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Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to shahnaz_press@yahoo.co.inWhat is a face cleansing cream? How should I use it? Mitra

A cleansing cream is recommended for cleansing dry skin, instead of soap which can cause further dryness. If your skin is normal to dry, then apply a cleansing cream or gel with a light massage and then wipe it off with moist cotton wool. For normal to oily, or combination skin, apply a cleansing lotion in the same way. If the skin is oily, with pimples, a medicated cleanser should be used. Cleansing preparations dissolve dirt, pollutants and make-up and remove them more easily from the surface of the skin.

How can I take care of my hair and skin when I go swimming? Lakshmi

Swimming in an open pool exposes the hair and skin to the sun. This results in dryness and damaged skin. Chlorine can also make the skin and the hair dry. Wet the hair well before a swim. The hair is porous, but can absorb only that much and no more. Rinse the hair after a swim. If the hair is dry, use a creamy conditioner after shampooing it. Wear a swimming cap. For the skin, apply a waterproof sunscreen lotion, 20 minutes before your swim. Mix honey with curd and apply it daily on the skin, washing it off after 20 minutes.

My nails break easily when I try to grow them. Suggest a remedy. Seema

If your nails are brittle, massage them daily with cream or pure almond oil. Include adequate protein and calcium in your diet in the form of skimmed milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, fish and sprouts. Dissolve one teaspoon of gelatine in a little boiling water. Cool the water and add it to fruit juice. Drink this daily for ten days.

My cheeks have started sagging. What can I do to tighten them? Shailaja

If your skin is normal to dry, massage it daily with a nourishing cream. With the middle and third fingers, massage outwards from the chin to below the ear lobes, from the mouth to the ears and from the sides of the nose to the temples, in a spiralling motion. Try a facial exercise daily. Keep your teeth and lips closed and blow air under your top lip and hold it for 10 counts, then move the air to your left cheek and hold it for 10 counts, to your lower lip and to your right cheek again for 10 counts each. Repeat this exercise five times.

I have a round face and am fair-complexioned. My eyebrows are thick, black and untidy. How can I groom them?Neha

For a round face, the brows should be arched and angular. The peak or angle should be more towards the end of the brow, and not at the centre. The ends of the brows should arch towards the top of the ear. Pluck one hair at a time with a tweezer. Do not pluck hair from above the brows. Start from the middle and go towards the end. Again start from the middle and go towards the inner corner. Avoid plucking too much at the ends. The brows should extend beyond the outer corners of eyes. The arch should not be too high. Apply an astringent before and after plucking the brows.

I am suffering from dandruff and hair loss. I use an anti-dandruff shampoo, but when I stop using it, the dandruff recurs. Is it true that conditioners should not be used on dandruff ? Priya

Avoid using a creamy conditioner, as it can clog the pores. Wash the hair four times a week, using less shampoo and rinse well with water. Half an hour before shampooing, apply two tablespoons of vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. Once a week, heat til oil and apply on the scalp at night. The next day, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash the hair after half an hour. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yoghurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.

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