Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries.

I sweat excessively. Can you please suggest a natural remedy? — Radha

You need to first consult a doctor. Most deodorants are also anti-perspirants, and will help deal with perspiration to an extent. Talcum powder also helps. Ayurveda gives some dietary suggestions for excessive sweating. Sip lemon water. You can take some ginger tea before and after meals. Finely chop some fresh ginger and sprinkle some salt over it. Chew this before your meal. Sipping warm water with your meal may also help. A light diet low on spices is advised. Also, eat smaller meals.

How can I get rid of pigmentation and pimple marks? — Sushmita

Mix a teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice, and apply on the face once a day. After 15 minutes, wash with water. This helps reduce dryness and also the marks. Mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice and apply on the face twice or thrice a week. Wash off when dry. This also helps reduce marks. If there are no pimples, use a facial scrub twice a week. Apply it on the face and rub gently on the skin with circular movements, especially on the pigmentation and pimple marks. Wash with water.

Can you please advice me on how how to reduce black spots on my face and get rid of the excess fat on my hips? — Priya

Apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out. Mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave on for a few minutes, and then wash with water. Mix equal quantities of honey and lemon juice and apply on the face everyday. Wash after 15 minutes with water. Curd or buttermilk can also be applied daily. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the face, avoiding the lips and the area around the eyes. Wash after half-an-hour.

For the hips, consult your doctor before doing the following spot-reducing exercise. Lie on your back and roll your hip to the right side. Try to touch the floor on the right side with your left foot. Do the same on the left side, touching the floor with the right foot.

I am very thin. I eat foods that are said to lead to weight gain, but it has not helped. Please suggest what I should do. — Prerna

What you should be concerned about is whether you are healthy or not. Even if you are thin, you can be healthy and strong. Consult a doctor. You should not be eating high-calorie, non-nutritious foods. Like everyone else, you also need a balanced and nutritious diet. When you sit down for a meal, eat slowly and chew well. Appreciate every morsel you eat. Take up exercises that help build muscles and give better shape.

I have used many shampoos and conditioners, but though my hair smells good, my scalp remains oily and smelly. What should I do? — Sandhya

Your problem may be due to oily hair and scalp, as well as sweat secretions. Wash your hair frequently, using very little shampoo, and rinse well. Avoid creamy conditioners if the scalp is oily. A hair rinse is better. After shampooing, add the juice of a lemon and a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. If you wish to apply oil, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp using cotton wool, and rub in gently. Leave on overnight. The next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash off after 15 minutes.

My hair is lice-infested. I don't want to use chemical formulations for getting rid of them. Can you please suggest some home remedies? — Hema

Apply vinegar on the hair and scalp. After an hour, comb out with a fine lice comb, and remove the nits (eggs) by hand. Then, wash the hair with a mild herbal shampoo. After shampooing, add two tablespoons of vinegar to a mug of water and use as last rinse. Then, comb again with the lice comb. Do this daily for a week. Also, go in for weekly henna treatments. Add four teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs, a teaspoon of methi seed powder and enough “tea water” to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Make “tea-water” by boiling used tea leaves again in enough water, cooling and straining the liquid. If the hair is dry, add two teaspoons of oil. Apply henna on the hair and wash off after an hour.

Can you please suggest ways to remove warts from the face? — Yamini

A wart should never be picked with the nails. It is best to consult a dermatologist, or you can go for homeopathic treatment. As far as home remedies are concerned, it is said that applying vinegar on the warts every day causes them to fall out. Apply it only on the wart, using cotton wool. You could also soak cut onions in water overnight, and apply the water on your face the next morning.

Can you suggest home remedies to lighten the skin on elbows and knees? — Dhivya

Rub lemon halves every day on the elbows and knees. Wash off and apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage into the skin. Make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric. Apply on the dark areas at least thrice a week. Wash off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric, every day.

I have long, dry and rough hair, and have noticed hair loss too. My forehead is large; can you please suggest a good hairstyle? — Priya

Avoid tying the hair back tightly, as this can lead to hair loss at the hairline, over a period of time. You can have a long light fringe, or a side-swept one. Fringes help large foreheads, and they are currently in fashion too. Hair loss can be due to an oily scalp, dandruff or nutritional deficiencies. Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp, every day. Apply coconut oil or olive oil twice a week the night before shampooing. Avoid head massage. Diet is also very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts every day, and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean and curd, in your diet.

What are the uses of aloe vera? And, how can I use it on the face and hair? — Sangeetha

Aloe Vera is a powerful moisturiser; it also softens dead skin cells and helps in their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. In cosmetic products, stabilised aloe vera gel or juice are used. The gel is the leaf pulp or mucilage, found in the inner portion of the leaves. The aloe juice is found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. However, while using it directly on the skin and hair at home, wash the leaves well and observe hygiene. The juice or gel can be applied on the face and hair and washed off after 20 minutes. The gel can also be added to face masks. Take one tablespoon gram flour (besan), one teaspoon each of ground almonds or orange peel powder and curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix and apply on the face, and wash off after 30 minutes.