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October 2, 2021

Scary Cosmetic Rubber Masks From the 1910s

Vulcanized rubber masks were the most common ‘cosmetic’ mask in the 1910s. They were considered to be ‘quite effective’ in deep cleansing and purification of the skin, thus preventing blackheads, wrinkles, seborrhea, congestion, and all the usual skin eruptions. These images are to be found in Hygiene of the Face & Cosmetic Guide from 1917.

Masks. These are applications of mixtures, compositions or tissues which prevent the contact of the air with the skin. They act in two ways:

1. By facilitating the penetration and absorption by the glands and superficial strata of the skin of certain compounds: these are cosmetical or medicated masks. 
2. By quickening the functions and circulation of the glands, thus aiding to throw off substances which obstruct the skin and the epidermis: these are rubber masks.

Cosmetical Masks. These are what might commonly be called cataplasms. They act by their heat and humidity. They take the place of compresses which are covered with water proof tissues. They are analogous with plasters.

They were frequently used in olden times under the name of husband’s masks, because they were put on when retiring and only the husband had the pleasure o seeing them. The “husband mask” of Poppea, one of the most celebrated, was made of rye boiled with oil, so as to make a thick paste, and removed in the morning by bathing the face in milk.

Masklike applications have been made also on different parts of the flesh of animals, particularly of veal. Now-a-days, rubber masks are principally used.

Rubber Masks. These masks have many different effects, and as it can be seen by the pictures, their forms are numerous.

It has already been mentioned that their essential quality is to quicken the functions of different constituents of the skin, and on this account they are, along with spraying, one of the best means of cleansing and giving tone to the skin, and thus preventing wrinkles, congestion, dryness, blackheads, greasy seborrhoea and all general eruptions. But it must not be forgotten that, associated with their use, there must be other treatment. because otherwise they soften the skin and make it flabby. 

The intermittent application of rubber masks, the massage and sprays, combined and alternated, appear to be the three most effective means for improving and preserving the condition of the face.

Every time the mask is taken off, it should he washed with hot, then with cold boric acid water, and placed to dry, well protected from any dust.

Mask for chin and neck.

Ideal partial mask. 

Butterfly mask for nose.

Mask for the whole chin.

Mask for neck, chin and ears.

Medical mask.

Partial butterfly mask.

Complete butterfly mask.

Mask placed around eye-sockets.

Mask for part of chin.

Mask for forehead.

Partial Mask.


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