In many fashion magazines, the makeup artists put eyeliner pencil on the inside border of the lashes. Is this safe to do?

Eyeliner applied to the inside of the lash line is currently popular because it brings out contrasting colors by making the whites of the eyes more dramatic.

But, for many women, this can cause serious problems, anything from moderate redness and itching to blurring of vision. It can lead to permanent pigmentation of the conjunctiva, which is the membrane lining of the lids, and this could lead to infections. I suggest that you use cosmetics ONLY on the external areas such as lashes and the skin.

Some time ago you suggested pigmentation creams for the face and hands to lighten spots. I have used this product for about two weeks and my spots have not gone yet. How long will it take to make them disappear?

Cosmetic bleaching creams or lotions that are recommended for lightening freckles, melasma and other forms of excessive pigmentation need to be applied ONLY on the pigmentation areas. Do not apply them like a face or hand cream, because then the entire skin will gradually lighten. It takes approximately five to seven weeks to see a difference. The bleaching creams will only lighten dark areas so that they are not as noticeable: it will not take them away permanently. If you do not see a difference in this time span, it may not be a pigmentation disorder and I suggest you see a skin specialist. Also, make sure that you apply a high SPF on the affected areas – summer or winter.

Should you or should you not cut the cuticle? Does it cause damage to the skin?

Your nail is formed in the sensitive and soft area just under the cuticle (matrix). The most important job of the cuticle is to protect this area from bacteria, chemicals and infection, therefore any injuries to the cuticle or the area may show up as damage on the nail as it grows out. Damage to the skin can result in hangnails.

I find that many soaps dry my skin, especially in the winter. Even some of the ones that claim to be gentle and moisturizing dry the skin. Is there anything else I can use?

There are several body shampoos and bath gels that have soothing, moisturizing elements to help retain the skin’s moisture. Read the labels; look for labels that say the product is for dry skin, is water-based, protective, lubricating and has sealing factors. Do not have hot baths and showers and drink lots of water during the day. After a shower, use a lotion or cream all over the body to seal moisture.

Are all moisturizers the same – except for the price?

A good moisturizer is known as a “humectant”, which means that it contains ingredients that will attract water to the skin and keep it there. It can also form a barrier to slow down the evaporation of water in the skin. It allows the skin to oxygenate and get rid of carbon dioxide. Some also have softening elements which can improve the texture of the skin. These are known as simple moisturizers.

The price difference depends on the active ingredients.