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Ask Shahnaz


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

My skin is oily. Can I use curd mixed with rice powder daily on my face? Suggest a suitable facial mask. — Saranya

After washing your face, apply an astringent lotion or a skin tonic for oily skin. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face. Wash it off after it dries. Instead of using curd, mix rice powder with rose water and use it as a scrub twice a week. Or, mix oats with egg white and apply it on your face twice a week, washing it off after it dries. Ready-to-use scrubs are also available.

My hands are much darker than my face. What should I do to have even skin tone? — Preejitha

Massage your skin daily with sesame seed oil. Mix gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric and apply it at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. Then massage your skin with til oil, as recommended. To soften your skin and lighten its colour on your hands, take some sugar in your palm and add lemon juice. Rub this on the back of your hands; then wash it off. Or, take 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and 3 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Mix it together till it becomes a paste. Rub it on your hands, rinsing it off after 15 minutes.

I am 37. I have wrinkles on my face and black and red pimple marks. — Shanthi

Since your skin is pimple-prone, you may be having oily or combination skin. There may be superficial dryness of the outer layer, leading to wrinkles. If there are no pimples now, use a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on your face, rubbing the skin gently with small, circular movements, especially on the pimple marks. Wash it off. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face three times a week. Wash it off after it dries. Mix one teaspoon of pure glycerine with 100 ml of rose water and keep in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Apply a little of this lotion twice a day. It will relieve dryness and prevent early signs of ageing. Anti-blemish cream can be used on the pimple marks daily at night.

How can I remove dead cells from my face? — Tanvi

A facial scrub helps remove dead cells. Ready-to-use scrubs are available. Or, mix ground almonds or rice powder with curd and use it as a scrub. Dried and powdered lemon and orange peel, or mint leaves can be added to the scrub. Use it once or twice a week. Rub it gently on the face with small circular movements, and then wash it off.

While applying cream on the neck should it be done in a downward-upward direction or vice versa? — Jayam

For the neck, massage the cream upwards, using both hands. One hand should follow the other. The pressure should be from lower portion of the neck while bringing your hands back to the chin.

What is the difference between compact powder, loose powder and talcum powder? Which of the three is safe to use? Is there a herbal version of these powders? — Mythily

Compact powder is pressed powder and is used for the face. Loose powder is also face powder and, as its name implies, is not pressed. Compact powder is thicker than loose powder. Both are available in different shades. Talcum powder is used for the body to absorb sweat and make one feel fresh. Talcum powder contains talc, along with other ingredients. Talc is even used in baby powders, because it keeps the skin dry and prevents rashes. Talc is very soft. It is translucent with a pearl-like sheen. Other ingredients may be added to talc such as sandalwood, khus, ashwagandha and flower extracts.

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