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[Skin Care - Part 4] [Skin Care - Part 5]
( Originally Published 1963 )
WHAT TO EAT AND NOT EAT
It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if you fill up your kitchen cabinets with all kinds of starchy foods and feature them at mealtime (and between) you're not going to be hungry enough to eat the leafy fresh green and red vegetables and fruits, the lean meats and fish, the eggs and cheeses, that you really need. If you're accustomed to munching cookies or potato chips when you feel on edge, you won't be able to nibble on a bunch of vitamin- and mineral-loaded grapes. (Surprisingly, you can nibble just as nervously on a bunch of grapes.) If you always have a coke when you're thirsty, you won't feel much like having a glass of milk. And I'm a great believer in milk. I drink tons of it. I always have. I drink milk instead of water, and total about four or five glasses a day. Unfortunately, I don't think milk is as rich as it used to be. Sometimes it doesn't even taste milky. But it is still a source of calcium and vitamin D, fairly inexpensive, and a simple, easy way to get solid nourishment beween meals.
In many parts of the world good skin is more the norm than it is here in the United States. In Spain, Italy, Greece, Scandinavia, one rarely sees a bad complexion, unless it is one badly disfigured by smallpox. A clear, soft, smooth, tiny-pored complexion is the happy lot of almost every Italian girl whether she comes from the south of the country where the sun shines for most of the year, or from the north where it rains a lot. The same is true of Spanish women. But the women of both of these countries, who use far less of the lotions, creams, and make-up than we do, do one thing that we don't do. They take in huge quantities of pure olive oil every single day of their lives. Try it, if you can afford the extra calories.
SKIN CARE: THREE BASIC RULES
Let's agree that bad skins (the acne, blemishes, sallow blotchy complexions we see too much of) are not necessary.
There are three basic things you must do for your skin if you want it to look as good as it can. You must keep it clean, keep it moist, and stimulate it. This means three daily simple operations: you must wash your face, cream it and massage it.
Personally, I don't believe a face is clean and really clean unless it has been scrubbed with soap and water. I wash my face two, sometimes three, sometimes four times a day. My skin is hard to define as either dry or oily. It has both qualities, sometimes at the same moment. I'm extremely energetic and when I'm working my system is giving off so much energy it gets confused. I can have one dry section on my face while another may be visibly perspiring. Perhaps 1 oughtn't to wash my face as often as I do, but since I am so often covered with oils and creams (in the make-up and make-up removers I use when working), my skin gets more than enough lubrication to stand a little extra cleaning.
I never use a facecloth because unless you use an absolutely clean one it will always carry a certain amount of dirt and oil from the last washing. Of course, if you're meticulous about boiling or scrubbing your facecloth every few days it's fine to use one.
SOAP AND WATER
I use my hands to wash my face. I dampen my face first with very hot water. Then I work up a very thick lather. (I use a special soap that has a cold cream ingredient in it because of my skin's tendency towards dryness.) I even use the bar soap directly on my face, and as I wash I massage my face very gently with an upwards movement. When I'm through soaping, I rinse my face with very hot water, then very cold water to close the pores.
Dave Lawrence does not recommend my way of washing my face for everyone. He favors more use of cleansing creams and lubricants, less soap and water, but agrees with me that while creams are very good for a preliminary removal of make-up and grime, warm water and a good toilet soap is the only sure way of leaving the skin perfectly fresh and free from the last traces of all surface residue. A soap and water cleansing ought to be part of every woman's beauty schedule at least once a day. Dave also feels that unless you are using a very pure, mild soap, using the soap directly on your face can be irritating to the skin. He recommends you fill the basin with slightly warmer than lukewarm water. Make suds with your soap, then dip a very clean washcloth (or a soft complexion brush) into the water. Gently massage your face with the cloth with large outward and upward movements.
A good complexion brush is wonderful for the skin because used right, it cleans and massages your face at the same time. The best complexion brushes are very soft, made of natural bristle, and are quite expensive but worth it. Most come from England. Women who use them would sooner go without shoes than without their face brush.
