Beauty Secrets from the Good Old Days

Here's a beauty tip from Uncle John: If your great-great-great-grandma is still living, don't ask her for beauty tips. If what we found in these old books is any guide, you'll probably get some pretty odd advice.

To lose weight: "New York society women usually go upon the milk diet during Lent, as being the most convenient time, and for a week they will take nothing into the system but milk. The dose for the milk diet is: Take a glass of milk upon rising, then follow it with a glass every hour all day. Add a pinch of salt if you prefer. The milk will wash all impurities out of the system, and milk taken thusly is not fattening."

-The Household Physician (1905)

Another way to lose weight: "Keep on bearing children as long and often as possible."

-Creative and Sexual Science (1876)

For wrinkles: "A wrinkle is like a crinkle in a piece of tissue paper. It is there, but is easily smoothed out. The plaster treatment has been tried with good results: The wrinkle is stretched flat, and slender strips of plaster are applied. When taken off, the wrinkle will be much lighter."

-The Household Physician (1905)

Bathing: "The vigorous and strong may bathe early in the morning on an empty stomach. The young and weak had better bathe three hours after a meal."

-Cassell's Household Guide (1880)

"Bags under the eyes destroy the beauty of the face. To get rid of these bags, massage persistently, and also reform the diet. It is good to eat apples, cooked and raw; correct the liver and the eye sacs will disappear."

-The Household Physician (1905)

"Every intelligent dentist knows that the whiter the teeth are, the sooner and more certainly they will decay. He also knows that those teeth last the longest and are the most useful, which have a yellowish tint."

-Fun Better Than Physic (1877)

"To enlarge the bust: An efficacious, yet safe method to enlarge the bust is a persistent massage with some bland oil, of which coconut or olive are good examples."

-The Household Physician (1905)

"To cure pimples: Take a fairly full breath and hold it momentarily while contracting the abdominal muscles and straining lightly. This brings a flush to the cheeks and fills the capillaries of the skin, insuring a better skin circulation. Standing on the head will have the same effect as the exercise given, and is worth a try."

-Home Health Manual (1930)

"Freckled hands in the summer are caused by letting the sun touch the hands immediately after they have been washed. The freckles can be removed with lemon juice followed by cold cream."

-The Household Physician (1905)

"The very best way of making the hair grow is to rub paraffin into the roots, but of course you must be very careful afterwards not to go near a fire or light of any kind."

-The Girl's Own Annual (1903)

"Fat faced women always have small eyes. As the fat increases, the cheeks puff up and the eyes dwindle. Eyes can be made larger if one massages the cheeks until the fat is less noticeable."

-The Household Physician (1905)

To freshen the breath: "A lump of charcoal held in the mouth two or three times a week and slowly chewed, has a power to preserve the teeth and purify the breath. Those who are troubled with an offensive breath might chew it very often and swallow it but seldom."

-Polite Manual for Young Ladies (1847)


(Image source: Weird Vintage

The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 19th book in this fan-favorite series contain such gems like The Greatest Plane that Never Was, Forgotten Robot Milestones, Ancient Beauty Secrets, and more.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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