Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 26, Tuesday July 3, 2007



Beauty Talk

Hi Sadia,
I am a great fan of your column. Please help me out. My skin is oily, so it easily attracts dirt and clogs the pores. I used EverYuth face wash but it didn't work well. I also used the L'Oreal apricot scrub for dead cell removal but it didn't suit my skin. Please suggest a suitable product and some home remedy as well.
Thank you,
Your fan

Dear Sajia,
I'm glad you enjoy my column. Try using Margo Neem soap to wash your face everyday. Set cucumber juice mixed with some lime juice in an ice tray and freeze. (Three parts cucumber juice to 1 past lime juice i.e. ratio 3:1). Rub each cube twice a day or whenever you feel the need to freshen your face and neck. This will clean as well as minimise your pores. Use the following mask once a day as suited:
1 tsp uptan
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp yoghurt
1 tsp masoor daal powder.
A pinch of turmeric
Mix (add a few drops of water if needed) and apply.

Dear Sadia,
I am a regular and avid reader of Lifestyle, and I find your suggestions on beauty matters helpful and practical. Thank you for helping out women of all ages with their beauty concerns, which ultimately help to perk up a person's self-confidence. Therefore here I am, with matters that have concerned me for ages, but haven't had the opportunity to work them out.

I am 30 years old, and I have dry skin and dry hair. I have comparatively thick and wavy hair. I normally oil my hair every 5 to 6 days, and use shampoo and conditioner for my dry hair. My first concern is that the surface layer of my hair is frizzy. As a result, after a shower, the surface layer dries within minutes while the remaining hair stays wet. When completely dry, my overall hair looks fluffy and somewhat dry. Thus, I don't feel comfortable leaving my hair loose, and always clip it up as soon as it dries. Not washing my hair for a day improves the texture, but that is not feasible in this hot weather. Could you suggest a home remedy for this problem?

My second concern is that the skin on my knees, elbows, and finger joints and toe joints are comparatively dark and drier than other parts of my body. Is there anything I can do at home to make the skin look healthy and smooth?

And finally I want to know whether there are any long-term side effects of using hair removing creams such as Nair or Veet on the face?
Thank you,

Dear Concerned,
Thank you for the compliment, it's very encouraging to hear good things from our readers. You must definitely consider using a leave-in conditioner or try using Livon on damp hair. This will reduce the frizz. If possible, have a deep conditioning treatment at a salon once a month. As for the home remedy, apply the following pack after shampooing to towelled hair:
1 mashed banana
1 tsp conditioning cream
1 tsp white vinegar
Leave on for half an hour. Rinse with plenty of water.

As for dark joints, apply the following pack on the troubled spots; allow to semi dry and then massage in a circular motion until it falls off on its own. Then apply olive or any other oil and wash off.
1 tsp uptan
1 tbsp brown ata
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yoghurt
1 tsp olive oil
Make a fairly thick paste before applying.

I don't think there's any problem in using Nair or Veet, on the face, as long as you are using the one meant for the face. The package should state it is for the face and not the body.

Dear Sadia,
I'm 18 years old. My skin colour is fair but I have facial hair all over my face. As I'm fair they are even more prominent. I want to remove them. Is threading safe? I heard threading increases the growth of facial hair. Is that true? My lips are also blackish in colour. What should I do in this regard as well?

Dear Bony
Threading is a safe, effective and cheap method of hair removal. It will not increase hair growth in any way. For your lips, take a little petroleum jelly on the tip of your finger and dip in a jar of salt. Massage your lips twice a day with this. This will make your lips softer and improve the circulation and colour.

Dear Sadia,
I am severely sunburnt. What brand of sunscreen should I use?

Dear T,
There are several sunscreen lotions available in the market. Garnier and Lakme are good and reasonable brands to try out.

Dental Wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan, BDS, DDS (BSMMU), PhD (Japan), Assistant Professor, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital and Ibrahim Medical College, Shahabag, Dhaka. www.aikodental.com 9885426

Dear Dr. Khan,
I'm a 50-year-old diabetic with hypertension. I'm suffering from a lot of dental problems such as pain, bleeding gums, loose teeth, etc. I know I need tooth extraction but I'm really worried since I have both diabetes and hypertension. Please let me know whether I can go for dental treatment in my condition.
Thank you

Dear Mr. Sohel,
Yes, you can go for dental surgery provided that your diabetes is well controlled and your blood pressure is within an acceptable range during the surgery. Usually we use special local anesthesia (without adrenaline) on patients like you so that the blood pressure does not rise.

Dear Dr. Khan,
I am 23 years old and suffering from bad breath. I visited a dental surgeon and got scaling done. Interestingly after scaling I felt better for 3 to 4 months. How do I cure the problem permanently?

