Ellis Barker J
BY THE EDITOR.
A GOOD appearance is a most valuable asset to men and women, and not only the ladies are interested in a beautiful skin and complexion. It is true beauty parlours for women abound everywhere. Men do their beauty treatment more quietly. They get at the barbers or the chemists various preparations for improving their appearance and every barber and hairdresser will give facial massage and advice for improving the skin.
A sallow complexion, large or mattery pimples and other disfiguring eruptions, of which the number is legion, proclaim poor health or disease. These disfigurements mar the appearance of every woman and of every man. One does not like to buy ones goods at a shop where one is served by an attendant who looks thoroughly unwholesome. Allowing for this sentiment, employers hesitate to engage commercial travellers, bank clerks, managers, etc., who look unwholesome in the face although they may explain that they are perfectly healthy and that ordinary examination by a doctor or a more searching examination for life insurance purposes has revealed nothing wrong.
A good presence is an invaluable asset to men and women, to boys and girls. One is instinctively attracted by the appearances of abounding health and is as instinctively repelled by a bad complexion and skin because they proclaim bad health, even if the sufferer has perfect features, an excellent figure, and looks very athletic.
It cannot be too strongly impressed upon readers that a good skin and complexion cannot be bought for cash. The outer covering of the body proclaims its inner condition. The experience doctor can tell you a glance, even at a glance from a distance, without using any scientific instruments whether an individual is healthy or unhealthy, whether he had troubles with his digestion which produces certain folds and creases of the face which are noticeable at fifty yards, whether the individual is chronically constipated and toxic, suffers from mal- functioning of the liver, or of the kidneys, whether the lungs are weakened or diseased, etc.
These evidences of diminished health cannot be hidden effectively with powder and rouge, with lipstick ad face cream and all the other artificialities known to the beauty specialists. As a matter of fact, all the artifices employed to hide the ravages of impaired health and disease, proclaim loudly the truth which people try to hide.
Sir Arbuthnot Lane has given a wonderful picture of the outward evidences of auto-intoxication from which innumerable people suffer, and those who are deceived by the artifices employed to improve outward appearances are informed of the real condition of the person before them by the body odour and the odour of the breath which cannot be effectively covered by frequent bathing and the use of strong soaps, perfumes, etc., Many an elegant woman carries with her an odour in which strong perfumes, acrid perspiration and other unpleasantness are offensively mingled.
The health of the body regulates and determines its outward appearance. We look at a dog and we say: “The poor thing must be in bad health, his coat is without sheen and his eyes are dull.” The texture of the hair cannot be improved by the tricks of the hairdresser and his futile lotions, nor can the sheen of the eye be enhanced with the various eye drops vainly employed.
A woman who wishes to have a milkmaids complexion must lead a milkmaids life, and eat a milkmaids food and a man cannot improve his appearance by employing the various skin washes obtainable at shops. At the same time it is obvious that faulty treatment, or ill-treatment, of skin and complexion are harmful, even if the health of the individual is faultless.
Cheap skin injuring soaps may spoil a naturally perfect complexion. Many women have so delicate a skin that almost any soap will injure it. I knew a nurse with a most wonderful complexion, the best complexion I have ever seen. She told me that she never used soap in washing, but plain water or oatmeal water and occasionally olive oil.
Those who have a poor complexion and body skin should immediately enquire into their method of living, for a perfect skin and complexion are natural and normal. Savages who do not wash, like the Eskimos, have often a perfect skin and complexion.
A system over-heated with meat, alcohol, strong tea, strong coffee, a super abundance of condiments and spices proclaims the faultiness of nutrition in complexion and body skin. Constipation produces unsightly blotches and other eruptions by means of which the body endeavours to eliminate the inner foulness. Hence the first step to take for those who would have a beautiful skin and complexion is to regulate their diet and to induce frequent and easy bowel action by dietetic means, not by medicine.
The use of medicine may relieve the bowels, but as a rule it makes self-poisoning from the bowels doubly dangerous, by irritating and injuring the weakened bowel walls.
Most of the laxatives and purgatives employed are bowel irritants although their makers and vendors proclaim that they are bland, blood-clearing, absolutely harmless, etc. I was born with a jaundiced skin and complexion, suffered as a child, as a body, as a young man, and when middle-aged with skin eruptions of every kind, and I come from a family in which a yellow, unfresh and impure skin is general. Late in life I learned the art of living healthily by dietetic means.
Formerly I looked like a sick Chinaman. Now I am told that I have a pure skin, an excellent complexion and colours which would do credit to a milkmaid or a healthy baby. In the olden days I was given ointments, skin washes, medicated soaps and similar rubbish.
Now I use ordinary soap and water is hard or soft, tap water or rain water, etc. After all the skin and complexion proclaim the physical condition of the individual. A healthy life produces a healthy skin and an unhealthy life produces an unhealthy skin, and no tricks of manufacturers and shop-keepers will avail to improve matters.
Of course there are medicines which are helpful in improving condition of skin and complexion. They act not directly on the skin, but by improving that bodily disorder which has caused the deterioration of the skin. When all the skin washes, skin ointments and skin treatments have utterly failed, a few doses of Sulphur 6x, Arsenicum 6x, or whatever may be needed by the suffering body will improve the general health and with the general health the skin.
The idea that the skin can be improved or cured by outward application is, of course, held by specialists in skin diseases, by dermatologists. As the diseases and disorders of the skin are hardly ever restricted to the skin itself, but come from within the body, these disorders and diseases must be treated from within, not from without. Outward treatments can only do mischief by depriving the body of a much needed outlet, and driving the trouble inside.
If a psoriasis or some other skin diseases is “cured” by the dermatologists, the individual is, of course, not cured, but the evidence of his internal disorder is merely suppressed the body promptly finds an outlet for the disease matter in an internal organ to the great injury of the sufferer. A suppressed skin disease frequently leads to asthma, and the asthma can be cured only by re- establishing the skin disease at least temporarily by a course of Sulphur, or whatever may be the indicated medicine, in homoeopathic doses. Then the skin disease should be cured from within by a suitable diet and homoeopathic medication and it will disappear permanently.
Right food, which produces free and regular excretion, adequate liquid, best in the form of plain water, barley water, lemon water, etc., and exposure to air and sun will produce a skin and complexion which are the envy of all skin specialists who usually have themselves a poor complexion proclaiming their inner foulness. Of outer applications one of the best is plain olive oil for those who have a dry skin, and for those who catch cold easily. Our wonderful body produces for our protection a natural oil from millions of glands all over the body which we wash off with soap and water.
Many a woman catches terrible colds by taking a hot both, putting on the lightest and flimsiest clothes and then exposing herself to icy winds and draughts. Massage of face and body is another natural means for improving skin and complexion by attracting to the surface the blood which nourishes and colours skin and complexion and keeps it in perfect health.
I would warn my readers against the strong medicines and external applications, however alluringly they may be commended by their makers and so-called authorities whose opinions are quoted. Homoeopathic medicines stand in a different category.