ACNE AND BLACKHEADS, TO CURE.
As this condition, especially in youths and maidens, is frequently due to faulty digestion, the obvious remedy is to remove the cause ; proper food and exercise, and avoidance of constipation, will do more than any medical treatment towards clearing the complexion. The cure can be assisted, however, by frequent thorough washing in hot water with a good antiseptic soap. A good preparation for the removal of blackheads is compounded of glycerine, spirits of wine and flowers of sulphur, with a little elder-flower water, to which may be added a few drops of some good perfume. This preparation should be applied nightly.
Air. Fresh air is the skin’s natural tonic. When the weather is mild, it is an excellent plan to lie for a while near an open window, with as much of the skin exposed as possible, at the same time indulging in gentle breathing exercises. If the air is pure and fresh, it will be surprising to note the invigorating effect, but care should be taken not to catch a chill.
The beauty bath is best taken in rain water, if possible, but as in towns such a thing is often unprocurable, the bather must be content with the local supply. Turn the hot water tap on to a bran bag until the bath water becomes thoroughly cloudy, then add a quantity of eau-de-Cologne. Bathe in this in the ordinary manner, and follow up with a cool shower or sponge down. A variation of the bran bag is a muslin bag filled with thyme, tansy, marjoram, rosemary and verbena, mixed in equal proportions, with a little perfume of Devon Violets added. This bag should be used in a hot bath as a skin sponge.
Hot and Cold.
Cold baths are very invigorating for the robust ; toning up the body as nothing else will, but for those having weak hearts or poor circulation they may be dangerous. If a cold bath leaves the extremities purple, or produces a feeling of lassitude, it should be discontinued. Warm baths, not too hot, are essential for thoroughly cleansing the pores. The water should, as nearly as possible, be approximate to the heat of the normal body, and the bath should bo taken in a well ventilated room. A good brand of bath salts or a drop of ammonia adds a tonic value to the ablution, and only the best quality of soap should be used. The bath should be followed by a brisk rub down and quick dressing to stimulate circulation.
There are various kinds of medicinal baths, which should be taken under medical instruction. Turkish, vapour, and mud baths are recommended for rheumatic complaints ; brine baths are used for invigorating the convalescent; and sulphur, etc., baths are taken for various forms of skin diseases.
Sun-bathing has become very popular during the last few years, but although good in itself, the tendency has been to rather overdo it. The skin should never be exposed too rapidly to an unusual amount of sunlight: this is frequently the cause of skin troubles The exposure should be a very gradual one.
Blushing is generally very much a matter of nerves —shy and nervous people are particularly subject to the distressing complaint. In this case any treatment which will strengthen the nerves and stimulate self-confidence will generally eliminate blushing. The more permanent flushes of the face, of which some people complain after meals, are usually the result of indigestion or indulgence in alcohol. They also constitute one of the symptoms of change of life in women.
Deep breathing is excellent exercise, and makes for that health which is the key to beauty. It should be practised slowly. The lungs should be extended as fully as possible, through the nostrils, not through the mouth, and the breath should be held until a slight feeling of discomfort is realized. The air should then be expelled through the mouth as slowly as it was inspired. Make the expulsion of air last as long as possible, then once again hold the lungs rigid, and do not inhale a fresh supply until discomfort again arises.
BRUSHES AND COMBS, CARE OF.
The great thing in washing hairbrushes is not to wet the backs, as the hairs become unfixed. Pour a little cold or tepid water into a bowl and add ammonia drop by drop until the water smells. Tilt the bowl and splash the brush lightly in the water, taking care only to wet the hairs, then rub up and down with the palm of the hand. Rinse in clean, cold water. Shake as dry as possible, and put in the air (not sun) on a clean sheet of paper, resting the brush on its hairs.
To clean a comb, point a match and dislodge any dirt between the teeth, then wash in ammoniated water, as above. Dry on a cloth and put into the open air. CHILBLAINS, TO CURE.
A liniment made with camphor or mustard oil, if applied in the early stages, rapidly effects a cure, but broken chilblains are best treated with boracic ointment. Sufferers should hav» plenty of healthy exercise, and a brisk rubbing or massage of the whole body, if undertaken daily, does much good. It is wrong to warm the feet and hands at the fire.
If a good complexion is desired, inferior face creams should never be used. After well washing in warm water, to which a little eau-de-Cologne has been added, rinse the soap well from the skin, dry gently with a soft towel, and apply the cream. The following is a safe and simple recipe for a home-made cold cream : Very slowly dissolve an ounce of white wax in half an ounce spermaceti, by gently warming before the fire ; to this, when thoroughly amalgamated, mix an ounce and a half of toilet paraffin and half an ounce of glycerine. Allow to cool, then stir in two or three drops of orange flower water or oil of bergamot.
