Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. After sun-exposure, my complexion becomes dark. How to avoid this? How to get rid of blackheads?
A. Look for a non-oily sunscreen which also has anti-tan properties. To remove the tan, mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face. Wash it off when it dries. Blackheads occur on oily skin. The multani mitti pack will also reduce oiliness. After washing your face in the morning, wipe with an astringent lotion. Then, mix baking soda with water into a paste. Apply on the areas with blackheads. Wash off after five minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week Apply it on the face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Wash it off with plenty of water.
Q. I have so much dandruff and hair fall. Can I use fenugreek paste in the hair?
A. For dandruff, apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave it on. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three or four times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. After shampoo, add two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse.  Once a week, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp at night. Leave on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon 15 minutes before shampoo. Weekly henna treatments will also help. You can add fenugreek paste to the henna, along with 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough “tea water.”  Apply the henna on the hair and wash off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more tea water. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.
Q. I am 26 years old and have dark circles around my eyes. Please suggest a remedy.
Q. Some of the reasons for the formation of dark circles around eyes are hereditary factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep, sun-sensitivity, etc. So, along with external care, check these aspects. As a home remedy, daily apply pure almond oil sparingly (very little quantity) around eyes and massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply under eyes daily for 20 minutes. Wash off with water. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly under the eyes. Add a drop of water to it before applying, to give a lighter coverage.
Q. I have done too much steaming and have enlarged pores. Tell me home remedies to shrink pores.
A. Use a facial scrub to keep the pores free of clogged oil. Pore clogging also causes enlarged pores. After washing the face, apply astringent lotion on the open pores. You can also do cold compress with chilled rose water. Mix oats with egg white and apply the paste twice a week on the areas with pores. Wash it off when it is dry.
Q. I am very thin. What can I do?
There can be many causes for thinness. You should consult a doctor and check it out. Ensure that there is no illness or any feelings of fatigue. Like everyone else you should also eat nutritious food and a balanced diet. When you sit down for a meal, eat slowly and chew well. Exercise will also help, as it removes stress and also builds the muscles and give better shape to the figure. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and take regular exercise, have adequate sleep and learn to relax. You can be thin, but if your body is healthy, strong, toned and resistant to disease, you need not worry.
Q. I have a combination skin. During winter it is very dry and I get dark patches. Suggest a moisturizer that will not cause break-outs.
A. You can use a light liquid moisturiser. Add a few drops of water before application for a lighter coverage. Or, you can mix one teaspoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion to moisturize the skin, whenever it feels dry. For dark patches, take 2 teaspoons curd, add a pinch of turmeric and apply on the dark patches daily. Wash off with plenty of water after 20 minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Rub gently on the skin with small circular motions, specially on the dark patches. Wash off with water.
Shahnaz Husain, internationally acclaimed for Ayurvedic beauty care and a Harvard Subject on “Emerging Markets,” received the Padma Shri Award and is the first woman in 104 years to receive the World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Success Award.