Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. The size of my waist size exceeds 40 inches. Please tell me how to reduce it?
A. After consulting with your doctor, you can do the following spot reducing exercises for the waist. Sit on the floor with the legs spread slightly wide. Raise the arms up and keeping them straight, bend from the waist, first towards the right, then front and then to the left. Come back to position. Repeat this five times, starting with the right side and then five times, starting with the left side. For next exercise, stand straight, feet slightly apart and then bend sideways to the right. The right arm should relax by your side and the left arm rests on the head. Bend as far right as possible. Come back to position and do the same towards the left, reversing the arm positions. Do this five times on each side.
Q. How to remove and prevent blackheads on face?
A. Blackheads occur on oily skin or oily areas of the skin. After washing the face in the morning, wipe the blackhead prone areas with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. In the morning after washing the face, make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and water. Apply the paste on the areas with blackheads daily and wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub three times a week on the blackhead prone areas. You can either buy a facial scrub or you can mix rice powder with rose water and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the areas with blackheads and rub gently on the skin using small circular movements. Leave on for 5 minutes and then wash off with water. Or, you can mix egg white with oats and apply on the areas with blackheads twice a week. Wash it off when it is dry. You can go for regular clean-up at a beauty salon.
Q. My elbows are dark and rough. How can I lighten them?
A. Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin. Make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply the paste on elbows at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily. If there are eruptions, apply sandalwood paste. If there are only blackheads, use a scrub.
Q. I have a combination skin which is sensitive. Please suggest a home remedy.
A. After washing the face, apply chilled rose water, using cotton wool. This helps to add a glow and also improves blood circulation to the skin surface. If the skin is prone to pimples or rash, add a little rose water to sandalwood paste and apply on the face daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Mix one teaspoon pure glycerin to 100 ml rose water and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge. Apply a little of this lotion daily to moisturize the skin and relieve dryness. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal 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. It will protect the youthful qualities of the skin.
Q. I feel so embarrassed by the unwanted hair on my face. Tell me some home remedies to remove them.
A. You can go to a beauty salon and have waxing done. Home remedies do not remove facial hair. They are said to lessen facial hair growth if used regularly over a period of time. You may try any of the following remedies for discouraging facial 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 facial hair, but it may leave a slight yellowish colour on the skin.
Q. I have dry skin. So what natural products will make the face look brighter?
A. For dry skin, you can apply ingredients like honey and milk. Add a little milk to the honey and apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Applying curd also helps to brighten the skin. You can add a pinch of turmeric to the curd. Ripe papaya pulp mixed with curd can be applied to brighten the skin. Ingredients like orange juice can be added to face masks. For dry skin, you can apply a little pure almond oil daily at night and massage it on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.
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.