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

I have dark patches caused by sun exposure. I do not use sunscreen. Is there a remedy for the problem? — Deepshikha

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a scrub once or twice a week. Apply it only on the dark patches, rubbing the skin gently with tiny circular movements. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily only on the dark patches. Wash it off after 15 minutes with water. 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 the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

I have a lot of pimples on my face. Suggest remedies. — Gagana

Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and in the night, with a medicated soap. Then wipe it with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Or, boil neem leaves over a low flame. Cool and strain the liquid. Make a paste of the leaves and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after half an hour. Mix cinnamon powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey into a sticky paste. Apply it only on the pimples daily, leaving it on for one or two hours. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply it on your face two or three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. Avoid creams and moisturisers. Include fresh 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. 

My nine-month-old daughter has hair on her upper lip. What should I do to get rid of it? — Chandra

You daughter’s skin is tender, so you cannot resort to the usual hair removal methods. Many infants and children have downy hair on the face and body, which disappears, as they grow older. However, you can mix flour and milk into a stiff dough (like chappati dough). Hold Rub the dough gently on the skin daily, the way you would use a sponge or loofah. It should not be a paste and is not to be applied. Flour and milk make a pliable dough that can be used on the tender skin of children. Rubbing the dough daily on the skin is said to gradually lessen hair growth.

My hair is sticky and looks thin. Suggest a natural remedy that will improve its thickness? — Lavanya

Oil and sweat can make the hair sticky. Wash your hair at least four times a week, using just a little shampoo and taking care to rinse it off well. After a shampoo wash, add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Avoid oil application. Henna treatment will also help. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough tea water to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Tea water can be made by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water, and cooling and straining the liquid. Apply the henna on your hair and wash it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water. You should include fresh 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 want to get rid of my tan as soon as possible. — Vamikha

Mix ground almonds with yogurt. Apply the paste on your face and arms. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Mix together gram flour, yogurt and lemon juice into a paste and apply it. Add a pinch of turmeric to curd and apply it daily. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. Dry, powdered lemon and orange peel can also be added. Add a little saffron to cold milk. Apply it on your face daily with cotton wool. Wash it off after 20 minutes.

Suggest a way to get rid of dark circles and wrinkles under the eyes. — Rayeesa

Apply almond cream around the eyes. Or, daily, apply pure almond oil sparingly around the eyes, massaging the skin lightly, 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. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply this under your eyes daily for 20 minutes. Wash it off with water. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly under the eyes. Add a drop of water to it before applying, to give a lighter coverage.

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