Few women seem aware that lip stick should be selected with the same care as any other cosmetic. It is put up in shades to suit all complexions, and the varieties are known by numbers. To insure obtaining the most appropiate shade the chemist should be consulted, for nothing cheapens an otherwise attractive woman so much as the reckless daubing on the lips of lipstick of a ‘ pillar box ‘ consistency.
The lady of breeding is known by her perfumes. Scent should never be used in such a way as to be immediately obvious ; the wise woman applies just sufficient of a good perfume to leave an indefinite suggestion, rather than a positive assertion, of its presence. Eau-de-Cologne, lavender and Parma Violets, or, in fact, any of the old fashioned perfumes, are rarely out of place, but the more exotic preparations are apt to be in rather questionable taste, and should only be indulged with caution.
Face Powders are mostly composed of very finely pulverised talc, to which som« floury substance is added to make it adherent, and a little perfume. The powder should be applied with a pad of cotton wool, or other soft material, which should be destroyed after use.
Rouge has now been very much superseded by powdered carmine, which is put up in tablets. This should be applied very sparingly and well worked into the skin, otherwise a hectic appearance will result.
These are for the most part improvements on cold creams, from which they differ in that they contain stearine as a ‘ vanishing ‘ element. Some excellent vanishing creams are on the market and may be obtained from any chemist or hairdresser at very reasonable cost.
This is a preparation of chalky consistency which is very much used for stage purposes to add whiteness to the arms and bust. Applied wet, it is allowed to dry and leaves the skin with a marble white appearance. Wet White is rarely used off the stage. DEPILATORIES.
There are several preparations on the market for the removal of superfluous hair, but few of them are entirely satisfactory ; if the depilatory is not exactly injurious, its unpleasant odour renders its use impossible. The only really permanent and satisfactory means of removing unsightly hairs is electrolysis, but this treatment, apart from being somewhat painful, must be performed by a fully qualified practitioner. It is, however, unfailing in its results.
It is said that the wearing of earrings has a beneficial effect on the eyesight, and it is possible that there may be some association between the nerves of the lobe of the ear and the optic nerve. To achieve this benefit, however, it obviously follows that the ears must be pierced (a simple operation), and the rings hung by means of hooks forced through the aperture : earrings merely held in place by means of screws, can never serve any but a purely ornamental purpose. EYES, CARE OF.
The power of the eye very much depends on the state of health ; nothing im- pairs the eyesight sooner than indigestion. Moderation in eating, drinking and smoking, fresh air and exercise are essential to preserving optic fitness at its highest level. The eyes should never be subjected to undue strain ; reading in an indifferent light or in an intense glare should be avoided. It is dangerous to make a practice of reading very small print, and the book should not be held too close to the eyes. When working by artificial light, care should be taken that the lamp is placed in the most advantageous position ; the source should come from behind, preferably over the left shoulder. It is a good thing to rest the eyes periodically by tightly closing them for a few seconds. The use of tinted goggles is recommended when motoring, or indulging in other rapid progress through the air; these serve the dual purpose of protecting the eyes from strain, and from dust and irritation. EYES, TO BRIGHTEN.
If the above rules are observed, the eyes should require no brightening. Lustre is added to the eyes, however, if they are religiously bathed once or twice a day by the use of an eye bath, or by opening them under water. A large basin should be filled with tepid or cold water and the head plunged in : then the eyes should be opened and bathed. The old fashioned habit of bathing the eyes in cold tea has much to recommend it, as also the use of one or other of the eye washes given below.
EYE WASHES.— (I) An excellent stimulant for the eyes is prepared by dissolving a level teaspoonful of boracic powder in pint of boiling water. When cold this should be bottled, and used frequently in an eye bath. An equal amount of the lotion and warm water makes a beneficial mixture for use by child or adult. (ii) Another stimulant is made by the admixture of ten grains of borax with one ounce of camphor water (not spirit of camphor). (iii) To prepare an astringent, dissolve a teaspoonful of alum in a pint of water. (iv) Decoction of poppyheads throe ounces, and half an ounce of very dilute acetic acid. FEET.— Deformities.
Most deformities of the feet, if they are not congenital, are due to ill-fitting footwear, and may be corrected to some extent by care in the selection of shoes. Overlapping and malformation in the toes is usually due to this cause. The toes should never be constricted, but, on the other hand, shoes should never be too large.
These painful deformities, in their initial stages, may be cured by wearing shoes which afford plenty of room and by binding the joint in adhesive plaster. If the bunion becomes inflamed it should be poulticed and then treated with iodine, preferably in the ointment form.
Soak the feet in hot water and apply salicylic acid ; but be careful that it does not run over on to the surrounding flesh. Repeat the operation until the corn either drops off or becomes loose. It is unwise to cut corns with a knife.
