A shady hat alone is not sufficient; it is wise to protect the face from very strong sun, or sharp winds, by rubbing on the thinnest possible layer of some good "skin food." (Skin food, because this is - or should be - made of white wax, etc., and not from hair-inducing animal fats.) If this is put on thinly, it will not give the face a greasy appearance, but will protect it in the same way that the oily skin of a negro protects him from the tropic sun better than does the white man's drier epidermis.
If a child has one of those exquisitely sensitive skins which chap quite painfully in cold weather, she may wear one of those fine Shetland veils that babies use. But it is always best to try and strengthen the skin to resist the weather, instead of treating it like a hot-house flower.
To achieve this the face should never, never be washed with water, still less with soap and water, just before going out. It should not be washed with hot water in winter, and in very cold weather a delicate skin is often better if it is not washed with water in the morning. Water removes the natural oil which protects it from the weather. The face should, therefore, be washed at night, and cleansed in the morning with a little cold cream - " dry-cleaned," instead of "laundried," in fact.
Powder is a great protection against the weather. If it is of the proper shade to match the skin, powder should be quite invisible, and if it is of the best quality, it will not injure the texture of the skin. Cheap powders, however, contain substances which are even more injurious to the skin than hard water.
Not many mothers, however, would care to powder the faces of the nursery people, but for older girls it is a great protection against freckling. Children's freckles should be left alone; if the child does not grow out of them, it will be quite time to start preventive lotions and thick veils when- she "comes out."
Gas, electric, and oil stoves all tend to dry the air of the house, and are consequently very bad for the skin. It is this, much more than their careless diet, more even than the climate, which accounts for the sallow, wilted-looking skins of American women who are past their first youth.
If people will take the trouble to keep at least one large pan of water in the room, the dryness will be counteracted, for from the pan there will be a steady evaporation. Moreover, if a draught rail is arranged, so that the lower sash of the window can always be raised some inches, and a constant supply of fresh air ensured to the room, the complexion need not suffer.
We are apt to think that ventilation is a modern fad, and that our forefathers got along without it, but the fact is that the wide hearths which used to be in every room were the most admirable ventilating shafts possible, and it is only since the introduction of modern grates, with small chimneys and registers that can be closed when there is no fire, that illness has been caused by lack of fresh air in houses.
Fresh air, plenty of exercise, and plenty of sleep, are essential to good looks, and children who go to bed early have a much better chance of growing up good-looking, healthy, and intelligent than children whose mother yields to the plea for "an extra half-hour" when bed-time comes.