Arsenic and Complexion.
A representative of the ' Pall Mall Gazette' toured the shops where ladies make themselves beautiful recently, and the disclosures made by some of the proprietors are rather amazing. The first person seen was Mr Braekenseick, who was mightily indignant when asked "Do your cosmetics contain arsenic ?"—" Not a particle, the' are made by the best men in Paris, who wouldn't think of using such a drug." " But it is used ?"—" Yes, it is used; and will give the face amarble-likecomplexionfor about six months, when you begin to buffer for it." " Mrs Langtry is reported to rub her face with veal to improve her skin."—" Yes, I've heard that it's a good thiug for the complexion. But every woman has her own make-up, especially actresses. They're often jealous if another actress is better made up than themselves ; so they know a good deal of the secrets of making up." At Piesse and Lubin's, in Bond street, the manager said that arsenic was often taken regularly in homoeopathic doses—generally three times a day, after meals. " Does the habit grow ?"—" Undoubtedly it grows, till women ruin their complexions and health. We make washes to suit the complexion, and don't supply them indiscriminately. But there is no arsenic or bismuth inthem. While arsenic makes the face pale, bismuth generally turns the face purple. Gaslight will often bring on the latter result." At another perfumer's our reporter asked at what age making up usually commenced among women. "I am sorry to say," said the informant, " that it often begins when a girl begins to wear corsets. I have heard of some mothers who made their daughters at tsvelve years of age wear corsets sleeping and waking. A woman who would do that would smear anything on her child's face. When ladies ask what they had better do to improve their complexions I generally say do nothing, though it doesn't pay. Many women spend fortunes on their faces, and then get them spoiled. The best rouges cost about L 3 or L 4 a pot." " I am frequently asked for arsenic pills," said Mdme Du Boyer, the beautifier of New Bond street, " and whether such and such a lady's nice complexion doesn't come from arsenic. I never use arsenic in my preparations ; it is an idiosyncrasy, and suits some skins and not others. I have known a little arsenic on a sore place cause an eruption. It is very dangerous to take, even in the smallest doses."
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Arsenic and Complexion., Evening Star, Issue 8038, 15 October 1889
Arsenic and Complexion. Evening Star, Issue 8038, 15 October 1889
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