There is nothing more instantly attractive about a woman’s personality than a clean, clear, healthy complexion. The tint and glow of her facial skin makes impression, either simultaneously with the expression of her eyes, or quite often before these open their full batteries on the heart.
Pride in the possession of a fine facial skin is more than pardonable; is proper. That much time and attention should be spent on making it as near perfection as possible is right. A good complexion is nature’s best evidence of health. Health helps beauty to linger long.
This very knowledge urges women to exert every effort to keep the complexion above criticism. Ways of doing this were not unknown to the ancients. Many women of history, indeed, have vied in perfecting arts of preservation.
Certain women became celebrities for their looks alone, and so much so that even now the prized formulae, believed to have been handed down by them, are religiously copied and kept supposedly secret by those fortunate enough to have gained an inkling of their methods and preparations.
But science has progressed so far that such secrets are of little merit now. We know that with per-severance and patience and proper attention any skin may be made beautiful and furthermore features that have marred the faces of the most exacting can be made normal and even attractive.
Washing the Face
A light washing of the skin of the hands and face is usually sufficient to brighten it, to make it glow, not with the effect of the water alone but the rubbing and gentle pressing of the hands—the unconscious massage we all practice. The correct method of cleansing the face is to cleanse it thoroughly at night.
The reason is obvious. The person is exposed to the air all day more or less and whether at work in the factory or store or following outdoor duties, there remains the fact that much exposure results in the accumulation of dirt, dust of all kinds, germ life, and other impurities too numerous to count, upon the skin of the parts of the body exposed.
The skin of the face is particularly loaded with this filth on account of the many pores and the form of the con-tour. If now the person is satisfied with simply rubbing off this dirt with a kerchief or as in most cases permits it to remain overnight—washing of the hands for the night meal being considered sufficient for decency’s sake—then this person openly invites any of several of the skin diseases so often caused this way.
The Evening Cleansing
Wash the face at night before retiring; and to do this thoroughly, not as a mere habit, but as a health-giving rule of absolute necessity.
To fully carry out this, have the patron use a neutral clean soap such as white castile. This should be applied to the face with a fine camel’s hair brush dipped into fairly hot water. A Turkish towel glove is best for coarse skins.
Never allow the use of sponges. They are uncleanly and invite infection. The face is thoroughly cleansed, every part being gone over with the brush, rubbing vigorously all the time. The soap is then rinsed off with clean tepid water, using two or three changes of water and the skin dried with a soft towel by tapping it dry in an upward direction always.
Fanning, first very softly, then more briskly, is often found a pleasing and refreshing method of drying the skin. If a perfumed fan be used, take care that the scent be not strong, but very delicate. Never rub the face in any and all directions. Such rough usage would only help to undo the massage results you have been trying to attain by gentle scientific means.
Of course, some patrons with exceedingly fine or deli-cate skins may use a suitable cream to cleanse the skin with instead of soap. There is no need for doing this if a pure or bland soap is used, but the cream may be used in the morning instead of the more thorough washing method of the night before.
The use of aromatic vinegars or toilet waters, particularly those containing irritants or alcohol, is to be avoided. These rob the skin of its fat and eventually leave it dry and hard and wrinkled.
Never in the process of washing the face irritate the skin; if the soap you use does so there is some impurity present and it should be changed at once.
The addition of a few drops of tincture of benzoin to the rinsing water gives it a slight aromatic odor and a tendency to contract the pores and to whiten the skin.
After drying the face, delicate cream is gently rubbed over the face with the tips of the fingers, rubbing upward. This should be left on overnight, using only sufficient to just cover the skin with a thin layer.
The Morning Cleansing
In the morning the face may be washed as in the evening, but less thoroughly. The use of a fine face cloth should take the place of the flesh brush, as it is not intended to widen the pore openings by mechanical means, but simply to cleanse them of fatty matter.
In place of the benzoin tincture used in the evening cleansing a tablespoonful or two of fresh almond meal added to the first rinsing water adds luxury to the process. The latter makes a creamy white mixture, very agreeable both in effect and odor. T
The cream and powder follow next. While the pow-der is not essential at night, it is particularly indicated for a skin about to be exposed to harsh winds or the hot sun. One precaution is to have the face thoroughly dry be-fore using the cream and powder, otherwise an uneven-ness of the application appears while the danger of chafing is thereby invited.
Some persons have a very loose skin, not merely on the neck where looseness of skin is common, but on the cheeks and occasionally on the forehead. In such cases hold the skin gently with one hand to prevent its rolling about, while you massage with the other.