I found this gem in the Welcome Baking Powder cookbook, 1890. Believe me, they don’t make cookbooks like this one anymore. If men had only known what was in the back of the book, they might have questioned why their womenfolk were always reading! (Italics are mine.)
How to Be Handsome
Where is the woman who would not be beautiful? If such there be- but no, she does not exist. From that memorable day when the Queen of Sheba made a formal call on the late lamented King Solomon until the recent advent of the Jersey Lily, the power of beauty has controlled the fate of dynasties and the lives of men. How to be beautiful, and consequently powerful, is a question of far greater importance to the feminine mind than predestination or any other abstract subject. If women are to govern, control, manage, influence, and retain the adoration of husbands, fathers, brother, lovers, or even cousins, they must look their prettiest at all times.
All women cannot have good features, but they can look well, and it is possible to a great extent to correct deformity and develop much of the figure. The first step to good looks is good health, and the first element of health is cleanliness. Keep clean- wash freely, bathe regularly. All the skin wants is leave to act, and it takes care of itself. In the matter of baths we do not strongly advocate a plunge in ice-cold water; it takes a woman with some of the clear grit that Robert Collyer loves to dilate on and a strong constitution to endure it. If a hot bath be used, let it come before retiring, as there is less danger of taking cold afterwards; and , besides, the body is weakened by the ablution and needs immediate rest. It is well to use a flesh-brush, and afterwards rinse off the soap-suds by briskly rubbing the body with a pair of coarse toilet gloves. The most important part of a bath is drying. Every part of the body should be rubbed to a glowing redness, using a coarse crash towel at the finish. If sufficient friction cannot be given, a small amount of bay rum applied with the palm of the hand will be found efficacious. Ladies who have ample leisure and who lead methodical lives take a plunge or sponge bath three times a week, and vapor or sun bath every day. To facilitate this very beneficial practice a south or east apartment is desirable. The lady denudes herself, takes a seat near the window, and takes in the warm rays of the sun. The effect is both beneficial and delightful. If, however, she be of a restless disposition, she may dance, instead of basking in the sunlight. Or, if she be not fond of dancing, she may improve the shining hours by taking down her hair and brushing it, using sulphur water, pulverized borax dissolved in alcohol, or some similar dressing. It would be surprising to many ladies to see her carefully wiping the separate locks on a clean, white towel until the dust of the previous day is entirely removed. With such care it is not necessary to wash the head, and the hair under this treatment is invariably good.