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Updated: February 12, 2014 20:56 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Take care of your skin
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Take care of your skin

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

Can I apply olive oil on my face for dry skin? Will there be side effects? — Kavitha

If the skin is dry, olive oil may be used on the face and body. There will not be any side effects on dry skin. Add half a teaspoon of honey to one teaspoon of olive oil and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes, or wipe it off with moist cotton wool. However, for dry skin, moisturisers should also be applied. Honey is a natural moisturiser. Aloe vera can also be applied on the face and then washed off with water after 20 minutes.

I have dark circles under my eyes. Will orange peel help get rid of them? — Chandrasekar

Dark circles are caused by hereditary factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep and sun sensitivity. So, along with external care, you should check these aspects. Apply pure almond oil sparingly around the eyes daily and massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes before wiping it off gently with moist cotton wool. Dried and powdered orange peel can be added to face scrubs.

What’s the right method of oiling one’s hair? Is it necessary to apply oil on the scalp? Does excess oil lead to hair loss? How long should oil be left on before washing? — Akansha

If your scalp is not oily, you may apply oil on the scalp and hair. If there is dandruff, apply oil on your scalp with cotton wool and rub it gently to dislodge the flakes. Oil may also be applied on the hair and the ends. Avoid rubbing. Gently massage your scalp with you fingers, moving the scalp using small, circular movements. This helps stimulate blood circulation to the follicles. Oil may also be applied at night and left on overnight. Or, apply it during the day and leave it on for an hour before washing your hair. If your hair is oily, avoid oil application, as excess oiliness can lead to hair loss.

I delivered my baby two months ago by Caesarean section. What can I do to reduce my tummy and get into shape again? — Angela

First, consult your doctor and check if you can start exercising. Try the following exercises. Lie on the floor, facing upwards, with your feet together and arms at the sides. Lift your legs approximately six inches from the ground and hold this position for a count of ten. Then lower your legs to the floor. Repeat this exercise three or four times and increase the number of repetitions gradually. For the second exercise, keep lying on the floor. Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor. Raise your body to a half-sitting position, with your arms stretched out in front of you. Lower your body to the floor and repeat the exercise three or four times. Ask your doctor to suggest a suitable diet.

Suggest natural conditioners that will make frizzy hair silky, shiny and smooth. — Anjali

Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then immerse a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner; leave it on for two minutes before rinsing it off. When your hair is dry, put two drops of a light vegetable oil, like sunflower oil in your palms. Rub them lightly together, so that the oil spreads on both palms. Smooth your palms over you hair. Or, take the ends of you hair in your palms and scrunch them. Leave the oil on. Or, mix some water with creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your hair. Then comb your hair, so that it spreads right through.

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