Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care, Excerpts:
Q. I am 45 years old. My skin looks pale and dull. There is no glow in my face. Is this a sign of ageing? Please tell me how to take care of my skin.
A. Lines, wrinkles, dark spots, can be signs of ageing. Pale skin may mean lack of proper blood circulation to the skin surface. Keep rose water in a bowl in the fridge. Soak cotton wool pads in it and wipe the face with. Then, pat the face briskly with the cotton wool pads. Use a face mask once or twice a week. Mix oats with egg white and one teaspoon each of honey and curd. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes and wash it off after half an hour. It would help to brighten the face. At night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the face, with a few drops of water, using outward and slightly upward strokes. Wipe off the cream with moist cotton wool before bedtime. Apply a sunscreen before going out in the sun.
Q. I have a problem of oily hair and hair fall. I apply oil and apply conditioner after shampoo. Is it because of the conditioning? Also, whenever I wax, I get boils on my upper arms. Please advise
A. If you have oily hair, creamy conditioner may make it oilier. Add the juice of a lemon to half a mug of water and use as a last rinse after shampoo. Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily with cotton wool and leave on. If your hair is very oily, avoid oil applications. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, yogurt, in your diet. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.
Q. Whenever I wax, I get boils on my upper arms. Please advise.
A. Very often, the hot wax reacts on the skin, leading to small eruptions. You can apply an astringent lotion immediately after waxing on the upper arms. You can take some ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply it to the waxed area for a few seconds at a time. See, if this helps. You can also apply sandalwood paste mixed with rose water and apply on the area to soothe the skin.
Q. I am 30 years old, but I already have fine lines under my eyes. Please suggest some home remedies.
A. The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate and begins showing the signs of age early. For the area around eyes, daily apply pure almond oil sparingly and massage it lightly on the skin, with the ring finger, for one minute around each eye. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. Apply egg white or potato juice around eyes and wash it off gently with plain water when it is dry. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. When you remove creams or make-up, use a gentle touch and avoid pulling or stretching the skin.
Q. Please give me some solutions for dry skin. Please suggest a facial, which will add a glow to my face.
A. Keep the skin well moisturized during the day. Once daily, at anytime, mix honey with a little milk and egg yolk or pure almond oil; apply this on the face and wash it off after 20 minutes. It’s a good idea to keep one day in the week to have a home facial. It helps to keep the skin in a good condition and also to counteract the effects of dryness. Start by cleansing the skin thoroughly. Choose the cleanser according to skin type – gel/cream cleanser for normal to dry skin; cleansing milk or lotion for normal to oily and combination skins. Then apply a facial scrub for deep pore cleansing. It helps to brighten the face. Then, nourish the skin. Apply a nourishing cream, wet your hands with water and massage the cream into the skin, using outward and slightly upward strokes. Continue the massage for three to four minutes and wipe your skin with damp cotton wool or a clean, moist face towel. Next, apply a face mask. Mix together one teaspoons ground almonds, two teaspoons oats and one teaspoon each of rose water, yogurt and honey into a paste. This is suitable for all skin types. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Then tone the skin with rose water. Soak cotton wool pads with rosewater and wipe the skin with it. Stroke the skin too, with the rose water pads, and pat your skin briskly with it.