It doesn’t matter whether or not you are afflicted with wrinkles, it’s an excellent thing to give them some attention. Freckles are bothersome and provoking, and red noses make us as cross as black cats, but wrinkles!—they are the worst of all, for with them comes the sickening realization that the freshness of one’s complexion is beginning to fade, and that youth itself is slipping away.
It is before the lines really appear that they should be considered, for then they’re much more easily managed than when they—with their sisters and their cousins and their aunts, to say nothing of grandmas and babies—settle down for a nice long stay. Wrinkles are worse than boogie men, and “they’ll git you if yo’ don’t watch out!”
Wrinkles are unnecessary evils—anyway, until one gets to be a hundred or so. That is, if you are so lucky as not to have troubles enough to keep you awake six nights out of seven, which seems to be the case with most people these days. Even then perhaps you can deceive yourself into believing that life is one big, lovely, roseate dream after all. Worry is a paragon of a wrinkle-maker. And, by the way, did you ever know why?
It is not so much for the reason that screwing up the face traces lines and seams in the skin as it is because the fretting upsets the stomach. It has a most depressing effect on that hyper-sensitive organ. Haven’t you often noticed what a finicky, doleful sort of an appetite you have whenever you are indulging in a fit of the blues?
The physiological explanation is the very close alliance of the great sympathetic nerves, which make up a little telegraph line more perfect and complete than any yet constructed by man. The poor, worn brain is fagged and tired. This fact is immediately communicated to the stomach, which, in true sisterly fashion, mopes and sulks out of sheer sympathy.
Then, of course, with an unruly digestion, all sorts of complications begin. The eyes get dull, the face thin and sallow, the complexion bad, and the flesh flabby. At that stage the wrinkles, with their aforesaid relatives, sail in upon the scene. And there you are! And—ten chances to one—it’s a cheerful time you’ll have getting rid of them.
That’s why I say you must take them in hand before they arrive, and dole out discouragement to them by correct living and the necessary facial massage.
The skin of the face wrinkles exactly for the same reason and by the same mechanism that the skin of an apple wrinkles. The pulp of the fruit under the skin begins to shrink and contract as the juices dry up, and, quite naturally, the skin which was once taut and smooth, now being much too large for the contents, puckers up and lays itself in tiny folds. It’s the same way with the skin of the face. When the subcutaneous fat of the cheeks and brow—which, when we are young and plump and rosy, is abundant—begins to be absorbed and to gradually disappear, then the cuticle straightway starts in to shrivel and fall into minute lines.
So it is wisdom to anticipate the coming of wrinkles and lay plans to ward them off. Live after strict rules of hygiene. Have a tonic method of living. Invigorate your muscles and the skin of your body by sponge baths and brisk drying with a coarse bath towel. Friction is a great beautifier. Eat only that food which is going to do you some good, and take your exercise with regularity. Add to this a happy, hopeful disposition of mind and a big fat jar of pure, properly-made skin food, then read the chapter on massage and follow the instructions given therein. If any wrinkles or crow’s feet come and lodge with you after that, then I’ll take off my hat to their perseverance.