Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Take a Bath

Taken from Everywoman magazine, November 1948.

In the rush of our daily life we fly in and out of the tub without ever really washing properly. People think a daily scrub washes away all sins, but often it doesn't. In this busy life, one special evening set aside for bathing and beauty treatment combined is a luxurious relaxation. And it's not a bad idea to wash your hair on the same night, and then let the steam of the bath set it for you after drying it roughly first.

You can do most of your all-over beauty treatment in the bathroom, and finish it off in the bedroom. Be certain to take everything you need into the bathroom with you, as you can't relax and enjoy your treatment if you are hopping in and out of the bath leaving wet footprints everywhere.

A kitchen knifebox, painted a pastel shade, or befrilled with pretty plastic material for femininity, makes a handy carry-all. It can hold all your pots and jars becomingly on the dressing-table as well as transporting them on bath night.

Begin the treatment by cleansing your face with cream. Then relax in the steamy atmosphere a minute so that the pores open and the dirt is forced out. Now wipe off the cream with tissue, and cleanse again just for safety. Next, with bland and expensive soap carefully saved for this purpose, lather your face and neck thoroughly with your fingertips. Take the nailbrush, and with rotary movements work the soap right into the skin! Yes, even the most sensitive skin will benefit from this: it stimulates the circulation, removes flaky top layers of epidermis, and refines the texture of the skin. Don't let the lather dry on a sensitive skin - wash it off quickly and pat the skin dry with a soft towel.

Repeat the lathering and scrubbing over all available pieces of skin, using your loofah or back brush for inaccessible places. Scrub hard at elbows, knees and backs of heels where skin is roughest.

By this time the pores of your skin should be as wide open as Dr. Barnado's door, so this is the moment to let skinfood sink into them. The skin is scrupulously clean, so youc an work in generous helpings of skinfood without any fear of working in dirt as well. Use a rotary movement, and always circle your fingers upwards so that you don't pull down any muscles. Ten minutes like this will achieve more than a whole night will if the cream has just been plastered on and left.

Defluffing comes next, underarms being a weekly must with everyone. Legs can come in for some, too, ankles resting on sides of the bath for steadiness, or, if you do it when you're out of the bath, rest your foot on the stool. The razor method is a quick, clean way of doing it.

Finally, let the bath water out, and start the next part of the beauty treatment. A fine send-off would be a cold shower or splash, but I know it isn't much good suggesting it! However, a good brisk rub with a rough towel is almost as stimulating to the circulation.

Just this once, instead of talc use olive oil. A small bottle goes a long way and it is very nourishing to the skin. Work it well in all over your body, to soften it and replace the oil the hot bath has temporarily taken out.

Finish your beauty treatment in the bedroom. First remove the nourishing cream with tissue, then close the pores by wiping over your face several times with a pad of cotton-wool wrung out in icy water, or tonic or astringent if you have some. Pat dry with your fingertips. Your skin will be petal-soft and will have a beautiful pink undertone.

If you've set your hair, tie it up prettily in a net or chiffon turban; if not, brush it. With head hanging down between your knees to send fresh bloody tingling to the scalp, brush downwards a hundred times. Then with head up, brush the hair up off your neck and forehead, finishing each stroke with a sharp upward twist. People with greasy hair, who sensibly don't wash it every week (constant washing only induces the sebaceous glands to fresh activity), can give themselves a fine dry shampoo by shaking powdered starch over their heads before brushing. The starch, being more slippery than powder, slides off the hair, but absorbs dirt and grease.

A face pack, here, is very beneficial. There are several face packs now on the market. As an emergency pack, you can use oatmeal and water mixed to a paste, or if you have no feeling about your egg ration, white of egg! All of these tighten sagging muscles, reduce enlarged pores and remove impurities and minor blemishes from the skin. Spread your pack over your face with deft fingertips in front of a mirror, then lie down while it sets.

After fifteen minutes, wash off the face pack very gently with cotton-wool and warm water. Close the pores again with cold water and pat dry. Very dry skins may feel more comfortable with a thin film of light cream to finish off with, but normal skins will be so soft and pretty that it will seem sinful to add anything to nature!

The worthwile thing about a full-length beauty treatment like this is that, although by the morning the vital glow of your skin may be feainter, the effects of the treatment will be lasting. You will find that for several days make-up goes on more smoothly and lasts much longer because of the good condition of your skin. And nothing can equal the virtuous knowledge that you are immaculately clean all over!

So what do you think? The skincare routine seems a really good system, from cleansing and exfoliating to moisturising - exactly what's generally recommended these days. I also totally agree with not washing hair too often (though I'm not sure I'd go fully two weeks!), and I'm especially intrigued by the use of powdered starch as a dry shampoo.


  1. Fabulous post and the pictures just make it!

    Janine from


  2. What a lovely post!
    I always relax once a week in a similar way written above! It's not only good for the body, for the mind aswell!


  3. I am intrigued by the starch shampoo... but imagine if it went wrong. It might end up spiky haha.

  4. The starch shampoo sounds a bit like Batiste, the dry shampoo? If I've ran out in the past I used talk and that does the trick as well- but it's super messy!

  5. I love these old articles, I'm a great collector of old magazines and books on beauty and household etc.
    Honey, lemon juice and oatmeal have been my face pack/scrub ingredients for absolutely years and then plenty of almond oil or cocoa butter. A handful of plain salt is also good, just watch out for any cuts or grazes you might have forgotten about!

  6. Having just stepped out of the tub and going through my own evening beauty routine a few minutes ago, this fun post couldn't be more timely! :)

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

  7. Sounds quite lovely! I'd love to wash my hair less often, but after it gets sweaty from working out, I have to wash it or I get dandruff :/

  8. This is fabulous!! Thank you for posting!


  9. I have used corn starch as a dry shampoo many times! I got the advice from a victorian-era hair care article. My hair is so long that it's just impractical to wash it every day in the shower, so I go about every third day, with dry shampoo in between.

    Brush your hair out, and if it is super oily, you might rub a washcloth through it (the article used 'a flannel') then sprinkle corn starch down by your roots. Rub it in a little, then brush it out completely. It takes maybe five minutes all told, and the starch gives your hair extra body as well, which is handy with all those vintage styles! (and don't worry--it washes out just fine)

    If you're looking for a way to keep your hair clean longer, a 'shampoo' made from 1 cup water and 2 Tablespoons baking soda works very well. Pour it on, scrub like a normal shampoo, let it sit for a minute and rinse. Follow that with a vinegar/water rinse as a conditioner, and you're set! :)


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Related Posts with Thumbnails