Shaving only increases the strength of the hair, and all depilatories are dangerous and sometimes disfigure the face. The only sure plan is to spread on a piece of leather equal parts of galbanum and pitch plaster, lay it on the hair as smoothly as possible, let it remain three or four minutes, then remove it with the hairs, root and branch. This is severe but effective. Kerosene will also remove them. If sore after using, rub on sweet-oil.
To wash properly, fill basin two-thirds full with fresh, soft water, dip face in the water and then the hands; soap the hands well and rub with a gentle friction over the face; dip the face in water the second time and rinse off thoroughly, wiping with a thick but soft towel. Pure soaps do not irritate the skin. The best are castile, curd, glycerine and other neutral soaps. Medicated or highly colored or perfumed soaps should never be used.
- A good complexion never goes with a bad diet. Strong coffee, hot bread and butter, heated grease, highly spiced soups, meats or game, hot drinks, alcoholic liquors, fat meats, are all damaging to its beauty. Strong tea, used daily, will after a time give the skin the color and appearance of leather. Coffee affects the skin less but the nerves more, and a healthy nervous system is necessary to beauty. Late suppers, over-eating at meals, eating between meals, the use of candies, sweetmeats, preserves, etc., produce pimples and blotches.
The use of gloves, especially kids, help to preserve the softness of the hands. Cleanliness and sprinkling with orris-root counteracts excessive perspiration. Warts are removed by steeping the hands in warm water for half an hour, and then paring away the white and insensible surface. The nails should be cut frequently, always in oval shape. The nailbrush should be full and soft. It should be rubbed on a cake of soap and then used vigorously. Biting nails is a bad habit. To break it up, in children, dip the ends of the fingers in a solution of aloes.
The outer ear should be well cleansed and the passage wiped out daily with a rag on the end of the little finger, but nothing should be inserted further. The insertion of a pin, or any hard substance, frequently ruptures the ear. When cleansing is necessary on account of accumulation of wax by cold, or other cause, it should be done by syringing with warm, water, having dropped in two or three drops of glycerine the night before to soften the substance to be removed. This often cures sudden deafness. Cotton-wool stuffed into the ear is injurious and is seldom necessary. In conversing with deaf persons, it is important to remember that clearness, distinctness, and a musical tone of voice is understood much more easily than a loud tone.
- Cracking nuts, biting thread, eating hot food, especially bread and pastry raised with soda, very cold drinks, alternate contact with cold and hot substances, highly seasoned food, alcoholic liquors and tobacco, metal toothpicks, and want of cleanliness, are injurious to teeth. After eating, the mouth should be rinsed with lukewarm water, and such pieces of food as are not thus washed away removed by a quill toothpick. Toothbrushes should be elastic and moderately hard. Those with hairs not too close together are best and most durable. A brush that is too hard may be permanently softened by dipping in hot water. Rub up and down as well as across the teeth. Teeth should be often examined by a competent dentist.