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

Please suggest some home exercises to slim down and reduce my tummy and thighs. — Srujana

After consulting your doctor, you can do the following spot-reducing exercises daily. For the tummy, lie on the floor on your back, with feet together and arms at the sides. Lift the legs approximately six inches above the ground and hold the position for a count of 10. Then lower the legs to the floor. Repeat this three to four times and increase gradually. For the second exercise, lie on the floor, the same way. Bend the knees and keep feet flat on the floor. Raise the body to a half-sitting position, holding the arms stretched out before you. Lower your body to the floor and repeat three or four times. For thighs, lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place the left hand on the floor, palm downwards, in front of your chest. Lift your left leg approximately eight inches off the floor and hold it. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, try to raise the right leg and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this five times and then turn on your left side and repeat. You can also learn yoga and practise it daily.

I have dandruff. I wash my hair twice a week. Suggest a natural treatment. — Sowmiyan

You should wash the hair more often, but use less shampoo. Dilute it with a little water and then apply. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons of vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. Also, apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. 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 shampoo. 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 have it first thing in the morning.

I have dry skin. On my chin and forehead, I have pimples and black marks. Please help me. — Laxmi

You may be having a combination skin, where the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) is oily and the rest of the face is dry. Wash your face twice a day, morning and night with a medicated soap. Then wipe the pimple-prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply it on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix cinnamon (dalchini) powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey and make it into a sticky paste. Apply it only on the pimples daily and leave it on for one or two hours. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice, make it into a paste, and apply on the face two or three times a week. Wash it off when it dries. Avoid creams and moisturisers. Use only oil-free products. 

Please suggest suitable under eye care for winter, to prevent dry skin. — Radhika

Daily apply pure almond oil sparingly under the eyes and massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wipe it off with moist cotton wool. Mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply it under the eyes daily for 20 minutes. Wash it off with water. Or, beat egg white quite stiff. Apply it under the eyes for 15 minutes and rinse it with plain water. It helps to tighten the skin. You can also have a professional facial at a good beauty salon.

I have unwanted hair on the face, chest, stomach, hands and legs. Please suggest a permanent solution with home remedies. — Swathi

For hair on the body, the best hair removal option is waxing. Have it done at a good beauty salon. For facial hair, you can have threading and waxing done. The permanent hair removal method is said to be laser therapy. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which disables the hair follicle’s ability to produce hair. Re-growth occurs for some time in many cases. You need to find a good laser clinic. Find out how many sessions will be needed in your case and the costs. It is an expensive treatment. Home remedies do not remove hair, but are said to gradually lessen growth during a period of time. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash it off when it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub this on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair, but it may leave a yellowish tinge on the skin.

I have unwanted hair on the face, chest, stomach, hands and legs. Please suggest a permanent solution with home remedies. — Swathi

For hair on the body, the best hair removal option is waxing. Have it done at a good beauty salon. For facial hair, you can have threading and waxing done. The permanent hair removal method is said to be laser therapy. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which disables the hair follicle’s ability to produce hair. Re-growth occurs for some time in many cases. You need to find a good laser clinic. Find out how many sessions will be needed in your case and the costs. It is an expensive treatment. Home remedies do not remove hair, but are said to gradually lessen growth during a period of time. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash it off when it dries. Apply it once or twice a week. Apply a paste of turmeric powder and milk and rub this on the skin with a circular motion. It is said to discourage facial hair, but it may leave a yellowish tinge on the skin.

I live in Ireland. My skin is always dry. Before, my skin was naturally soft and good. What should I do? — Krishna

Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel, applying it on the face and wiping it off with moist cotton wool. Mix together a little milk with honey and apply it daily on the face. Wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Apply a sunscreen cream before going out in the sun. At night, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the face with a few drops of water. Wipe off the excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. If the skin still feels dry, apply a light moisturising lotion before bedtime.

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