This is due to the dropping of the instep-arch, owing to constant standing. Relief may be afforded by wearing instep supports in the shoes. People with a tendency to flat-footedness should never wear heelless shoes.
In-growing Toenails. —
This tendency is the result of cutting the nails too low at the sides. The toe-nails should be cut square and trimmed at the edges, if sharp, with a file. It is a good plan to cut the centre of the nail in a V shape and file down well with a nail-file.
Bathe the feet frequently in brine or disinfected water ; change the stockings often, and hang the shoes in the air at night. The feet should occasionally be bathed in a strong solution of soda. Dust the insides of the shoes liberally with boracic powder, or with a mixture of powdered alum and powdered tannin.
When sitting, rest the feet by putting them upon a chair or other support level with the body. Bathe the feet in water to which a handful of common salt has been added, and then rub well with linseed oil or vaseline. Thick, warm stockings should be worn and plenty of gentle exercise taken. Swollen feet are the result of poorcirculation, therefore anything which promotes circulation is advantageous. FOOTWEAR.
Boots and shoes are the index of character. Neatness and serviceability should be considered before anything else. The footwear should be selected with greater care than any other part of the wardrobe, and should be well cared for: a pair of shoe trees pay for themselves many times over. The shoes should be well polished daily, and this polishing should extend to the soles as well as the uppers, as boot polish doubles the life of the leather and renders it waterproof. If the wearer has to face inclement weather much, a coat of dubbin renders his boots impervious to damp. FRECKLES.
Where the freckles are few, paint with a camel-hair brush dipped in four times as much water as lactic acid. On going to bed, but at least three or four hours after the application, apply a little cold cream. If the freckles cover the face, mix thick barley water with spirits of wine and dab it all over the face twice a day. GRACE AND DEPORTMENT. The first consideration in graceful carriage is erectness ; the shoulders should always be thrown well back and the head held fearlessly erect. When sitting, never lounge ; this increases the tendency to round-shoulders. Never fumble with the hands, keep them well to the sides. Don’t be ‘ down-at-heel ‘ ; if the shoes begin to wear at the heels, have them repaired immediately. Badly worn shoes create an inferiority complex—the deadly enemy of grace.
To cure excessively greasy skins, the old-fashioned steaming and massaging process should be resorted to at night, followed in the morning by the application (in place of the morning wash) of equal proportions of alcohol, glycerine and rose water well mixed with a little borax. A little good cold cream may then be rubbed in. HAIR.— Dressing.
Many women having hit upon a style of hair-dressing which suits them stick to it slavishly. This is a mistake. A high authority on hairdressing states that ‘ perpetual parting and pulling in one direction tends to ‘ thin ‘ even the most luxuriant hair,’ and it is good therefore, to vary the style occasionally.
The use of dyes and bleaches for the hair is not recommended, as practically all chemicals burn or render the hair brittle. These remarks particularly apply to dyes which contain pyrogallic acid and potassium permanganate. A harmless remedy for premature greyness consists of a wash of equal parts of alcohol and strong black tea, to which a handful of common salt has been added. Besides arresting the greyness, this wash stimulates the growth.
Shampoos.— (I) Here is an excellent and cheap home – made shampoo: Shave a pound and a half of pure castile soap into a quart of very hot water and stir into it a pint of bay rum and one and a half drachms of powdered borax an a little eau-dc-cologne. Rub well into the scalp and rinse in warm water. (ii) A very simple shampoo is obtained by dissolving a small piece of solid ammonia, about the size of a small walnut, in a quart of boiling water. Whisk into a stiff lather, and rub well into the scalp. Wash out with cold water. (Hi) This is a dry shampoo; To three ounces of water and eight of rectified spirit, add one drachm of oil of lavender and one of pure white castile soap ; after macerating for a couple of days, well strain and add an ounce of liquid ammonia. (iv) Here is another: To seven ounces of rectified spirit, add four drachms of alcoholic ammonia and four of tincture of quillaia and two of bouquet essence. Rub well into the hair and then sponge with warm water, afterwards rubbing thoroughly dry with a rough towel. Never apply these dry shampoos near a fire, as there are inflammable ingredients in the recipes.
Hair-waving has of late years become so recondite an art that it is well-nigh impossible to perform the operation satisfactorily in the home. Water-waves are relatively cheap, but troublesome and by no means permanent—the effects only last a week or two, but a proper permanent wave, though expensive, is lasting, and on the whole, well worth the money.
HANDS, CARE OF.
