I first “met” skin and heath care expert Dr Gayelord Hauser in a dusty junk shop where I picked up a copy of his 1951 best seller, Treasury of Secrets. His clear writing and positive attitude was addicting and I trolled old bookstores to find his other out of print books. ( This was before Amazon, way before).
Dashingly handsome, Dr Hauser was a European nutritionist who promoted the idea of “living foods”– unprocessed fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and even meat. He was certainly not the first natural health guru. There have been self-styled diet experts who recommended a wide range of supplements, magic foods, and exercise programs and equipment. But Hauser was the first who made the link between a healthy diet and Hollywood glamour. In an era where doctors recommended cigarettes for digestion and lard was as popular as butter, Dr Hauser had an enthusuastic following that included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and the Duchess of Windsor. His 12 books and popular lecture tours made him the Dr Oz of his day.
Hauser’s living food concepts were actually a giant anti-oxidant food delivery system. His menus were packed with all the nutrients we now know reduce signs of aging– vitamin C, fiber, and protein and avoided well known toxin, like alcohol, salt and animal fat. Hauser also promoted the spa approach to heath and beauty. While juice fasts and healing baths had long been available to the rich and famous, Hauser’s Beauty Farm concept was a virtual spa trip that any woman could enjoy in their own home.
The Hauser Diet and Skin Care in Real Life
I was still living at home when I became a Gayelord Groupie. My parents were not impressed. My Dad liked to spread his steak with butter before grilling and a pickle was his favorite green vegetable. Lightly cooked shredded carrots and hamburgers fortified with wheat germ frankly scared him. It was much easier to follow the Hauser skin care approach to skin care. I brought my youthful acne under control with herbal steam sessions and nightly application of calamine lotion fortified with phenol.
I used his milk and otmeal bath to soothe a Jones Beach sunburn and a cosmetic vinegar concoction for oily hair. While I was banned from cooking Hauser style family meals, I could still whip up Hauser beauty smoothies for myself. Instead of a butter drenched bagel my breakfast was now a ‘school girl complexion’ smoothie with yogurt, and honey or a ‘crowning glory’ made with skim milk, gelatin and honey. But my all time favorite Hauser recipe was for a homemade fragrance called Budapest Waters.
Ageless Skin Care with Budapest Waters
The legend is pure fun. As the story goes, Queen Elizabeth of Hungry used this essence every night and at age 86 she was still so beautiful her passionate lovers were still in their twenties.
Budapest Waters ( From Mirror, Mirror On the Wall by Gaylord Hauser)
Ingredients: 2 oz dried rosemary, 1 oz fresh lemon peel,1oz fresh orange peel, 1 oz dried mint leaves, 1 oz dried lemon balm, 1 pint rose water, 1 pint alcohol ( not rubbing alcohol)
Directions: Put all ingredients in a gallon glass jar. Let the mix stand for three weeks. Filter the fragrant mix through a strainer. You can use it as a cologne or add a tablespoon to a bath.