Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.
Q. I am 15. Lately, I have been getting small pimples on forehead and face. Please suggest natural remedies.
A. Check if you have dandruff, or oily hair, which can lead to spots and pimples on the forehead and face. Keep the hair away from the face. After washing the face, apply an astringent lotion with cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply daily on the areas with pimples. Wash off after 15 minutes. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the face two or three times a week, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it dries. 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. Does hair growth stop at the age of 15? I have split ends and there is no further growth. Please suggest remedies.
A. No, hair growth does not stop at the age of 15. You have not mentioned your hair type. Cut off the split ends and give the hair proper care. Twice a week heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Apply on ends too. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. After shampoo, apply very little “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum, especially on the ends. Diet is very important for hair growth. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet. Ask your doctor for vitamin and mineral supplements
Q. My face is oily, dull and dark. Please tell me remedies for clear and bright face.
A. After washing the face, apply an astringent lotion. Use a facial scrub twice a week. They are easily available nowadays. Or, mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin using small circular movements. Leave on for 5 minutes and then wash off with water. Do not apply on pimples. Twice a week mix 3 teaspoons oats with egg white and one teaspoon lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and areas around eyes. Wash it off when it dries. If you don’t want to use egg, add curd.
Q. My elbows, knees, feet and hands are darker than my face. Please suggest remedies.
A. Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows, knees and feet. 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 these areas at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily. For hands, take 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoon coarse sugar. Mix together till it becomes a paste. Apply three times a week and rub into hands. Wash off after 15 minutes.
Q. My skin is very dry. I can’t apply moisturiser because I also have acne. What should I do?
A. Acne occurs on oily skin. However, there may be superficial dryness of the outermost layer. Avoid too much soap and water washing. Boil neem leaves over a low fire. Cool and strain. Make a paste of the leaves and apply daily on the face. Wash it off with plain water after half an hour. Mix cinnamon (dalchini) powder with a little lemon juice and a few drops of honey into a sticky paste. Apply only on the pimples daily and leave it on for one or two hours.
Once daily, at any time, mix one teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice and apply on the face. Wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. It helps to relieve dryness and also helps pimples.
Q. I have hair above upper lips and on chin. Tell me about electrolysis and laser treatment.
A. In electrolysis, the diathermy method was common. It involves the use of fine needles, through which an electric current is passed. But now transdermal electrolysis is done, in which needles are not used. Regrowth has been known to occur. It is important to find a very skilled operator. Laser is said to be a method of permanent removal of facial hair. However, initially re-growth can occur for some time. Laser produces an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicles. The laser disables the hair follicle’s ability to produce hair. Cooling devices are used to prevent damage to the rest of the skin. It is very important to find a good laser clinic in order to minimize side effects. You should find out the number of sessions that may be needed and the costs involved.
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.