It is a good plan to sleep with an old pair of chamois leather gloves on the hands —this helps to soften and whiten them. A mixture of vinegar and water is also a good whitener, and helps to remove any stains (as tobacco) from the hands. A bottle of this preparation should be kept handy, and the hands bathed in it each morning. Another lotion which is useful for whitening and softening the hands is prepared by well shaking together glycerine and spirit of ammonia. After moistening the hands, this preparation should be well rubbed in. To prevent chapped hands, they should be anointed with glycerine and rosewater after washing, during the cold weather The hands should always be thoroughly dried, and should not be exposed to the cold more than is necessary. If they become chapped, they may be well rubbed with pure oil or cold cream at night, and a pair of soft gloves drawn over the hands. Pure glycerine is the best possible cure for chapped hands but, owing to the intense smarting it causes, only the bravest will resort to this method. The finger-nails should be manicured daily, the cuticle well pressed back with an orange stick, the nails cleaned, filed and polished with a little nail polish and a chamois leather polisher. The nails should be trimmed two or three times a week.
Present-day taste does not tolerate an excess of jewellery. In the case of men, good taste demands that little or none be worn : massive watch-chains, rings and tiepins displaying exaggerated stones or elaborate wristlet watches must be avoided. A simple signet ring on the little finger, a plain watchchain and a tasteful tiepin are the most that can be permitted to a gentleman of breeding. More latitude is allowed to a woman, but even for her, except for evening wear, a necklace and a dress-ring are all that are necessary—except, of course, where a wedding or engagement ring is indicated. The man or woman who walks about attired like a jeweller’s shop is an object of ridicule rather than admiration.
If a woman has a good complexion, there is no necessity for a great deal of makeup for the street—a little cream and a dab of powder are quite sufficient. If the lips are pale, the lipstick, in an appropriate shade, sparingly applied is an improvement, and possibly the judicious application of carmine to a colourless cheek may be desirable. A word should be said about the selection and application of face powder: tints are supplied to suit all complexions, but for all the discrimination shown by many women, such a selection might not exist. Nothing looks worse than to see a very fair woman with face covered in powder of a ‘ Rachel’ tint, unless it be a gipsy-dark.
The swing mirror of the toilet table may become loose. If the movement consists of a ball, held tightly by a thumbscrew, undo the screw and wrap the ball in a. thin piece of wash-leather, then tighten up. This will probably effect a cure. Another plan is to insert a thin piece of curved tin in the cavity. As there is now a smaller space, the ball can be gripped tightly. Should the action be a ball which slides into a V-shaped groove, remove the V and press down the sides a very small amount. The restricted groove will probably hold the ball firmly. Another method is to unscrew the ball and to coat it with solder. The new surface, being slightly soft, will afford a better hold. RINGS.— To remove tight finger rings, place a piece of fine string under the ring and wind it evenly round the finger upward as far as the middle joint. Then take the lower end of the string under the ring, and slowly unwind it upward. The ring will then gradually move along the string and come off. Or, wet the finger and rub it with soap, then press the ring over the knuckle, turning it on the finger as you do so.
See Face Creams.
TEETH, CARE OF.
To preserve the beauty and health of the teeth is impossible without the use of the tooth brush. There was a day when such a thing was unnecessary, but the type of food consumed now renders constant cleaning vital. No time spent on this item of the toilet is wasted ; the brush used should be short in the bristles, but not too stiff; a good brand of tooth paste or powder should be used, and each tooth should be cleaned separately. The brush should be worked up and down, from the gums to the tips of the teeth, care being taken that the brush penetrates between the teeth. Discoloured teeth may be cleaned with a little well-powdered pumice, moistened and applied with the end of an orange stick. The mouth should then be well washed in some antiseptic. Alternatively a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (10 volumes) sprinkled on a toothbrush and applied undiluted, proves an excellent whitener for discoloured teeth. Be sure, however, that the peroxide is not stronger than 10 volumes. Immediately the teeth show the slightest signs of decaying, the dentist should be visited without delay ; indeed, it is as well to make a periodical pilgrimage to that gentleman even while the dentals are apparently well—a thorough overhauling now and then, will ensure long life to the teeth.
Care of teeth should be urgently impressed on all growing children. 30
As previously stated, these should never be too hard, and those with serrated bristles are recommended, as they penetrate the nooks and corners so much better than the smooth bristled kind. The brush should be kept scrupulously clean, and thoroughly sterilized iff antiseptic water after use, and dried so far as possible. Do not shut the tooth-brush up when not in use—it should be left out in the air, hung on a brush rack, if possible.
A simple and homely tooth-powder is composed of camphorated chalk; another is prepared by mixing finely powdered cuttlefish and myrrh, in the proportions of eight of the former to one of the latter. However, there are so many really good dental pastes and powders on the market at a reasonable price that it is hardly worth the trouble of preparing them at home. Only the best antiseptic preparations should be used.