This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
Never use any kind of paint on the face. All rouges injure the skin. Blanc de perle is dangerous.
Greasy skins are benefited by washing in the juice of fresh cucumbers. Equally good is the water in which spinach flowers have been boiled. The juice of strawberries is still better.
During the sixteenth century the water in which beans had been boiled was in vogue for the complexion. This farinaceous water is entitled to the fame which it possessed Belladonna (beautiful lady) derives its name from the use which the Italians of the Renaissance made of its juice to improve them complexions.
The following lotion is excellent: A wineglassful of lemon juice, a pint of rain water, five drops of essence of rose, well corked. Wash the face occasionally with this mixture, which often prevents the discoloration of the skin.
Soft and relaxed skins will be improved by the use of the following cosmetic (at intervals of eight days) : One part milk, one part whisky. Moisten a soft towel with the mixture, after having first washed the face. The results do not follow immediately, but within a year the skin will frequently contract, become firm, fine, and soft.
An excellent cleansing wash, used by our grandmothers, and known as " virginal milk," is prepared as follows: Take one quart of rose, orange, or elder-flower water, and add to it, drop by drop, stirring constantly, an ounce of simple tincture of benzoin. (Be careful not to use compound tincture). A few drops of glycerine and twelve or fifteen minims of tincture of myrrh may be added.
For greasiness of the skin the use of stimulating and astringent washes is necessary. The following is an excellent recipe: One ounce of dried rose leaves, one-half pint of white-wine vinegar, one half-pint of rose-water. Pour the vinegar on the rose-leaves and let it stand for a week; then strain and add the rose-water. Bathe the face morning and evening by wetting the corner of a soft towel with the lotion.
Where the oiliness is considerable, use the following lotion, applying it two or three times a day :
Sulphate of zinc, two grains; compound tincture of lavender, eight minims; distilled water, one ounce. Mix thoroughly.
Toilet vinegars are frequently made with diluted acetic acid, into which are infused rose-leaves, lavender, verbena, or some other perfume. All toilet vinegars should be much diluted. The best time to use them is in the morning after bathing, in order to cool the skin, remove any appearance of greasiness, and give tone to the epidermis. But they must on no account be used soon after soap has been applied, because the acid of the vinegar will decompose the soap and seriously injure the skin.