Return of the radiance

THANK YOU for all your queries and responses and now readers want to share their very own beauty tips. So, if you have some excellent home beauty tips passed on to you by your grandmother, friends and aunts, do write and share them with everyone.

This time there have been lots of queries on enlarged pores; so, here is how to deal with them.

Enlarged pores

The over activity of the sebaceous glands usually results with enlarged pores on your skin. Oil is secreted by the glands through the pores of the skin, causing the pores to get clogged when the oil hardens. The excessive secretion of oil and clogging of pores over a period of time thickens them and makes them enlarged. The skin begins to look coarse, loses its smooth, porcelain quality. Large pores are nothing more than the skin surface outlet of a large (more active) gland.

THERE ARE three main factors directly responsible for the formation of enlarged pores.

1. Deliberate picking and touching of pimples:

If you pick the acne pustules by squeezing them or make artificial opening to take out white heads, it forms pits and uneven indentations which gives rise to large pores.

2. Improper cleansing:

Proper cleansing is foremost in every kind of skin-care routine. Unless the dead skin surface and make-up grease are removed, they tend to deposit in the skin pores and restrain the flow of oil. The oil deposits attract grime and grease and apply pressure on the mouth of the pores and this widens it.

3. Use of wrong cosmetics:

Beauty soaps enriched in oil, make-up products that are oil-based and creams worsen the oily skin conditions and therefore, their use is prohibited if you tend to be prone to acne and enlarged pores.

Treatment for large pores:

Large pores can easily be dealt with proper cleansing and frequent toning of the skin. A large number of vegetables and fruits and herbs help in tightening enlarged pores.

Dos & Don'ts

* Do not pick or squeeze acne, white heads and pustules.

* Apply minimum make-up if skin condition is oily.

* Clean your face at least three times a day with a light soap and water.

* Use an alcohol-based astringent several times a day to tone the skin pores.

* Use water-based cosmetics and powder.

Homemade treatments:

Cleanser: Make a thick paste of corn-meal or broken wheat (dhalia) in some buttermilk or cucumber juice. Use it on the face for 15 minutes and rinse it off. This is an excellent treatment for large pores and also helps to improve the texture of the skin.

Astringent for large pores: Mix one tablespoon of cucumber juice and one tablespoon of Benzoin (available with chemists) and one tablespoon of cologne - mix these in five tablespoons of rose water. Use this mixture several times a day to clean the oily skin or you could just keep some rose water in the refrigerator, in a bowl with cotton pads soaking in it. Wipe your skin several times during the day and also pat your skin briskly with it. Rose extract helps to close the pores and improves skin texture.

Queries answered

SEETHA FROM Chennai used to get facials done, but stopped as she developed pimples. She wants to know if she can go for facials again. She also has developed scars. She wants to know a suitable facial.

* Seetha - You can get an Acne Facial done. Here there are no massages given, so it will not irritate the pimples; but a series of packs are applied. Make sure you get a high frequency treatment, as it will dry your pimples.

* Lata has very frizzy and unruly hair. She wants to know of a daily hair-care regimen. She also wants to know what sort of mehndi to use for her hair.

Lata - the first thing you should do is to use the correct shampoo and conditioner for frizzy hair. The L'oreal Liss extreme shampoo and conditioner is excellent. It is a moisturising shampoo for frizzy hair. It contains an amino-essence complex and ceramide to smoothen the hair texture. The Kit is available at all L'oreal salons. If you do not get the above, buy a nourishing cream conditioner like Protein Plus or Flex, apply after shampoo, comb it through and rinse it off.

You can use powdered henna available in the market for conditioning. Mix henna with 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and pinch of sugar, make it into a paste, apply on hair and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with water. This is an excellent conditioner for frizzy hair.

* Neeta has a problem of dark underarms and a black patch on her back.

Neeta - sometimes the dark patch is due to the accumulation of dead skin. Use the following scrub twice-a-week - mix besan with milk and 2-3 drops of lemon and apply it. Let it dry and rub in circular motion and wash with water.

* Kanchana wants to know about using a herbal shampoo with a chemical conditioner. She wants to know what conditioner to use and know if it is safe to use an anti friz cream.

Kanchana - it is always better to use the shampoo and conditioner of the same company. As your hair has become dry, use the L'oreal Liss repair shampoo and conditioner. They are good and available at all L'oreal salons. Use anti friz gel sparingly.

A number of gentlemen readers want to know where they can trim their eyebrows.

All unisex salons including Salon 2000, Limelight Salon, Salon Nayana trim mens eyebrows.

Readers' tips:

LAKSHMI PADMANABHAN wants to share her tips for preventing premature grey hair.

* Take mango kernels after you have eaten them, wash thoroughly and dry in sun till they shrink.

Then burn these kernels to make black ash and store in a bottle.

Mix with water as a paste and apply all over the hair and leave it on for one hour and wash with shikakai powder or herbal shampoo.

This treatment should be done once a month.

LILY MADHOK therapeutic nutritionist., dietician and beautician, will answer queries relating to beauty in this column. She is the Director of Salon 2000, ITC Park Sheraton. E-mail queries to

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