Woman's Era - - Contents -

THERE IS SUCH A BUZZ OVER RETINOL NOWA­DAYS. I AM CU­RI­OUS to know just what it is, and why it is so favoured by beauty ex­perts. I am a 35-year-old woman who has small pim­ple marks on the cheeks, and my friend sug­gested that I should use a retinol cream. Please ad­vise if this could help me.

Sim­ply put, retinol is vi­ta­min A1, and its de­riv­a­tives. This is great for un­clog­ging skin pores, and boost­ing col­la­gen to plump up skin and lessen wrin­kles. It is help­ful for light­en­ing dis­coloured patches and gen­er­ally giv­ing skin a smooth, blem­ish­less ap­pear­ance.

You can use retinol in its pure form, fol­low­ing the ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­struc­tions metic­u­lously. Or you can get it in cream or lo­tion form when it is added to other beauty com­po­nents. In short, your friend is right. Prod­ucts with retinol could help lighten the marks con­sid­er­ably.

It is also used as a sup­ple­ment for vi­ta­min A1 de­fi­ciency, which some­times causes xe­roph­thalmia, or dry eye con­di­tion.

MY EYE­LASHES HAVE BE­COME VERY SPARSE. WHAT COULD THE rea­son be? Please help. I am a 30- year- old busy bank of­fi­cer in Mum­bai. If you had lush eye­lashes ear­lier but these have now be­come sparse, there could be many causes for this. You could have some eye­lid in­fec­tion, or you may not be re­mov­ing eye make-up dili­gently at night and caus­ing lash fall. Some­times, dan­druff af­fects eye­lashes and eye­brows too.

It is not easy to re­grow eye­lashes, but cas­tor oil has been seen to have very good re­sults. Take a lit­tle smear of this oil and ap­ply it on the lashes and keep overnight. Try not to let it get into the eyes, but even if it does, it is not harm­ful. Use pure, un-per­fumed , edi­ble cas­tor oil.

Us­ing mas­cara on the lashes, and curl­ing the hairs gen­tly with the brush, makes the eyes look dra­matic. A lit­tle prac­tice will make it very easy and quick.

You can also take re­course to false eye­lashes which will give you in­stant re­sults. Do read the in­struc­tions care­fully or bet­ter still, learn the tech­nique from your beau­ti­cian.

WHEN­EVER I USE FOUN­DA­TION, THE LINES AND PORES ON MY face be­come more prom­i­nent. Why is this hap­pen­ing? I take good care to get foun­da­tion from a re­puted cos­metic com­pany, and the colour matches my skin colour per­fectly. Please ad­vise.

This is a very com­mon prob­lem with women, and the rem­edy is sim­ple. You should just use a primer on your face be­fore ap­ply­ing foun­da­tion. This may seem un­nec­es­sary but the primer does the im­por­tant job of

fill­ing in creases, wrin­kles, pits and large pores. This gives the foun­da­tion a smooth sur­face to glide on, and it also en­sures that it stays on longer.

In fact, many women do not feel the need for a foun­da­tion af­ter ap­ply­ing the primer as this alone gives a smooth glow­ing skin. So, a lit­tle bit of a golden high­lighter is quite enough to look dra­matic.

Do not be too lib­eral with the primer ei­ther. Spread it evenly tak­ing care to blend it well near the hair lines and neck.


Chill cu­cum­ber slices in the fridge and then place them over your eyes. Keep chang­ing the slices as soon as the used ones lose their chill. Lie down and re­lax with eyes closed for at least 20 min­utes. Then rinse eyes with cool wa­ter. Do this reg­u­larly and the dark cir­cles and even puffi­ness around the eyes will lessen.

Make a paste of raw po­tato and ap­ply it around the eyes. Keep on for half hour and rinse off.

Avoid late nights, ex­ces­sive tea and cof­fee, and sleep de­pri­va­tion which are no­to­ri­ous for caus­ing dark cir­cles around eyes.

Some­times this is a ge­netic fea­ture, when noth­ing much can be done to el­e­vate these.

For this, you can eas­ily hide the dark patches with a con­cealer only un­der the eyes. This will in­stantly brighten the un­der eye area. Use a con­cealer, a shade lighter than your foun­da­tion or even two shades lighter if the patches are very dark.

MY HAIR DOES NOT GROW IN LENGTH, AL­THOUGH I TAKE good care of it. Could this be due to split ends? I have no­ticed that the ends of the hair are show­ing splits. Please ad­vise.

Yes, you are per­fectly right. Split ends in hair breaks off the hair con­tin­u­ously, pre­vent­ing them from grow­ing.

You must at once ad­dress this is­sue to en­sure that your hair grows.

Be gen­tle when comb­ing. Use a wide-toothed comb to un­tan­gle hair.

Al­ways use a con­di­tioner af­ter a sham­poo. You can even use a leave-in con­di­tioner which will nourish your hair ap­pro­pri­ately.

Avoid us­ing heat­ing el­e­ments to straighten, curl, etc. This dam­ages hair sheaths.

Pe­ri­od­i­cally get your hair cut in a salon to en­cour­age growth.

Adopt a healthy diet which is rich in vi­ta­mins, biotin and folic acid. Iron is also very help­ful for hair health.

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