Skin Lightening Tips and Recipes from Practical Housekeeping, 1887


To Remove Sunburn.

Scrape a cake of brown Windsor soap to a powder, add one ounce each of Eau de Cologne and lemon juice; mix well and form into cakes. This removes tan, prevents hands from chopping, and makes the skin soft and white.

Freckles.

Grate horseradish fine: let it stand a few hours in buttermilk, then strain and use the wash night and morning. Or, squeeze the juice of a lemon into half a goblet of water and use the same way. Most of the remedies for freckles are poisonous, and can not be used with safety. Freckles indicate a defective digestion, and consist in deposits of some carbonaceous or fatty matter beneath the skin. The diet should be of such a nature that bowels and kidneys will do their duty. Daily bathing, with much friction, should not be neglected, and the Turkish bath taken occasionally, if convenient. The juice of a lemon, in which there is as much sugar dissolved as the juice will hold in solution, is an excellent remedy for freckles. This should be applied with a camel's-hair brush several times daily, until they disappear. It must be understood that all acids are astringents in their nature, and their too frequent use is as injurious as many apparently more deleterious cosmetics; for, by too frequent and violent contraction of the pores, they become overworked, and finally refuse to respond to the action of any application; wrinkles result, and are generally ineradicable, except after a tedious dietetic and medical course of treatment.

For Complexion.

Blanch one-fourth pound best Jordan almonds, slip off the skin, mash in a mortar, and rub together with best white soap, for fifteen minutes, adding gradually one quart rosewater, or clean fresh rain-water may be used. When the mixture looks like milk, strain through fine muslin. Apply, after washing, with a soft rag. To whiten the skin, and remove freckles and tan, bathe three times a day in a preparation of three quarts water, one quart alcohol, two ounces cologne, and one of borax, in proportion of two teaspoons mixture to two tablespoons soft water. Bathing the face in pure buttermilk, clear whey, sour milk, new or sweet milk, is soothing and healing after walking, riding, driving, rowing or sailing. Do not plunge the face into cold water, neither dash the water over the face when suffering from sunburn or exposure to wind or water ; the sudden shock is not only injurious to the whole system, but has been known to permanently deface the complexion by a species of tanning which left a brown or yellow tinge impossible to efface.

Queen Bess Complexion Wash.

Put in a vial one drachm of benzoin gum in powder, one drachm nutmeg-oil, six drops of orange-blossom tea, or apple-blossoms put in half pint rain-water and boiled down to one teaspoonful and strained, one pint of sherry wine. Bathe the face morning and night: will remove all flesh-worms and freckles, and give a beautiful complexion. Or, put one ounce of powdered gum of benzoin in pint of whiskey; to use, put in water in wash-bowl till it is milky, allowing it to dry without wiping. This is perfectly harmless.