Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. What should I do to get fair complexion on face and hands? I have oily skin.
A. For oily skin, use a facial scrub twice a week. Mix one teaspoon each of rose water and lemon juice and apply daily on the face, at any time. Wash off after 10 minutes. Mix multani mitti with lemon juice and rose water into a paste and apply three times a week. Wash it off when it is dry. To soften the skin and lighten skin colour of hands, take some sugar in your palm and add lemon juice. Rub this on the back of the hands and wash off. Take 2 tablespoons sunflower oil and 3 tablespoon coarse sugar. Mix together till it becomes a paste. Apply and rub into skin of hands. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
Q. I have white heads on my nose. Please suggest a home remedy to get rid of it. I have oily skin.
A. After washing the face, apply an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. The use of facial scrubs helps to discourage white heads. Some home remedies are also said to help the problem of whiteheads. Make a paste of fenugreek (methi) leaves and apply on the face daily, washing it off after half 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 want to straighten my hair, but my friends say that I will have hair fall. What should I do?
A. For hair straightening, chemical lotions and direct heat applications are used. You need to have it done by an expert hairdresser, so that the damage is limited. Also one has to take very good care of the hair afterwards. When the effect wears off, you will have to do the straightening again. You can use a hand-held dryer at home to straighten the hair. The effect will last till the next shampoo. After washing the hair, while the hair is still damp, divide it in sections. Hold the end of a section with a comb or brush. Holding it straight and slightly downwards, use the hand held dryer to dry the hair. Repeat this with each section. Hold the dryer at least 6 inches away from the hair. Please note that excessive use of the hair dryer can cause dryness of the hair.
Q. What is leave on conditioner? Suggest how to use it.
A. A leave on conditioner or hair serum helps to make the hair more manageable. It is not washed off after application, like other conditioners. Take very little and massage lightly into the hair. Do not wash off. Then comb the hair in your usual style. Or, take very little on your palm and rub both palms lightly together, so that it spreads. Then smooth the palms over the hair.
Q. I have very dry skin. I always apply lotions, but after wash it becomes dry. What should I do?
A. Use a mild glycerin soap, and use a cleansing cream or cleansing gel. Apply rose water after cleansing using cotton wool. Mix honey with a little milk, apply daily on the face. Wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun, and keep the skin well moisturized during the day. At night, after cleansing, apply nourishing cream or pure almond oil and massage it on the face with a few drops of water. Wipe off with moist cotton wool, 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.