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Ask Shahnaz


Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. You can send your queries to shahnaz_press@yahoo.co.in

How does one use multani mitti? How many times can it be used and what are the advantages? Dhivya

Multani mitti is more suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. For oily skin, it can be used two to three times a day. If the skin is very oily, it can even be used daily. It can be mixed with rose water into a paste and then applied. It is washed off when it is dry. You can add lemon juice or sandalwood paste, for pimple prone skin. For dry skin, other ingredients like honey and curd can be added and applied once or twice a week. Multani mitti helps reduce oiliness, tighten the pores and make the skin clear.

My skin is dry and flaky. What can I do to improve it? Smita

If the skin is flaky, it means it lacks moisture. Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel. Or, add a few drops of sunflower oil to cold milk and lightly massage it on the face. Wipe it off with moist cotton wool dipped in rose water. Mix honey with a little milk and apply it daily, washing it off after 20 minutes. Apply moisturising cream for the day, or sunscreen before going out in the sun. At night, apply a nourishing cream daily and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water. Wipe it off with moist cotton wool at bedtime. Honey, almond oil or egg yolk can be applied on dry skin.

The skin on my body looks dry and after a bath has white flakes. — Santhana

Apply til oil (gingelly oil) or olive oil daily before a bath. While bathing, rub your body with a moist towel. You can use a mild glycerine soap for bathing. Immediately after a bath, apply body lotion or oil, while the skin is still damp. This helps seal in moisture. You can also add a little turmeric (haldi) to curd and apply it before a bath.

Suggest home remedies for puffy eyes. Remya

First, consult a doctor to ensure that your kidneys and sinuses are functioning well. Ask for dietary advice too. Do not leave make-up or cream on around your eyes at night. It can lead to puffiness around the eyes. Try these simple home remedies. Apply an iced water or cold milk compress directly on your closed lids, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes. Or soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and place them beneath your eyes for 10-15 minutes. It’s a good idea to lie down and rest while you do this. Grated potatoes or potato juice applied around the eyes helps reduce puffiness.

I have open pores and black marks which disfigure my face. — Kavitha

Use a facial scrub two or three times a week. Mix rice powder with rose water and apply it on the areas with open pores and marks. Do not apply it on pimples. Rub it gently on the skin with small circular movements and wash it off with water. Twice a week, mix oatmeal with curd and apply it on the face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

My hair becomes oily the very next day after shampooing it. My scalp is oily, but the ends of the hair are dry. Ankita

Washing does not harm the hair. In fact, you can even wash it daily, but use very little shampoo and rinse well with water. Only one application of shampoo is enough. After a shampoo, add the juice of a lemon to half a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Add 4 tsp 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 then cooling and straining the liquid. Apply the henna on the hair and wash it off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water.

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