Tan, like borrowing friends, and various other afflictions, is awfully easy to get, but really more than passing difficult to remove. It is delightful to sit on a big boulder that dots a great, lovely, sandy waste and watch your hands gradually turn from their customary whiteness to a deep burnt orange.
One has to have something to show for a trip out of town, one thinks, else the doubting Thomases will arise and give vent to suspicions that one has been merely concealing oneself in an attic or back bedroom. It is pleasant, too, to go fishing, with a dainty, absurd little hat that, although it looks pretty, is about as useful as would be a beaten biscuit pinned to one’s tresses.
You feel your nose becoming unusually warm, and it begins to tingle and smart as if the pores were filling up with hot sand. All of which is quite in keeping with summer-resort existence, and you are as proud as Lucifer when you trail back to town to show this cerise-tinted evidence of your outing.
But the friends who you thought would envy you giggle and smirk and nudge each other and make suggestions that are supposed to be mirth-compelling. And then and there you decide to do differently next summer. A sunburned nose may be a treasurable possession away from town, but back among the hosts of the city it is a different matter. More than that, it is an affliction.
If the weeks at the seashore or the lakes would only brown the summer girl it would not matter so much. But instead of making the skin a beautiful, poetical olive tint, it usually turns it to a hue which is best compared to the flaunting colors of the auctioneer’s emblem. If the girl is reckless, if she runs here and there without a hat, and gives never a moment to the care of her skin, her own mother is not likely to recognize her unless the summer girl soon repents and mends her ways.
What mischief Old Sol cannot do, the brisk winds will contribute. The result is usually a red-eyed, red-nosed, flakey-skinned little woman, whom one would never suspect of having been rollicking through a few weeks of midsummer joys. If her ears are not blistered, her nose is, and if her complexion is not harsh and rough from lack of care, it is bespeckled with freckles and covered with a deep layer of golden brown tan that has distributed itself like patches on a crazy quilt.
There is not one woman in forty who can afford to ignore the ordinary precautions for preserving her complexion during the summer months.
A parasol is the first necessity. A white gauze veil is another, although this can be dispensed with if the skin is not particularly sensitive to sun and wind. Never, under any circumstances, must you bathe your face in soap and water before going out of door or just after coming in. This habit will make the freckles pop out in fine order. After coming in from a tramp or a fishing party bathe the face at once in half a cupful of sweet milk in which a pinch of soda has been dissolved. If this is inconvenient, as it often is when one is a hotel guest and not a cottager, then use a good face cream. Strong soaps containing an excess of alkali are bad enough at any time, but during the hot weather they are particularly trying to almost any skin. Too much care cannot be taken to get proper soaps.
The following sedative lotion applied to the face will prevent its tanning or freckling to any extent, that is, if one takes proper care of one’s skin:
Distilled witch hazel, 3 ounces.
Prepared cucumber juice, 3 ounces.
Rose-water, 1½ ounces.
Essence white rose, 1½ ounces.
Simple tincture of benzoin, one-half ounce.
After rubbing this into the skin with the finger tips and letting the cuticle absorb it well, apply a pure vegetable powder.
When the face becomes sunburned apply plenty of cold cream. But be sure that it is your own home-made cream, else you may be putting lard or something else on your face, which, in a most amazing short time, will produce a thrifty growth of tiny, fine hairs. And then you will wish you had never lived to see the coming of the “happy summertime.”
Lastly, to remove freckles, quickly apply lemon juice with a camel’s hair complexion brush. Let the juice dry in and massage with creme marquise.