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Updated: June 18, 2010 16:17 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Neha Dhupia PHOTO: AFP
Neha Dhupia PHOTO: AFP

I have oily, dull and patchy skin. The patches vary in colour from dark brown to black.Diya

After washing your face, apply an astringent lotion. Cucumber juice or grated cucumber can also be applied. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a scrub once or twice a week. Rub it gently on your face, using tiny circular movements, especially on the areas with dark patches. Leave it on for a few minutes, before washing it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on the dark patches. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on the entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

I have fine, oily and scanty hair. What should I do to make it thick?Mitalee

Oily hair looks limp and scanty. Apply egg half-an-hour before washing your hair. It helps add body. Avoid oil application. Apply a non-oily, herbal hair tonic daily and leave it on. Weekly henna treatments will help. Add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs and enough tea water to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Make tea water by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water, and then cooling and straining the liquid. Apply the henna on your hair, washing it off after an hour. Diet is important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables and curd in your diet.

My scalp is oily and I need to shampoo my hair on alternate days. What should I do to reduce hair loss? Archana

Wash your hair often, but use less shampoo and rinse it off well. Hair loss can occur due to excessive oiliness of the scalp. After a shampoo wash, add the juice of a lemon to half a mug of water and use it as the last rinse. Apply a non-oily, herbal hair tonic daily and leave it on. Avoid oil and creamy hair conditioners. Include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 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 vitamin and mineral supplements.

My nails are yellowish in colour. Pripsy

Some pastel nail polish colours can become yellowish after they're exposed to the sun. The nails too can acquire a yellowish tinge. To avoid this, use a transparent nail polish as a coat over the colour you have used. You can apply sunscreen on your nails too. To remove the yellow colour, add baking soda to water and soak your fingers in it daily for 15 minutes. You can also rub pieces of lemon on your nails. Or, add lemon juice to water and soak your hands in this for 10 minutes everyday. To get rid of the yellowish colour, scrape the surface of your nails with the fine-grain side of an emery board, so that the nails do not get damaged and then use a UV-resistant or clear polish for protection. It will also make dull nails shine.

Is there any harm in using after-shave lotions? Also, do after-shave lotions have a shelf life?Haseeb

Buy products manufactured by a reputed company. Most after-shave lotions contain alcohol. This can make the skin dry. So, use them sparingly. Look for an after-shave cream or gel. The expiry date should be mentioned on the label. Products should not be kept for too long. If there is any change in colour or smell, the product should not be used. Going past shelf-life date can affect its stability.

Will multani mitti make facial skin wrinkle or age? Can it be made at home? Saadhika

Multani mitti or Fuller's Earth benefits oily skin, since it helps absorb oil. It has an astringent effect too. It also tones and brightens the skin. It helps acne and pimple-prone skin by reducing oiliness and keeping the pores free of oil. Oily skin is not prone to early wrinkles. Multani mitti cannot be made at home. It is a natural clay and contains several minerals. Mix it with other ingredients and make a face pack.

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


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