The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Natural Way

I am not much into beauty therapies. When I get back home, I make sure that I wipe off the make-up and clean my skin with the help of a medicated cleanser. Then I wash my face with a soap and apply a good nightcream before going to bed. For my hair, I do an oil massage twice a week and go for a hair spa twice a month.

I am a 16-year-old girl suffering from a dandruff problem and my hair’s falling at an alarming rate. I oil my hair every alternate day with sesame oil and wash my hair once a week with boiled extracts of ritha, shikakai and amla. I also apply henna every fortnight. Please help.

Poulami, Calcutta

Dandruff is an internal problem and is caused by a host of reasons like weakness, improper diet, inadequate intake of water, lack of exercise, prolonged illness and stress. See which one of these is applicable for you. It is also important that you incorporate changes in your lifestyle if you want to get great looking skin and hair.

I have an oily skin and a lot of unattractive acne scars. I am not very keen on going for skin treatment regimens. What should I do?

Name and address withheld

Take 4tbs dried green pea powder, 5tbs each of rice, masoor and sandalwood powders and 1tsp camphor powder. Mix them well and store in an airtight jar. Now take 1tsp of this mixture and mix it with rose water. Apply this on your skin. Leave it on till it dries off. Dab your skin with coconut water and scrub off the paste in a rotating manner. Do this on alternate days for best results.        

Cosmetic cures

I am a 23-year-old woman. I want to know if cosmetic formulations that help make-up last long are safe to use.

Name and address withheld

The ingredients list on a cosmetic pack is the only place where a consumer can readily find out the truth about what he or she is buying.You can check out the listing to identify the substances that you wish to avoid. And becoming aware of the contents of a product can help you understand some of the qualities advertised by the brand. But the ingredient list, although a mandatory requirement on cosmetics, is also the most difficult part of the label to understand.

Usually, it is tough for the common man to know and recognise the ingredients. Therefore, the only way to tackle this problem is to read and learn about cosmetic formulations.

Specific information on cosmetic ingredients can be obtained from various references, such as the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook published by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association.

Almost all cosmetics, irrespective of brands, may cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. Often the first sign of a reaction is a mild redness and irritation.

There’s no list of ingredients that can be guaranteed not to cause allergic reactions, so consumers who are prone to allergies should pay attention to what they use on their skin.

Because of the almost limitless combinations, it is virtually impossible to know if, when, or how anyone’s skin will react to any cosmetics.

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