Why a Face Wrinkles - How to Eliminate the Marks of Wear - The Use of Grease for the
Face - The Use of Lotions and Massage
It has been said by a famous French beauty doctor - speaking, of course, from his own especial point of view - that paralysis is a woman's best friend. This statement is based on the supposition that a wrinkle is a woman's worst enemy.
The sensitive face, showing all the feelings which a sensitive person endures for good or evil, very quickly wrinkles, and the nervous temperament, making big demands upon the vitality of the system, shows age long before the phlegmatic temperament, which floats on the waters of life serenely, blow the winds ever so fiercely. But even the phlegmatic must expect wrinkles at some time of life. No creams, no massage, no skill will keep these at bay for ever, and no amount of cunning can hide them once they are marked.
A Secret of our Grandmothers
Yet the young in spirit can grow old gracefully, and a little tact will keep the lines gracious and serene, shadows rather than lines, suggestions of eventide and peaceful rest rather than harsh outlines of ruin and spent days.
But, with all due deference to the needs of health and to the claims of open-air treatments, I am boldly going to ask why so many of us can recollect old ladies who never went in for any sort of " health-culture," and who yet possessed smooth, fresh skins far into old age ? They avoided extremes of weather and of heat and cold. Extremes of any sort, now considered to be merely marks of honesty of character, were then marks of ill-breeding. In no sense of the word are women as temperate now as were their grandmothers, and, consequently, though we boast of keeping younger, we do not preserve the same peacefulness in old age as formerly.
We make too many demands upon our vitality, and have none of the reserve force women were meant to store. Temperateness is another name for a wise storing of reserve force, without which it is impossible to grow old gracefully. Without doubt it was a quietly living woman who spent much time indoors who inspired, "The years, like birds, have stooped to drink the brightness of her eyes, and left their footprints in the margin." A face without wrinkles is a face without character, a fact proved by many professional photographs. You cannot efface wrinkles. You can hide them under make-up or soften and tone them down by treatment. A face properly treated can look beautiful, with a different beauty, suitable to the age of its owner from childhood to old age, and this without regularity of features or striking gifts. Massage, a restriction in the use of water for the complexion, simple living, good hours, and an elimination of undue excitement from the daily life are all means towards softening the wrinkles caused by time. But there are premature wrinkles. Premature Wrinkles
No face ought to show a wrinkle under forty years of age, at least, and there is no need for a skin to lose its freshness before fifty. Ill-health, wrong diet, sleeplessness, habit, undue worry, grimaces and poor sight are all causes of premature wrinkles.
The effort to reduce the size of the figure is a fruitful cause of wrinkles, because the skin, once filled out, now falls into folds as the fat is removed.
The habit of frowning, whether in temper, thought, or because of near-sight, causes two of the ugliest wrinkles between the eyes, and a simple little plan is to smear them with a paste of thick starch whenever you are alone. This, drying into a cake, acts as a gentle reminder to the muscles of the face "not to do it."
As an experiment, take the unlined face on a fashion-plate and mark on it (I) the two lines between the brows, (2) the two horizontal lines across the forehead caused by the habit of raising the eyebrows, and (3) the two ugly crescents running from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth. With six strokes of the pencil you change a young and pretty face into an old and ugly one, for these lines are uncompromisingly ugly.
Ordinary people can cultivate a repose of countenance, but what of actors and actresses? Yet they can keep a real hold on youth long after other folks have let go One reason is that it is necessary for them to use plenty of grease to the face before and after make-up is put on.
There are definite movements to be observed in massaging. For frowns, use a strong, firm pressure of the first two fingers of both hands, and a movement across the wrinkles and towards the temples. For the wrinkles across the forehead, move the fingers always in one direction, and up towards the roots of the hair. For the mouth wrinkles, use more of the fingers than the tips. Begin at the chin, and smooth in a semi-circular movement towards the ears, past the corners of the nose.
But the most immovable enemies in the way of wrinkles collect in fine lines about the eyes. Here wear and tear rapidly use up the nourishment which should keep the skin firm, and crows'-feet and a bagginess under the eyes result. Crows'-feet can be subdued by massage in firm, circular movements; the bagginess by smooth movements from the inner to the outer corner of the eye. Eye-strain is often an unsuspected cause of wrinkles round the eyes.
That of tightening the skin till it loses those ugly folds would appear to be the quickest way of banishing wrinkles. But when the real cause of the wrinkles is known to be a decrease of the fat under the skin, it is realised that the Italian woman's olive-oil and the "Turkish delight" by which the Oriental keeps up her supply of adipose tissue are the real kind of wrinkle banishers. At the same time, after massage, and now and again when the skin wants toning up, there is benefit to be gained from some astringent. Wine (Medoc) is good, so is the Lait Virginal, for which a recipe has been given. The lotions often sold for the purpose are more drastic, and in the end, ceasing to act, leave a worse state of the skin than they found. Tannic acid and alum form the basis of the majority, and, therefore, alum-water is a simple skin tightener. The least harmful I know, after water in which alum has been dissolved, is:
Thick milk of almonds .........................
Sulphate of alumina...............................
Paint on with a camel-hair brush. Mix only a small portion at a time, and keep the bottle well corked.
The prevention of wrinkles is, naturally, a much more satisfactory process than the banishment of them. For with patience, an intelligent and regular use of massage, and an unremitting guard over health, habits, and the disposition to look on the dark side as the years advance, the complexion can be kept smooth and clear to old age. To be continued.