Skin Lightening Tips and Recipes from Beauty: Its Attainment and Preservation, 1892



A remedy popular in the time of Queen Anne for whitening the shoulders and arms and making flabby flesh firm and clear-looking consists of the whites of four eggs with a grain or two of alum, beaten until they are thick. This is spread on the skin over night and carefully covered with old linen.

A similar remedy is a paste made of the whites of four eggs boiled in rosewater and then beaten thick after a grain or two of alum has been added. This paste is to be spread on the skin over night, or during the afternoon before a party, and covered with old linen.

An English recipe for whitening the arms is made of two ounces of old
Windsor or almond soap dissolved in two ounces of lemon juice; to this is added one ounce of the oil of bitter almonds and the same quantity of oil of tartar. Mix the whole mass until it is like soap, and use it to wash the hands. These are the most powerful agents that can be safely applied to the skin, but the mixture should not be used if the skin is chapped or scratched.

An embrocation for whitening the skin is made as follows:

    Almond Oil -- 3 1/2 ounces
    Cucumber Juice -- 2 ounces
    White Wax -- 2 drachms
    Spermaceti (ED: use jojoba wax) -- 1 ounce
    Oil Neroli -- 10 drops

Heat the cucumber juice to a point just sufficient to coagulate the albuminous matter, and strain. Melt the wax and spermaceti over a water-bath, add the almond oil slowly, and remove from the heat. Now add the cucumber juice, also slowly. Stir continually until cold. Then beat in the oil of neroli.

Almond paste is a fine whitener for the hands and arms. The recipe for it has been previously given, but will bear repetition as especially adapted to the purpose just named.

"Take of sweet and bitter almonds each two ounces, and pound into a paste ; add spermaceti (
ED: jojoba wax) four drachms, oil of almonds half an ounce, white Windsor soap, scraped fine, half an ounce, oil of bergamot or oil of stephanotis twelve drops. Heat slightly and gently when all the ingredients are prepared, and then whisk well until the whole forms a stiff paste. To prepare the almonds, first blanch them by placing in cold water, which heat slowly to scalding; then take out and rub or peel in a cloth, throwing them into cold water when peeled. Keep for a few days in a dry place, and then strew them over a dish or tin, and place in a lukewarm oven for half an hour. Chop small, and roll with a rolling-pin, then use for the almond paste according to the directions. Almond paste, made really of almonds, and without lard or other greasy compound containing animal fat, is one of the finest things for whitening the skin. This paste, with the soap omitted, is also useful for the skin generally, but when the soap is employed, it should be used for the hands and arms only."