Skin Lightening Recipes from The Toilet of Flora, 1779

A fluid to clear tanned skin.

Take unripe grapes and soak them in water, sprinkle them with alum and salt, then wrap them up in paper and roast them in hot ashes; squeeze out the juice, and wash the face with it every morning, it will soon remove the tan.

A fluid to whiten the skin.

Take equal parts of the root of centaury and the white vine, a pint of cow's milk, and the crumb of a wheaten loaf; distill in a glass Alembic. The distilled water, for use, must be mixed with an equal quantity of Hungary Water: it then admirably clears the complexion.
The distilled waters of fennel, and white lilies, with a little gum mastic, will produce the same effect.

To remove freckles.

Take houseleek, and celandine, of each an equal quantity; distill in a Sand Heat, and wash with distilled water.


Apply the juice of onions to the part affected.


Boil ivy leaves in wine, and foment the face with the decoction.

A water to prevent freckles, or blotches in the face.

Take wild cucumber root and wild narcissus roots, of each an equal quantity; dry them in the shade and reduce them to a very fine powder, putting them afterward into strong French brandy, with which wash the face, till it begins to itch, then wash it with cold water. This method must be repeated every day till a perfect cure is obtained, which will soon happen, for this water has a slight caustic property, and of course must remove all spots on the skin.
Subpages (1): Hungary Water