Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Arsenic Wafers For Beauty...?

The Victorian age seems to be almost obsessed with death. Seems like the ladies of the times thought that a look akin to death was a sign of beauty.

There were many, many poisons sold as beauty and skin treatments back then, one being the "Arsenic Wafers". Arsenic soap could be found in many drug stores as well.

Arsenic Wafers

Photo: Nesster / Flickr (CC)

The Victorian era was all about “consumption glamour.” Victorians romanticized the tuberculosis epidemic and its effects on appearance; healthy women went to great lengths to achieve that brink-of-death aesthetic. Very pale, translucent skin symbolized both beauty and class, the logic being that wealthy, privileged women didn’t need to work outside. Advertisements for arsenic wafers and face soap promised to “transform the most sallow skin in radiant health; remove pimples; clear the face of freckles and tan; give the complexion an indescribable brilliancy, and lend to every young lady a charm of person which makes her ADORABLE.” Not-so-adorable? The side effects of the arsenic: nervous system damage, kidney failure, hair loss, conjunctivitis, and, ironically, skin lesions.

It's always amazing how some folks will go to such extreme lengths to look better...at least, what they think is better! Now days it would seem that cosmetic surgery is much the same, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio, if it doesn't rain.


linda m said...

I can't believe the lengths women will go to to achieve what they perceive as beautiful. Also this obsession with "youth" is driving me crazy. What is wrong with looking your age? When you look at all the side affects of all of this "junk" I don't think it is worth it. I am happy with how I look and feel and if someone else doesn't too bad. These are my thoughts and I am more than happy to join you on the patio. I'll bring some fresh baked bread and sweet WI butter.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
It's been my experience that most folks that would use this stuff don't really need it. Something strange replaces good sense for them, though. Anything that can do harm isn't worth messing with.
Thanks for stopping by today.

JO said...

Its amazing how vain some women are. I feel the same way as Linda. Now they are percing their faces and every other parts, tattoo all parts of there bodies, thise dusgystubg ear things that make those huge holes. Do they realize what they will look like when they get old?

I'll have a cup with with you in or out.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
There is no accounting for what some folks will do. You just never know, that's for sure.
Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!