Ask Shahnaz

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

I have a few lines on my forehead which make me look old. What should I do to get rid of them? — Preethi

The lines may be expression lines. If you do not have oily skin, massage your forehead daily with nourishing cream. Starting from the bridge of the nose and using both hands, go slightly upwards and then in an arc sideways on either side, towards the temples. Bring your hands back to the starting point and repeat. The pressure of the massage should be outwards, towards the temples. Apply a face mask twice a week. Mix 2 teaspoons of oatmeal with egg white and one teaspoon each of ground almonds, honey and curd. Apply the mixture on your face, avoiding the lips and the area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also have regular salon facials, with a professional facial massage and mask.

I am tall and my face is oval. Suggest a suitable hairstyle and dress. Suggest a good scrub for my oily skin. — Eishwarya

Most hairstyles suit oval faces. Avoid a hairstyle that adds height to the top of the head. Take a side parting and a light fringe. You can have a layered cut, with the layers turning slightly inwards. If you are tall, wear outfits in contrasting colours, i.e. wear trousers and top, or skirt and top, or kurta and churidar in contrasting colours.

Tall people can wear striking contrasts, bold prints and heavy fabrics. Since you have oily skin, mix oats with egg white and apply it on your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Then moisten it with water and rub it gently on the skin with small circular movements. Wash it off. Dried and powdered lemon and orange peel can also be added to the scrub.

I'm very thin. Suggest a diet to help me put on some weight. — Aiman

Consult your doctor to make sure that you are healthy. Like everyone else you should have a balanced diet. Eat slowly and enjoy the food. Exercise, as it gives better shape to the figure and builds the body. You should also have adequate relaxation.

Suggest how I can remove white heads. —Aishu

Since the pores are not open, white heads are difficult to remove. They should not be pinched with the nails to remove them. This can lead to infection and leave marks on the skin. Facial scrubs help discourage white heads. If the skin is dry, use the scrub only once a week, and only on the areas with white heads. For oily skin, scrubs can be used more often. Home remedies may help. Make a paste of fenugreek (methi) leaves and apply it daily on the face, washing it off after an hour. Grated potato or potato juice may also be applied. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on the affected area once or twice a week. Wash it off after it dries. Drink 8 glasses of water daily. Include fresh fruit juices too, but they should be diluted with water. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking barley water is also said to prevent white heads.

How can I get rid of dry skin on the legs and soles. —Banusree

Apply sesame seed (til) oil daily before a bath on the legs and feet. Use a mild glycerine soap. Immediately after a bath, massage cream on these areas while the skin is still damp. This helps seal in the moisture. Follow a one-week treatment for the feet. At night before going to bed, soak your feet in hot water for about 15 minutes. Add some coarse salt to the water, before soaking your feet. Rub your feet gently with the help of a pumice stone or a heel scrubber to remove the dead cells. Avoid metal scrubbers . After washing your feet, massage them with a good cream. Bandage your feet with a clean cloth, or cotton wool and surgical gauze. Wear cotton socks and go to sleep. It will soften the skin and replenish moisture loss. Repeat this treatment every night for a week.

I have dry skin. Should I use cleansing milk for a bath instead of soap? What is the difference between cleansing milk and cream/gel? Is it necessary to use astringent/moisturiser after cleansing? Suggest a suitable salon facial. — Mani

For dry skin on the face, use a cleansing cream and avoid soap. The difference between cleansing milk or cream lies in the consistency of the product. Milk is in the lotion form, while a gel is lighter than a cream. For the body, use a mild glycerine soap. After cleansing, apply moisturiser on your face. An astringent will make the skin very dry. Apply body lotion immediately after a bath, while the skin is still damp. This helps seal in moisture. At night, apply a nourishing cream on the face and massage it for a few minutes with a few drops of water. Wipe it off with moist cottonwool at bedtime. At the salon, go for a normal facial-cum-massage.




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