Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care.

Q. Please tell me about skin toning at home.
A. Skin toning can be done with a skin tonic or rose water. Keep a little rose water or skin tonic in a bowl in the fridge. This is very refreshing, specially in summer or in a humid climate. After cleansing, wipe the skin with it, using cotton wool pads. Then, stroke the skin from the cheek to the temples on either side. You can also pat the skin with the rose water soaked cotton wool pads. Grated apple can also be applied on the face like a mask. Mix a little curd or honey with it. It also helps to tone the skin.

Q. What is the solution for puffiness and tiredness from eyes?
A. Do not leave oil, cream or make-up on overnight when you sleep. It can lead to puffiness. Mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply under eyes daily for 20 minutes. Wash off with water. It helps dark circles and puffiness. Soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and apply over closed eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a good idea to lie down and rest while you do this. It will reduce puffiness and fatigue. Tea bags can also be applied the same way. Steep them in hot water; allow to cool and use them as eye pads. Consult your doctor about kidney function tests and take dietary advice too.

Q. What is the use of “almond” oil and olive oil? Can they be used for hair and face? Does “almond” oil reduce dandruff?
A. Olive oil is helpful in dandruff cases, as it restores the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. Heat olive oil and apply on the scalp and hair at night. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash the hair after 20 minutes. Pure almond oil may be applied on the hair and helps to nourish dry hair. Almond oil may also be applied under eyes daily and wiped off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes. The oils may be applied on the face to nourish and soften dry skin. They should not be applied on oily skin, or on skin that is prone to blackheads, open pores, pimples, acne or spots.

Q. Suggest some natural homemade moisturisers for dry skin with pimples.
A. Pimples usually occur on oily skin. However, you may be having dryness of the outermost layer of the skin. Use a mild glycerin soap to wash the face. Mix one teaspoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep in a bottle in the fridge. Using cotton wool, apply a little of this lotion after cleansing, or whenever the skin feels dry. Take two teaspoons curd, add a pinch of turmeric and apply daily on the face. Wash it off with plenty of water after 10 minutes. This will relieve dryness and also help pimples. Apply sandalwood paste on the pimples. Or, 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.

Q. I have silky hair which needs daily shampoo. After 2 hours it becomes thin. How to add body and thickness?
A. Avoid using conditioner and hair serum for thin hair, as it would make the hair limp. You can apply curd or egg half an hour before washing the hair. It helps to add body. You can wash the hair daily, but use very little shampoo. Only one application of shampoo is enough. Take only half teaspoon shampoo, dilute with a little water and then apply. Weekly henna treatments also help to add body. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs and enough curd to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Apply on the hair and wash off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more curd. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet.

Q. On the joints of fingers and toes, the skin is dark with dead cells. How to remove them?
A. Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the dark areas of hands and feet. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin. After using soap and detergents, apply a cream and massage it on the fingers and toes. You can also soak the hands and feet in warm water once a week, as it helps to soften the skin. Then apply cream or oil. Take one each tablespoon each sunflower oil, lemon juice and coarse sugar. Mix together till it becomes a paste. Apply and rub into hands. Wash off after 15 minutes. You can do this three times a week.

Shahnaz Husain, internationally acclaimed for Ayurvedic beauty care and ac 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.