Hand Care Tips and Recipes

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For those of you who are do-it-yourself fanatics like I am, our hands are always getting rough treatment. Between gardening, cleaning, painting and puttering around they get exposed to a lot. What can we do to make sure they don't look like they've through a boxing match without gloves? Gentle care is the key. Wear gloves whenever possible so your hands aren't exposed to cleaning products, dirt and paint. Now that I've said that, I'll admit this is a hard one to do 100% of the time, but do try.

Hand cream is another must have for your hands. Keep it in the bathroom, the bedroom and the kitchen. Use it!

Take care of your nails too. This starts with drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet. But here are a few more tips:

NEVER cut your cuticles. Keep them from drying out by using a good hand cream and hand soaks, then push them gently back with a cuticle/orange stick. Once you do this if you notice any white residue you can gently rub the area to remove this, but no cutting.

When you do cut your nails or hang nails make sure the clippers and other tools are very sharp so they don't tear as you trim. Always trim neat and clean-not too deep. Once you get them cut, try filing weekly instead of cutting. Use the file in one direction to avoid splitting and use a good quality file. If you maintain your nails this way you may not have cut them. Use gentle hand treatments to soften your skin and your cuticles. Here are a few you can make yourself:

Rosewater Hand Massage

You'll need:

1 tsp. glycerin

1 tsp. lemon juice

5 drops rose water

Mix together and keep in a small bottle. Use to massage your hands for 15-30 minutes. Don't forget the cuticles!

Nail Soak

You'll need:

1 cup bottled water

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon aloe vera gel

10 drops lemon essential oil

Mix all together and use as a finger soak for about ten minutes on each hand.

Nail Manicure Treatment

You'll need:

1 Tbsp. distilled water, slightly warmed

1 Tbsp. witch hazel

1 1/2 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. alum powder

Mix above in a glass bowl. Soak nails for 10-15 minutes, occasionally massaging cuticles gently. Rinse with cool water. Use for both hands, then discard.

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