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Updated: January 15, 2014 14:07 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Gul Panag
Gul Panag

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

I sweat a lot. Please suggest home remedies that would help eliminate body odour. — Pruthula

Use colognes. They are lighter and their fragrance lingers. They can also be added to bath water. Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) helps prevent body odour. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it under the arms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave it on for ten minutes, before washing it off. Or, mix a little baking soda with your talcum powder and apply it under the arms, or on the feet. Rose water can always be added generously to bath water. Or, add 2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool. For excessive perspiration, Ayurveda gives some dietary suggestions. Drink “nimbu paani.” Also drink ginger tea before and after your meals. Chop fresh ginger root finely and mix it with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this before your meal. Drinking warm water with your meal may also help. A light diet and a less intake of spices are advisable. Eat smaller meals.

I have acne marks. Suggest a skin care routine for clear and glowing skin. — Arifa

Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub it gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the marks. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off with water. Do not apply on pimples, acne or rashes. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix 3 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.

Can I wash my hair every day? What should I do to improve its growth? Will vitamin capsules help? — Visarth

You can apply oil once a week at night and wash your hair the next morning. If your hair and scalp are oily, avoid oil. You can wash your hair daily, but use very little shampoo. Only one application of shampoo is enough. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamin B-Complex and Vitamin C. Hair loss can occur due to oily scalp, dandruff, nutritional deficiencies, stress, etc. In men, hair loss can also be due to hormonal factors. Apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. Avoid a head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and a massage may aggravate the problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily, and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, and curd, in your diet.

My lips are turning black. What should I do to have pink lips? — Ranjani

The skin of the lips is very thin and delicate. However, after washing the face, when the lips are still wet, you can rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps to remove dead skin. Then apply cream of milk and leave it on for an hour. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream of milk before application. Apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave it on overnight. You can also look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Change your brand of lipstick, because the perfume in certain lipsticks can cause darkness as a reaction to sun-exposure.

I have a lot of white heads. On removal, they leave huge open pores. I use a facial scrub thrice a week, but it hasn’t helped. — Parimala

In whiteheads, the pores are not open. That is why they are difficult to remove. Removing them can leave open pores, or lead to pimples and acne. You can consult a dermatologist regarding this. Meanwhile, apart from using a scrub once or twice a week, try some home remedies. Make a paste of fenugreek (methi) leaves and apply it on the face daily, washing it off after an hour. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking barley water is also said to help prevent whiteheads.

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