Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to shahnaz_press@yahoo.co.in

How can I find out whether I have dry or combination skin? — Maithreyi

You can know your skin type by the look and feel of your skin. Oily skin or oily areas are prone to open pores, blackheads, pimples, spots and acne. In dry skin, the pores are fine. The skin feels taut after washing. When you wake up in the morning, wipe your face with a tissue, before washing or cleansing it. If the tissue is clean, you have normal to dry skin. If the tissue becomes stained or greasy, you have normal to oily skin. Use different tissues for different areas, wiping the forehead, nose and chin with one tissue and using another to wipe the cheeks. This will help ascertain whether you have combination skin.

My upper lips, the sides of my lips and chin are darker than the rest of my face. My nose becomes oily during the day. What skin type do I have? — Shilpa

You may have combination skin. The skin of my lips is thin and delicate. After washing your face, when your lips are wet, rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps remove dead skin. Then apply cream of milk and leave it on for an hour.

Apply pure almond oil daily on your lips at night, leaving it on overnight. Change your brand of lipstick, because the perfume in certain lipsticks can cause darkness as a reaction to sun-exposure.

For the chin, use a facial scrub on the dark area twice a week. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it on your chin daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. For the oily area on your nose, 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 nose and chin two or three times a week. Wash it off when it is dry.

What should I do to get a flat stomach? — Selvi

Learn yoga and practice it daily. Or, after consulting your doctor, do the following spot reducing exercises for the abdomen.

First, lie on the floor on your back, with feet together and arms at your sides. Lift your legs about six inches above the ground and hold this position for a count of ten. Then lower your legs to the floor.

Repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times and increase the number of times gradually. For the second exercise, lie on the floor, the same way. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.

Raise your body to a half-sitting position, with your arms stretched out before you. Lower your body to the floor and repeat the exercise 3 or 4 times.

More In: METRO PLUS | FEATURES