Oil of Pearls (1756)

“Put upon a Plate any Quantity you please of Pearls, and pour over them some good distill’d Vinegar. When the Pearls are dissolved, add a small Quantity of Gum Arabic. Keep the Solution for Use. Wash your Face before you bathe it with this Solution, which will soon dry of itself. This is one of …

Enamel Powder (1873)

Take of Talc or French chalk (finely scraped) Pearl-white [equal parts] Rouge or carmine (to slightly tinge it) [q.s.] mix. Used to conceal discolourations; and, without the colouring, to whiten the skin. Instructions and Cautions Respecting the Selection and Use of Perfumes, Cosmetics and Other Toilet Articles, by Arnold James Cooley, 1873 This almost isn’t …

Skin Whitening: Discovered!

It is well known that this oxide [bismuth], under the name of pearl white, is used as a cosmetic by those of the fair sex who wish to become fairer. A lady thus painted was sitting in a lecture room, where chemistry being the subject, water being impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas (Harrowgate water) was …