Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to askshahnaz@gmail.com

I have open pores on my face. Suggest a home remedy.Renu

After cleansing, apply an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Or, mix cucumber juice, lemon juice and rose water in equal quantities and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after it dries. This helps reduce oiliness and close the pores. Mix rose water with rice flower and apply it on the oily areas. Rub it gently on your skin with small circular movements. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Mix oats with egg white and apply it on the areas with open pores twice a week. Wash it off after it dries.

My feet are dark and rough, and I have cracked heels.Nanditha

Follow a one-week daily treatment for cracked heels. At night, before retiring to bed, soak your feet in hot water for 20 minutes, after adding coarse salt and shampoo to the water. With the help of a pumice stone or a scrubber, rub your heels gently, in order to remove the dead cells. Avoid metal scrubbers. After washing your feet, massage them with a cream. Then, apply the cream generously on the heels. Bandage the heels with a clean cloth. Wear cotton socks and go to sleep. Keeping the heels smeared with cream all night will soften the skin and replenish moisture loss. Repeat this every night for one week. If there is pain or bleeding, consult your doctor.

I had many pimples on my face and they have left scars.Shreya

Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on the face, rubbing the skin gently with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on your face. 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 your eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

My hair is rough and dry. What should I do to have soft, smooth and shiny hair?Srimukhi

Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Then dip 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 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and the scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo taking care to rinse it off well with water. After a shampoo wash, apply a creamy conditioner. Massage just a little of it lightly into the hair. Leave it on for two minutes before rinsing it off. Or, you can apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. Apply it in the same way, but do not rinse it off.

I have dark spots and dark circles around my right eye.Ashmi

The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate. Dark circles around the eyes are due to hereditary factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep and sun sensitivity. So, along with external care, check these aspects. As a home remedy, daily apply pure almond oil sparingly around the eyes. Massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute around each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes before wiping it off gently with moist cotton wool. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply it around the eyes daily for 20 minutes and then wash it off. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly around your eyes. Add a drop of water to it before applying to give a lighter coverage.

Suggest some home remedies to get rid of facial hair especially on the upper lip.

Sukanya

Home remedies do not help remove facial hair. But, they are said to lessen the growth if used regularly over a period of time. You may try the following remedies to discourage the growth. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash it off after it dries. Apply it once or twice a week.

Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub it on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair, but it may leave a slight yellowish colour on the skin.