A hundred years ago, you wouldn’t have found too many products to help take care of your skin. Ladies back then relied on other little tips and tricks — including using old standbys like water, essential oils, and simple cold cream — together with the use of massage and other tried and true methods.
We can’t vouch for any of skincare formulations shown below, but if you did want to give them a try, it might be helpful to know that a dram equals 1/8th of an ounce.
Take time to take care of your skin & enhance your beauty
Did you ever lose sight of a friend or acquaintance, and meet her again perhaps after six months or a year transformed almost beyond recognition? From an unhealthy, plain-looking woman — perhaps too fat, perhaps too thin, it matters little which — she has changed so greatly for the better that you hardly know her, she is so fresh and healthy-looking. Her skin is clear, wrinkles have disappeared, her figure is more symmetrical and her hair looks glossy and well cared for.
And if you ask, as diplomatically as may be, what caused the change, she will tell you that it is due to care of her health and scientific treatment of the face and scalp.
Now, a like improvement is within the power of almost any woman who cares to take the time and trouble.
It is not a question of expense either, for most of the treatments can be easily managed at home. In the strenuous life that most women lead, either in the home or the business world, lines and wrinkles come quickly even to young faces. A few minutes’ massage each day will do much to remove lines and facial blemishes, or even treating the face for fifteen minutes or so once or twice a week will help stay the lines of fatigue.
The first point to take upon the care of the face is thorough cleanliness. This cannot be accomplished by just washing; water alone will not thoroughly cleanse the pores of the skin; this is best brought about by steaming the face.
Pour hot water into a bowl, and in this dip a Turkish towel or big washcloth folded several times to make a large square that will just cover the whole face. Dip this cloth in water, wring out quite thoroughly and before applying test it on the chest to see if the skin can stand the heat. Then apply gradually, not slapping on all at once, but gradually as the face can stand it, being very careful not to use it too hot at first. Apply this hot folded towel to the face three times.
Essential oils and gentle massage help take care of your skin
The face is now ready for massaging; for this an aromatic almond lotion is excellent. This can be made as follows: Oil of sweet almonds, 3 ounces: oil of bitter almonds, 10 drams; balsam of tolu, 2 drams; benzoin, 2 drams; essence of lemon, 2 drops; essence of cajuput, 2 drops. The resins are powdered and triturated in the oils; keep at a gentle heat for twenty-four hours, then decant and add the essential oils.
All massage to be beneficial should be in an upward and circular direction. Begin first with the forehead. Liberally anoint the fingertips with the lotion. Place the fingertips of both hands at the center of the forehead, where the wrinkles caused by frowning or deep thought form, and rub the cream in with a circular movement for one or two minutes. Then proceed with the circular loop-like movement, first across one side of the forehead and then the other.
When the forehead is in a warm glow, pass to the temples and describe circles there as at the center of the forehead with an upward and outward rotary movement, holding the skin firm at the outer corner of the eye with the other hand. The fingers must always be well greased, that the movements may be easy and no creases be formed, but the touch must always be firm. This is very important. Quite some pressure may be exerted on the forehead and temples.
Next, treat the skin beneath the eyes, beginning at the inner corner and proceeding with an outward pull to the outer corner. Of course, each of the movements is executed several times. Massage near the eyes must be extremely gentle and light, the fingers barely touching the skip, as these muscles are very delicately formed.
Strengthen the ligaments and firm the facial muscles
Next, give attention to the line which runs from the nose to the mouth, massaging over it in circles, then up along the side of the nose to the inner corner of the eye. The cheeks can stand more pressure. Proceed in circles and loops.
The corners of the mouth require attention next, and the movement here is in rather small, backward-turning circles. The cheek in front of the car comes in for a good, vigorous massage, as that will help fill out hollows. Higher up, just below the temples, is another spot requiring good rubbing, as the largest cheek muscle is here attached to the bone, and massage strengthens the ligatures and makes the muscles firm.
Massage each side of upper lip under each nostril, on the center and then on the side of the chin, under the corners of the mouth; along the edge of the jaw from chin to the car, always in circles and loops. The same movement directly under the chin and jaw, when vigorously executed, will work away a double chin.
The front of the neck at each side of the larynx is next massaged, the circled being continued to around to the back of the neck. The circular movement may be used to develop chest, arms or any other part of the body.
Make your own homemade lotion to take care of your skin
The lotion should be worked into the face three separate times by massage. After the lotion has been applied as directed, a good cold cream should be then used to soften the skin.
An excellent and easily-prepared cream can be made as follows: Rose water, 4 ounces; almond oil, 4 ounces; spermaceti, 1 ounce; white wax, 1 ounce; tincture of benzoin, 1 dram [1/8 ounce].
When the massage is finished, wash the face well with warm water and a pure bland soap, rinsing off the soap carefully. Then steam the face with the hot towels once again, applying them three times. They can be used hotter now than at first as the face is better able to stand it.
The muscles are now given tone and firmness by an ice bath. Wrap a small piece of ice in a cloth and rub over the face until it tingles. The face will now be in a rosy glow and may have a burnished shiny look, so the last touch should be the application of a little rice powder.
Other vintage tips to take care of your skin
You cannot expect to have a good complexion if you eat unwisely. The woman who over-indulges in candy and rich pastry never has a clear, rosy skin.
A celebrated lady, who was famous even in her old age for her beautiful, clear complexion and freedom from wrinkles, was once persuaded to tell the secret of her youthful looks. The answer was simple. Abstinence had been the rule of her life. No tea, coffee or stimulant of any kind. To keep well, drink lemonade or water, eat apples, grapes and figs regularly.
Sleep is one of the great preservers of youth. Eight hours of regular sleep at night and a short nap during the day will do much to keep the face free from wrinkles. Always sleep with the bedroom window open a few inches at the top, both in summer and winter. A daily morning bath, tepid in winter and cold in summer, with a brisk rub to follow, will be found of great benefit to the skin.