Dear Mr Mohi,
Before I give you the tips for getting rid of bad breath, we must find out the real cause for your bad breath. Though the majority of this problem begins in the mouth, but other systemic disorders can cause bad breath as well.

Bad breath
People who have periodontitis (gum disease) often experience bad breath because of bacteria accumulating in areas that are not cleaned easily, such as deep pockets around the teeth.

Bacterial plaque and food debris accumulate on the back of the tongue. The tongue's surface is extremely rough and bacteria can accumulate easily in the cracks and crevices. Large amounts of sulfur compounds can be produced in this area, making it a frequent site of origin for bad breath. Fortunately, treatment is very effective for people who have bad breath of mouth origin.

Other reasons for bad breath (other than the mouth) are:
Infections, especially in the sinuses or lungs
Diabetes mellitus (acetone smell to the breath)
Kidney failure (can produce a fishy odour)
Malfunction of the liver
Disorders of metabolism (foul, fishy odour that comes and goes and may be difficult to diagnose)
Fasting (when the body is not provided with fuel in the form of food, fat and protein will begin to be broken down; the result is bad odour from the waste products of this metabolism) .

Treatment begins with a complete oral examination and health history; you may have an "odour-meter" test done. This test can accurately measure the volatile sulfur gases and the extent of a halitosis problem. Periodontal disease and /or cavities should be treated and repaired. Oral infections must be eliminated or impacted teeth may need to be removed.

Good oral hygiene must be stressed, including cleaning the teeth and tongue (by using a tongue scraper). Once the oral infection is treated and cured, mouth-rinses and toothpastes may have some effectiveness in managing oral odour. Ask your oral health professional for a product that may be helpful to you.

Bad breath sufferers should feel encouraged to seek treatment because of the high success rate in managing the problem.

By The Way

Bills. Bills. Bills. They make up, let us say, the less endearing portion of our lives. But what is worse is when they are all scattered and you have a tough time finding them just when you need them. So, make a point in getting all your monthly bills together. Buy a two-fold folder- put all the current unpaid bills in one pocket, and the receipt of those already paid in another.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz


Did I have a life before this? I don't remember. Did I have a past before the one I reminisce? I don't recall. Today and yesterday are far removed from the days that seemed present a few years ago. Far, vague, different days, different me-s and different yous…

I fell in love when I was 10; in love with myself. And to reassure my love, the street boys gave me enough stares, enough attention and enough love letters. They wrote one for every girl who looked slightly older than she did the day before. But I didn't know; I felt, mine were like no one else's. I didn't stare back. I pretended to be oblivious, consumed and snubbed the attention. And that made me feel more worshipped.

He fell in love with me in the middle of the afternoon. A burning unfriendly rooftop held me straight and beautiful. He fell in love as he told me later, with the weakest aspect of my beauty, my hair. My hair, a disgrace that never quite lived up to my grandmother's expectations. It was never thick enough, even after shaving it off seven times. It was long yes; black yes. It covered my back, my neck, my whole entire demented head, yes. But still, somehow it wasn't good enough. I carried my biggest insecurity with me always on my head. And that's what he fell in love with, he told me later in his misspelled, terribly written love letters.

He fell out of love with me shortly after; as soon as he figured out not much was going to come out of this silent one-sided relationship: him staring at me and me enjoying it in a practiced oblivious way. And that too was me. Was that the life before this?

No, there are more. There was him, who followed me home a few times. We met in crowded spots. Our eyes locked. Maybe I was 13 by then. Looking older, feeling the most confident and insecure at the same time. We spoke on the phone now and then, and it made me happy. And then just like it started, it ended. Somehow the right person at the wrong time, or the wrong person at the right; I never wondered. I do wonder though if that was really me. And was that the life before this?

There were more: more falling, more stumbling; in love with myself, deeper, regretting, staring, feeling empty; even without anyone who I would call “him,” just by myself; when ghazals seemed more romantic than they should. And it all felt wrong, even though none of it ever really was. But it was all wrong, because Bollywood was never hip; neither were sappy love stories even if the love was between I, myself and me.

And then it all stopped. And I realised I had never fallen after all. I just thought I did. And that was me right? That was the me in the life before this?

No, there were more: more lives, more days, more revelations, more truth, more actions that felt like sins, and more wisdom that felt like treachery. That was all me.

There was a life before this and a past before the one I reminisce. I remember now, I recall, but I am still confessing, standing up to fall asleep, and trying to relive some forgotten truth: the truth that lives in the space between me, you and our reflection in the mirror. And THAT was the life before this…


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