Before there was Botox

Modern Books and Manuscripts 2014-09-19

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.


Before botox, plastic surgery, and aestheticians,  L’horreur!, women were forced to combat aging and maintain beauty the old fashioned way- with tips and remedies from publications such as Comment se guérir?  This French publication by the mysterious Dr. Druah loosely translates into How to Cure? and in addition to advice about common medical maladies it gives women all the latest advice and products for common beauty dilemmas.  Including as we can see from the above images how to give a good facial massage.

Worried about a flushed or reddish face?  The advice is that this condition stems from poor blood circulation and offers up various products to help. Infusing a cloth with elderflower and wearing it over ones’s face is one suggestion.  Don’t worry ladies it looks totally normal!

KIC_Image_0008 This volume was an edition of popular science works called “Edition de vulgarisation scientifique” and it was most likely published by a pharmaceutical company that sold some of these remedies.

Comment se guérir? / par le docteur Druah. Paris : Institut “Paris-Londres”, [between 1890 and 1910?] RC81 .D79. can be found at the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School in Longwood.


Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager and Joan Thomas, Rare Book Cataloger at Countway for contributing this post.