Skin Lightening Recipes from Polygraphice, 1685


A wonderful cosmetic of great worth.

Take white tartar twenty ounces, talc, salt, of each ten ounces, calcine them in a potter's furnace very well; then grinding the matter upon a marble, put it into Hippocrates his sleeve, and set it in a cellar or other moist place for twenty or thirty days, and there will drop from it a precious oil; which being rubbed upon the skin softly with a linen cloth (the skin being duly cleansed first) takes away all kind of spots, and makes the skin soft and delicate.

A cheap, yet excellent cosmetic.

Take alum in fine powder, and shake it with whites of new-laid eggs, being a little heated, till such time as they grow thick to an ointment, with which anoint the face morning and evening three or four days; and it will take away spots and wrinkles, and make the skin grow clear and fair.

A vegetable cosmetic.

Besmear your skin or face at night going to bed with the juice of wake-robin; it is excellent.

To make a very good wash to whiten the skin, and give a good complexion.

Take lemons (ED: small ones), hens eggs boiled, of each twelve; turpentine eight ounces, distill all in a Balneo Mariae, with which wash. When you wash, you may drop into it a drop, two or three of oil of oranges or cinnamon for fragrance's sake. (ED: essential oils were not used at this time; he is talking about infused perfume oils. Do not try to add undiluted cinnamon essential oil to your wash!)

To take away freckles.

Take juice of lemons, put it into a small bottle, to which put fine sugar, and borax in powder, digest it eight days in sand, then use it; or mix sal tartari with whites of eggs, and apply it; or often use oil of tartar alone.

To make the skin soft, smooth and white, take away pimples, morphew, scurf, &c.

Bathe the places affected well, morning and night, with powders of rosemary, amber or lemons, and you will have your desire in some short time with advantage. These things are beyond all hitherto named.
Subpages (1): Perfumes