Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care:
Q. Please suggest suitable under eye care for winter, to prevent dry skin.
A. Daily apply pure almond oil sparingly under 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. Mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities with a few drops of honey. Apply under eyes daily for 15 minutes. Wash off gently with water.
Q. My brother has a dark complexion and oily skin. What can he do to lighten colour?
A. After cleansing, he should apply an astringent lotion. Or he can mix cucumber juice and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily on the face. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. This reduces oiliness and would help to lighten skin colour too. He should use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply on face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Wash off with water. Mix 3 teaspoons multani mitti with 2 teaspoons rose water and one teaspoon lemon juice into a paste and apply on face three twice a week. Wash off when dry. It reduces oiliness and also lightens skin colour.
Q. Please tell me the remedy for cracked heels.
A. Apply almond oil daily before bath. Immediately after bath, apply cream and massage it into the skin while the skin is still damp. Apart from daily care, try this one-week’s intensive treatment. At night, before bedtime, soak your feet in warm water for 15 minutes, after adding some salt. Then scrub the heels with a pumice stone or heel scrubber. Avoid metal scrubbers. Then apply cream and massage into the skin. Next, apply the cream generously on the heels and bandage them with a clean cloth. Wear cotton socks and go to sleep. This really helps to soften the skin. Do this every night for one week and see the difference.
Q. My scalp is oily and I am losing my hair a lot. Which shampoo and oil is good for hair?
A. Oily hair and scalp can lead to hair loss. Apply non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Avoid oil applications. Wash the hair 3 or 4 times a week, with herbal shampoo, using less shampoo. Rinse well with water. Only one application of shampoo is enough. After shampoo, add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. Apply egg white on the hair 15 minutes before shampoo. It helps to reduce oiliness. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily for healthy hair growth. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.
Q. I have dandruff. I wash my hair twice a week. Suggest a natural treatment.
A. Use less shampoo. Dilute with a little water and then apply. Apply a non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Once a week, heat olive oil or til 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 help. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
Q. Please tell me a permanent solution of home remedies for unwanted facial hair.
A. The permanent hair removal method is said to be laser therapy. Re-growth may occur for some time in many cases. You need to find a good laser clinic. Find out how many sessions will be needed in your case and the costs. It is an expensive treatment. Home remedies do not remove hair, but may lessen growth over a period of time. 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 facial hair, but it may leave a yellowish tinge on the skin.
Q. My skin is always dry. What should I do?
A. Avoid soap and use a cleansing cream or gel, applying it on the face and wiping off with moist cotton wool. Mix together a little milk with honey and apply it daily on the face. Wash off with plain water after 15 minutes. Apply sunscreen cream before going out in the sun. At night, apply nourishing cream and massage it on the face with a few drops of water. Wipe off excess cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. If the skin still feels dry, apply a light moisturising lotion before bedtime.
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.