The Beauty Spot

Our expert answers all your beauty queries

My lips are dry all the time. I put on lipstick every day, but my dry lips make it hard. Also, they are turning darker by the day. Is there any way I can make my lips soft and pink naturally? — Pragati Rao

Since your lips are dry, you must use a lip balm often. A lip balm should ideally contain beeswax and phenol, which help moisturise the lips and soothe any existing irritation. Alternatively, use Vaseline, which contains the protective ingredient petrolatum. Lip balms, which contain aloe vera and vitamin E, also help manage the condition. Avoid using “flavoured” lip balms, as they may encourage you to lick your lips, which in turn increases lip dryness. Often, simple ingredients from the kitchen shelf come to your rescue when the lips are dry and chapped. Here are a few that can help: 

Cocoa butter softens the lips. 
Honey is again a great nourishing natural substance that prevents drying of the lips.
Protect the lips with a coat of glycerine to prevent moisture loss. 
Clarified butter or ghee is also a good lubricant for dry lips.
Choose glossy and vitamin E enriched lipsticks over the matte one.

My feet are severely cracked. I walk around a lot thanks to my job, but the cracked feet are an eyesore. I shy away from wearing heels. Can you recommend some home remedies for this condition? — Suvarna

Jobs that involve standing for long hours, ill-fitting shoes etc. can aggravate the cracks and fissures on heels. A daily routine of cleaning and exfoliating the dead skin cells is a good cure for dry or cracked heels.

Soak your feet in warm soapy water for about 15 minutes. Rinse them and pat dry. Follow this up by applying a mixture of Vaseline and salicylic acid-based creams onto the cracked heels and other required areas of the feet. It is best to apply this mixture to your feet right before you go to bed.

Cover the feet with a cling film and then pull on a pair of socks to protect your linen from getting stained. The socks will also help to trap your body heat and ensure that the creams are absorbed well. 

The oils in the creams will soften the dry and cracked heels and allow you to easily slough off the dead skin the next morning. 

What’s the right amount of perfume to put on? Sometimes, I apply too much and the strong fragrance gives me a headache. And when I apply less, it doesn’t last the entire day. — Natasha

The best way to make a fragrance last for long is to layer it well. You can buy body lotion and mists of the same brand. Apply the lotion on the body and spray the fragrance to your clothes. Also, select the EDP or eau de parfum over an EDT or eau de toilette if you want the fragrance to last.

Founder of SkinLab, Dr Jamuna Pai is a cosmetic physician and a beauty expert. 

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