Shahnaz Husain, renowned and acclaimed pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care
Q. I have acne on my back and also some spots. How to get rid of them?
A. Check if you have dandruff, as it can lead to acne on back and shoulders. Apply an astringent lotion on the back twice a day, using cotton wool. Mix a little rose water with sandalwood paste and apply, washing it off after 15 minutes. Sandalwood paste can be applied directly on the eruptions. Mix multani mitti with sandalwood paste, rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply on the back two or three times a week and wash it off when it dries. Wash the hair three times a week. Rinse well with water. After shampoo, add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and use it as a last rinse.
Q. My lips are dark and dry. Please tell me how to lighten the colour.
A. The skin of the lips is very thin and delicate. However, after washing the face, when the lips are wet, rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps to remove dead skin. Add a few drops of lemon juice to cream of milk (malai) and apply on the lips. Leave on for an hour. Apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave on overnight. Look for a lip balm with sunscreen.
Q. I have chicken pox marks in my face for years. How to get rid of them?
A. If the marks are in the form of pits in the skin, they can be minimized with Veg Peel treatments at a skin care clinic. You can also try some home remedies. Make paste of bicarbonate of soda and a little water. After washing the face in the morning, apply the paste daily on the areas with marks and wash it off after 5 minutes. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Rice powder and curd make a good scrub. Apply it on the face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements, especially on the areas with marks. Wash off with water. Take two teaspoons curd, add a pinch of turmeric and apply on the face daily. Wash it off after 15 minutes. It will relieve dryness, if any, and also help marks.
Q. My arms are dark and the skin is rough. Can you suggest me some home remedies to remove the tan and make the skin softer?
A. Apply sesame seed (til) oil daily and massage it on the skin. Use mild glycerin soap for bathing, or a soap free bath gel. Immediately after bath, apply a body lotion while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal off moisture. Mix gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi) and apply at least three times a week on the arms. Wash it off after half an hour. Then apply sesame seed oil and massage it on the skin, as recommended. You can also apply lemon turmeric cream daily.
Q. Suggest home remedies for clear and glowing skin.
A. Tone the skin daily with rose water. Toning stimulates blood circulation to the skin surface and adds a glow. Keep rose water in a bowl in the fridge and soak cotton wool pads in it. Use them to wipe and pat the skin. Use a facial scrub once or twice a week. For a scrub, mix ground almonds with yogurt. Dried and powdered lemon and orange peels, or dry and powdered mint leaves may be added to the scrub, for glowing skin. Apply scrub on the face and leave on for a few minutes. Then, rub gently, with small circular movements, washing off with water. A facial scrub can also be made with walnut powder, honey and lemon juice. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. It leaves the skin very soft and glowing. Egg white can also be added to this mixture.
Q. I have open pores and dark spots on my face. How to get rid of them?
A. Open pores occur on oily skin, or on oily areas of combination skin, due to the over-activity of the sebaceous (oil producing) glands of the skin. The constant oozing of oil and clogged pores lead to loss of elasticity of the pores, enlarging them. Keeping the pores free of clogged oil helps to avoid open pores. This can be done with skin toning, exfoliation and masks. Mix astringent lotion and rose water in equal quantities. Keep in the fridge and apply on the face daily, using cotton wool. It helps to close the pores. Use a facial scrub twice a week. Mix rice powder with curd and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply on the face and rub gently, specially on open pores and dark spots. Leave on for 5 minutes and wash off with water.