The Importance of Preserving Good Looks - The Care of the Complexion the First Essential-how to Wash the Face - Sunburn

As the American woman is in general keenly alive to the importance of beauty and personal appearance, it may be of interest to know a few of the secrets to which she has recourse.

The skin being the most important item in a woman's appearance, the American woman gives her complexion her first thought.

The face should be washed with water but once a day - very few skins can stand more than this. Indispensable in the care of the face is a box of small squares of absorbent cotton, cut to about three inches in length, an abundant supply of which is always kept on hand in milady's dressing-table drawer. This is infinitely to be preferred to a piece of old linen, as each bit of cotton is immediately dispensed with once it has performed its office.

The first step in the proper cleansing of the face is to smear it well with a little rather thin good cold-cream, always smoothing gently upwards. Then wipe off the cream carefully with bits of the cotton. The cream for this process must be one from a reliable chemist.

Have ready a basin of very hot water, and if the water be hard, put into it a teaspoonful or two of a softener or bath crystals. Soap a square of cotton with a pure Castile soap and wash off the cream; then dip a large square of soft cloth in the hot water and hold to the face, constantly re-heating in the basin. No rubbing at all should be done, as real rubbing stretches the skin, particularly when it is relaxed by the application of hot water.

The face should then be dried by patting with a very soft cloth kept for no other purpose.

Following this, a good cream should be stroked in very carefully. About the eyes the cream should be merely patted in with the tips of the fingers, and the eyelids treated gently downwards. A complexion cream much in vogue with the American woman is given below. It is a nourishing and whitening preparation:

White wax........ 1/2 oz.

Spermaceti........ 1/2 oz.

Cocoanut oil........ 1 oz.

Lanoline ........ 1 oz.

Oil of sweet almonds .. .. 2 oz.

Orange-flower water . . .. 1 oz.

Tincture of benzoin . . .. 3 drops

After using this, the face should be thoroughly chilled with applications of cold water, applied with large, folded, soft cloths, then dried, and followed by another application of the cream, this time merely spreading on a small quantity, which is allowed to remain on all night. The American woman keeps special soft towels for the purpose of covering her pillow at night and guarding it from the cold-cream.

In the morning the eyes should be bathed with warm water, and, if there is any irritation, a little boracic acid dropped into the basin and thoroughly dissolved. The rest of the face should be merely wiped with a bit of the cotton soaked in the following solution:

Rosewater........3 oz.

Alcohol ........ 1 oz.

Glycerine ........1/2 oz.

The glycerine sometimes should be omitted, as it does not agree with all skins.

After rest and sleep, the third essential to a good skin, namely, fresh air, is most scrupulously ensured by the American woman. But while thoroughly understanding the benefit of the open-air bath for the improving of her complexion, she is just as well aware of the devastating influence of unlimited sun and wind. It is absolute madness to expose recklessly hands and face to the elements for any great length of time, unless they are partially protected. Continuous sun and wind will reduce any skin to a hue and character resembling mahogany parchment. Once a complexion is permitted to acquire the leatheriness that prolonged out-of-door life is bound to bring about, its former delicacy can never be regained. Tan, which is commonly supposed to be merely the darkening of the outer cuticle, is in reality something quite different. Tan is the expansion of the pigment cells, or glands, beneath the skin, and the consequent darkening of the colouring matter caused by exposure to the sun and wind.

A simple but efficacious lotion used in the summer-time, and applied with the cotton before going out of doors, is the following: Simple tincture of benzoin .. 1/2 oz.

Cold water ...... 1/2 pint.

Glycerine ...... 2 teasps.

To be continued.

The following are good firms for supplying materials, etc., mentioned in this Section: Messrs. T. J. Clark (Glycola); Dc Miracle Chemical Co. (Hair Destroyer); Margarette Merlain (Bust Treatment); Wright, Layman & Umney, Ltd. (Coal Tar Soap;.