Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care,
Q. I have a lot of pimples and dark spots left by pimples. I have had it treated by doctors, but when I stop the medicines, the pimples come back. Please suggest remedies.
A. You have an acne condition. Wash your face twice a day, morning and night with a medicated soap. Then wipe with an astringent lotion, using cotton wool. Astringent lotion will be available at a cosmetic store. Apply sandalwood paste on the eruptions. Wash off after 20 minutes. 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. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste and apply on the face three times a week. Wash it off when it dries. Avoid creams and moisturizers. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. 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. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.
Q. I had very thick hair, but now my hair has become thin. Is there any way my hair can become thick again?
A. Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage (caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming, straightening), etc. Hair loss after pregnancy is also common. So, you can try to identify the cause in your case. You can apply non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Apply olive oil or pure coconut oil once a week, the night before shampoo. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. If the hair is oily, avoid oil applications. If the hair is dry, shampoo twice a week. For oily hair, shampoo 3 or 4 times a week. Use less shampoo. Dilute with water and then apply. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.
Q. My hair grows very slowly and I also have split ends. Please tell me what to do.
A. On an average, the rate of hair growth is half an inch in one month. Cutting off the split ends is the only remedy. Then give your hair proper and regular care. Avoid tying the hair tightly with rubber bands. Avoid using hair dryers and brushes. Use a wide-toothed comb. 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. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo and rinse well with water. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Apply on ends too. Leave on for 2 minutes and rinse off with plain water. Or, you can apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply the same way, but do not rinse off.
Q. I have dark patches. My chin is getting black. I have had this problem for one year. How can I solve my skin problem?
A. For dark patches and pigmentation, apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun. If you stay long in the sun, re-apply the sunscreen. Mix rice powder with curd and pinch of turmeric and use as a facial scrub twice a week. Apply only on the dark patches and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily only on the dark patches. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix 3 teaspoons oats with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white and apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.
Q. My skin is very sensitive and I get itching on my face. My skin is dark. How can I can I stop itching and make my skin fair?
A. If there is itching, you should consult a skin specialist (dermatologist). Usually, there is itching due to allergy or some skin problem. When the itching stops, take 2 teaspoons curd, add a little turmeric and apply daily on the face. Wash off after 20 minutes. This may make the skin colour lighter.