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Updated: April 21, 2013 16:22 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Aditi Govitrikar. Photo: K. Gopinathan
The Hindu Aditi Govitrikar. Photo: K. Gopinathan

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

How does one use wine on the skin. I have oily skin. — Priya

To use wine on the face, you can try the following method. For oily skin, mix red wine and green tea with multani mitti into a paste. To make green tea, boil water, put a green tea bag and let it brew for 15 minutes. Remove bag and cool the tea-water. Apply the paste on your face, avoiding lips and area around the eyes. Wash off when dry. Wine can also be added to lemon and orange peel powder, ground almonds and curd to mix into a mask. One can also prepare wine masks at home. Take honey and yogurt and add a few tablespoons of red wine. Apply this on the face and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse with plain water. This softens and moisturises the skin, removes tan and also adds a glow.

I have unwanted hair on the chin and near my navel. I get threading and waxing done. Is there a permanent cure? — Aarti

For hair on the body, especially near the navel, waxing is the best option. Threading can be done for facial hair. Laser therapy is said to be a permanent method of hair removal. However, you will have to find a good laser clinic. Also it is expensive. So find out how many sessions will be needed, the costs involved and changes of re-growth.

I have put on weight on hips and waistline. Suggest a remedy. — Ashika

After consulting your doctor, do these spot reducing exercises daily. For the waistline, sit on the floor with the legs spread slightly wide. Raise the arms up and keeping them straight, bend from the waist, first towards the right, then front and then to the left. Come back to position. Repeat this five times, starting with the right side and then five times, starting with the left side. For the hips, lie on your back and roll the hip to the right side. Try to touch the floor on the right side with your left foot. Do the same on the left side, touching the floor with the right foot.

Both my daughter and I have lice and nits. Is there a home remedy for this problem? — Pavithra

Apply vinegar on the hair and scalp. After an hour, comb with a fine lice comb and take the nits (eggs) out by hand. Vinegar loosens the nits and they are easier to remove. Then wash the hair with a mild herbal shampoo. After shampoo, add two tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. Then comb again with the lice comb. Do this daily for one week. Have weekly henna treatments. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, one teaspoon methi seed powder and enough tea water to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Tea water can be made by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water, cooling and straining the liquid. If the hair is dry, add two teaspoons oil. Apply the henna on the hair and wash off after an hour.

How to identify what type of skin I have? — Sindhu

The feel and look of your skin is a good indicator of your skin type. An oily skin is prone to blackheads, open pores, pimples and spots. When you wake up in the morning, wipe your face with a tissue, before washing or cleansing it. If the tissue is clean, you have a normal to dry skin. If the tissue becomes stained or soiled with grease, you have a normal to oily skin. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping the forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another one to wipe the cheeks. This will help you know if you have a combination skin.

I have sensitive skin. I have never had a facial or clean-up at a parlour. Which facials do you advise? — Radhika

When you say sensitive skin, what do you mean? Is your skin prone to blackheads and pimples? If so, you may be having oily skin. You can go to a good beauty salon and ask for advice. If the skin is oily, avoid massage with cream. You can have the cleansing, toning and pack. If there are no pimples, you can also have exfoliation with scrubs.

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