Gloves in connection with cooking operations are not looked on as possible. The making of pastry or cakes in them, for instance, would be quite an absurd suggestion. Stirring pans on the boil, adjusting saucepans, or turning cakes in the oven, however, can always be done in gloves. They should be kept at hand, then, for such uses, loose chamois ones for choice.
From time to time flour might be dredged into the pair reserved for kitchen use, as this affords still more protection from the heat which plays such havoc with the skin. Yet another way of keeping the backs of busy hands smooth and white, is the skilful use of glycerine and powder.
A quick and ready way for having these always available, is for the glycerine and powder to be side by side in a washstand drawer. The former in a tiny Japanese bowl, sold at toyshops for a penny, the latter in a little muslin sachet. This arrangement is quite an ideal one for the hurried housewife, who every time after drying her hands should dip each little finger lightly into the glycerine.
Just what of this gets taken up - no more - must be rubbed on the backs, then these latter one against the other. When the glycerine has soaked well into the pores of the skin, the handy sachet comes into use, a good powdering being given from fingers to wrist, after which a little more rubbing till the hands feel dry and smooth.
No household work can ever succeed in coarsening the skin when this simple suggestion is carried out, nor can the frosts of winter disfigure the hands with chaps. For the removal of stains, however, other salves must be employed, as neither glycerine nor powder are of use in this connection.
Discoloration brought about by cutting apples and pears can be very promptly (disposed of by rubbing the fingers with lemon-juice. After sprigging black currants or stoning the darker kinds of plums, the lemon should be dipped into salt before applying it, as also after handling blackberries or black-heart cherries.
Many things are recommended for whitening the finger-tips after cutting potatoes or beans ; but if, given the present scarcity of cooks, the housewife adds these duties to her busy day, she will find the lemon and salt again do excellent service.
First of all it should be remembered that the skin of the head has precisely the same needs as the skin of the rest of the body. When the latter has been heated, a bath or washing of some kind is always freely indulged in. The head, however, is invariably given the go-by, and the perspiration left to dry on the scalp.
It needs little emphasising that in a busy housewife's day the head must often get considerably overheated, therefore if her hair is not to become poor, brittle, or prematurely grey, a daily shampoo of a kind must never be neglected.
When locks are taken down at night, for instance, the roots of the hair from the forehead to the base of the poll should be well rubbed with the damped corners of a Turkish towel. Moisture and friction make the very life of the scalp. Without these, scurf quickly forms and chokes up all its pores ; with it, dandruff disappears, and each hair cell brings forth a healthy growth.
To continue, hair should "be done," as the expression goes, at least twice a day, and, if possible, near an open sunny window. As each coil is let down in the breeze and sunlight a lot of hot air imprisoned amongst pads and curls is set free. When this is retained it means so much poison kept about the skin of the head.
On rearranging the coiffure, though no actual change of its style is needed, combs and hairpins might be differently placed, for to do this means rest for many a tired nerve. As a matter of fact, the scalp is very sensitive to even trifling pressure, and is conscious of relief at the mere shifting of a pin from one position to another.
The gloss that so many lotions purport to supply can be successfully attained by stroking the hair daily with two silk handkerchiefs, one in either hand. This last is a hint from a very busy housewife, whose tresses are as burnished gold, and, in addition, have that buoyancy so rarely seen when girlhood's days are passed.
Where the complexion is concerned, the housewife has only to bring common sense to her position to improve it considerably.
Roses are courted for her cheeks, for instance, by dusting and polishing, if done with fresh air around her. Put through in a stuffy room there will be pallor and blackheads to deal with for just the same occupations.
Cooking by a gas stove, it must be owned, has nothing to recommend it in regard to the skin. One good hint is to put two vessels of water close to the former instead of the usual one ; for the moister the air the better.
Immediately any little cookery is over, the face should be bathed, first in tepid water, and afterwards in cold, as the pores will require considerable bracing. Powder should be avoided, also any form of outward application, as all such treatment enervates the skin just when it requires everything to strengthen it.
A glass of cold water drunk just before standing over a stove, and another directly the kitchen is left is perfect salvation for the complexion. To be particular about this will prevent that curious effect of network of tiny veins spreading itself over the face. It will make impossible, too, a coarse colour settling in patches about the cheeks.
As a good row of teeth is a woman's greatest charm, these, with the complexion, need a good deal of consideration where gas stoves are concerned. Fumes of any sort are bad for the enamel, likewise the steam that escapes from saucepans and kettles.
To discount the ill effects of these things, teeth must be strengthened at the roots through the gums, and, as usual, cold water can prove itself a friend. Plentiful brushing with this, once a day with common salt added to it, twice a day with tincture of myrrh, will do wonders ; the toothbrush being left after each use of it to soak in soda-and-water. To do this last means a good wholesome brush instead of one loaded with bacteria.
It is always bad for the teeth when the housewife passes from one hot job to another. Needlework done cosily by the fire directly after a little cookery is distinctly inadvisable. Something active in a cool room, not actually a cold one, is the best, attention to the mending-basket coming later on.