CHOOSING A SOAP FOR YOUR FACE
Whichever way you choose to wash your face, and it will depend on the quality and sensitivity of your own skin, the question of what soap to use will come into the picture. So many women absent-mindedly pick up a soap they've seen advertised on television the day before, or one that someone mentioned they use, or one that some movie star swears by (but probably never uses). It's as important for you to know what soap is right for your skin as what color you look best in. Skin, even normal skin, may not show obvious signs of suffering from bad treatment for some time. But many soaps have waxes, lyes, or animal fats in them which are too alkali for most skin. Coconut oil can also cause trouble. Perfumed soaps can be very irritating because of their alcohol content.
Soaps that have olive oil, cold cream, or are superfatted with lanolin are advised by most skin doctors for women with dry or sensitive skins.
If you're unfortunate enough to live in a hard water area you had best, if you haven't already, find some way to "soften" the water in which you wash your face in and bathe. Hard water contains metal and minerals that can be harsh to a sensitive skin and damaging to some degree to any skin.
Many homes today have water softeners installed in their bathrooms and kitchens. If you don't, or can't, there are still the timehonored methods of adding vinegar to the water in your basin or tub, putting a small quantity of oatmeal into the water before you wash, or boiling the water before using it.
STEAMING YOUR FACE
Using extremes of water temperature on your face is not a good idea as a general habit. Very hot water can break down some of the protective tissues of your face by forcing the red corpuscles to rush to that part of the skin and, in a similar way, the shock of icewater or ice used directly on the skin can do damage. For everyday use, slightly warmer than lukewarm water is a good rule.
An occasional steaming, however, will not only deep-clean your pores because of the increased perspiration it produces, but can bring a wonderfully natural blush-red glow to your cheeks on short notice-a handy effect for special occasions. You can steam your face either by holding your head over a pot of boiling water with your head covered by a big Turkish towel (but beware of steam-burns), or by folding a towel into two or three layers, put ting it in hot water, (not hotter than your hands can comfortably stand), and, after a second or two, putting this on your face. You can do this two or three times during the steaming, then dash your face with cold water to prevent too much relaxation of the pores. Witch hazel, or any other mild astringent, tenses and closes the pores just as effectively (or more so) as the cold water. If you're not going out but just steaming your face before bedtime (and steaming ought not be done more than once a week, ever!), finish up the treatment by applying a thin layer of skin cream and leaving it on for a half hour or longer. Your pores will also be particularly responsive to massage at this time.
NEW SKIN FOR OLD
Every time we wash or cream our faces we are not only removing dirt and excess oil which may clog the pores and which settle in the crevices and folds of your face, but we are also helping the old skin to fall away. Under the lenses of a powerful microscope a small sample of skin looks like the scales of a fish. This is because the layers of skin cells overlap each other-nature's way of protecting the brand new layers of skin constantly being formed underneath. When the upper layers of the skin flake off, the new ones appear. You see this most clearly with one type of dandruff -these not very beautiful white flakes are actually the top cells of your scalp tissue.
Lubrication is the second essential of skin care. You must keep your skin from becoming too dry, you must help create the constantly moist atmosphere in which the skin cells best exist. Even though the creams and oils you put on your face can not actually penetrate the skin's watertight protective layers or "nourish" the deeper layers, they do however, help put back some of the fatty material which dry skins lack. They also protect your skin from the naturally drying effect of the air, the additionally harsh attacks of cold winds and the sun rays by helping the skin to maintain its own moisture.
Cleansing creams (cold creams, albolenes, etc.) should always be used to take your make-up off. To take the make-up off with soap and water you'd have to rub much harder than you ever should. And, on no occasion (please note the underlining) go to bed with your make-up still on. Your pores need_ to breathe when they sleep just the way you do. But don't confuse cleansing creams, meant to be just that and no more, with the moisturizers (dry skin creams, rich oils, hormone creams, etc. ) which are for lubricating and "feeding" the skin.
You certainly don't have to buy an expensive lubricant to have one that will do the job of keeping your tissues moist, protected, and clean. For a normal skin, almost any approved product on the market today will do-once you make sure there are no special additives or perfumes to worry about. For a dry skin, one that flakes, burns, or itches, or has a tendency to look and feel rough use a cream rich in lanolin (true of most dry skin creams), olive oil, mineral oil. More than half the women in the United States have skin that falls into the dry category.