Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care
Q. I sweat a lot. Please give me home remedies for body odour.
A. Ayurveda gives some dietary suggestions for excessive sweating. Sip “nimbu paani.” Sip ginger tea before and after your meals. Chop fresh ginger root finely and mix with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this before your meal. Sipping warm water with your meal may also help. Light diet and less spices are advised. Eat smaller meals. Use Colognes. They are lighter and leave a light lingering fragrance. They can also be added to bath water. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply under the arms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave on for ten minutes and wash off with water. Or, mix a little baking soda with your talcum powder and apply under the arms. Or, add 2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.
Q. I have acne marks. Tell me a skin care routine for clear and glowing skin.
A. Mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the marks. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Do not apply on pimples, acne or rash. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily on the face. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons oats with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.
Q. Can I wash my hair dauly? What to do for hair growth? Can I take vitamin capsules?
A. You can wash your hair daily, but use less shampoo. You can apply oil once a week at night and wash hair the next morning. If your hair and scalp are oily, avoid oil. Ask your doctor to prescribe Vitamin B-Complex and Vitamin C. Hair loss can occur due to oily scalp, dandruff, nutritional deficiencies, stress, etc. In men, hair loss can also be due to hormonal factors.  Apply non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, curd, in your diet.
Q. My lips are turning black. What should I do for pink lips?  
A. The skin of the lips is very thin and delicate. However, after washing the face, when the lips are wet, you can rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps to remove dead skin. Then apply cream of milk and leave on for an hour. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream of milk before application. Apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave on overnight. You can also look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Change your brand of lipstick, because the perfume in certain lipsticks can cause darkness as a reaction to sun-exposure.
Q. I have a lot of white heads. On removal, they leave huge open pores. I use scrub thrice a week. Please suggest a remedy.
A. In whiteheads the pores are not open. That is why they are difficult to remove. Removing them can leave open pores, or lead to pimples and acne. You can consult a dermatologist about it. Meanwhile, apart from using a scrub once or twice a week, try some home remedies. Make a paste of fenugreek (methi) leaves and apply on the face daily, washing it off after an hour. Grated potato or potato juice may also be applied. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. 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 help whiteheads.
Q. I have lots of unwanted hair on my legs. Please suggest some home remedy to get rid of them.
A. Waxing is the best option for hair removal from the legs. You can have it done at a beauty salon. Waxing removes hair by the roots and gradually lessens hair growth over a period of time.
Home remedies do not remove hair. But, also lessen hair growth if used regularly over a period of time. You may try the following remedies for discouraging hair growth. Make a thick paste of sugar, lemon juice and water and apply it in the direction of hair growth. Wash 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 hair, but it may leave a slight yellowish colour on the skin.