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Updated: September 22, 2013 14:18 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Juhi Chawla
The Hindu
Juhi Chawla

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

I have a black mark around my mouth and dry skin. Suggest a solution. — Priya

Apply sunscreen on your face 20 minutes before going out in the sun. If you stay in the sun for a long time, re-apply the sunscreen. Add a pinch of turmeric to yogurt and apply it daily on the dark area. Wash it off after 20 minutes. For dry skin, take four tablespoons of milk and add four to five drops of any vegetable oil like sesame seed (til) oil or sunflower oil. Put this in a jar and shake it well. Immerse cotton wool in this mixture and use it to wipe and cleanse the skin. Keep the left-over mixture in the fridge. At night, after cleansing, massage your face with a nourishing cream diluted in a few drops of water. Wipe off excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. Mix wheat bran with a pinch of turmeric and cream of milk or milk, into a paste. Apply this on your face, once or twice a week, avoiding the area around the eyes. After 15 minutes, dampen the mask with a little water and remove it by rubbing the skin gently. Then rinse your face well with water.

Suggest a remedy for dandruff. — Nabeelah

Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three or four times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing it off well with water. Half an hour before a shampoo wash, massage your scalp lightly with two tablespoons of vinegar. Once a week, heat olive oil or til oil, and apply it on the scalp at night. Leave it on overnight. The next morning, apply the juice of a lemon 15 minutes before a shampoo wash. 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 the hair, washing it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water. Include fruits, salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. 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.

I have split ends. What should I do to get rid of them? — Ankita

Cutting off the split ends is the only remedy. Then give your hair proper and regular care. Avoid tying the hair tightly with rubber bands. Avoid using hair dryers and brushes. Use a wide-toothed comb. Twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply it on your hair. Apply it on the ends too. 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. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo and rinse well with water. After a shampoo wash, lightly massage your hair with just a little creamy conditioner. Apply it on the ends too. Leave it on for two minutes before rinsing it off. Or, you can apply a leave-in type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse it off.

I have dark patches on my knees, elbows and ankles. Is it just dead skin? Will bleaching help? — Rhea

The skin on the ankles, knees and elbows is thicker than the skin on the rest of the parts of the body. Some of the causes for dark elbows, knees and ankles are dry skin, accumulation of dead cells, sun sensitivity, and friction. Bleaching may make the skin drier. Rub lemon halves daily on the ankles, elbows and knees. Wash it off and then massage the skin with sesame seed oil. Make a paste of gram flour, curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric. Apply the paste on these areas at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.

Suggest a remedy for an oily face. What make up should I use? — Sandhya

After washing your face, wipe it with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply it on your face daily, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after it dries. For make up, use compact powder with a beige or biscuit tone. It helps reduce the oily look.


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