from my back. Please suggest a solution Vamshi

Wear fresh clothes. Bathe twice a day. Use cologne generously. Colognes are light and leave a light lingering fragrance. You can also add cologne to bath water. Or, add it to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. It has a cooling effect too. You can also add one teaspoon of alum to your bath water. Crush some mint leaves and add them too. Add two drops of tea tree essential oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this on the back with cotton wool. Ayurveda makes some dietary suggestions for excessive perspiration, which can result in body odour. Sip nimbu paani. Have ginger tea before and after your meals. Finely chop fresh ginger and mix with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this mixture before your meal. Sipping warm water with your meal may also help. Opt for a light diet low on spices. Eat smaller meals.

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