Or was he was weather-beaten as the companion of Admiral Baldwin in Persuasion who had, according to the disapproving of Sir Walter Elliot ,
..a face the colour of mahogany, rough and rugged to the last degree; all lines and wrinkles
Persuasion, Chapter 3.
The evidence appears to be that Charles Austen certainly knew how to care for a complexion in the early 19th century, and this post here, which I wrote for the Jane Austen House Museum Blog ,last week, explains all. These roses- Rosa mundi and The Apothecary’s Rose- below, which were cut from the Museum’s garden in the summer and are shown in a table in teh Drawing Room of the Museum, are a clue ;)