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Dry Hand and Nails Care

After the busy holidays, I feel like I've been neglecting my hands. So far, I was dismayed looking at my dry and dull hands. Probably, are in their extreme dry of the year (I think). Got the urge to take care of them seriously, I'm looking for any treatment ideas I can do at home easily. My search bring me to these books "The Illustrated Guide to Massage and Aromatheraphy", editor Catherine Stuart and "Home Spa Recipes and Techniques to restore and refresh" by Manine Rosa Golden. Bought from Borders and a gift from a friend (Thanks Lien!). Let me share what I found and put my two cents in as well.

Hand care

For extra dry skin like this, I'd like to use oil to moisturize. You may use vegetables oil mixed with a few drops of essential oil. Patchouli oil is said as one of the best essential oil for skin moisturizer. It's also good for relaxing tight muscles and mood lifting. Try patchouli oil mixed in a vegetable carrier oils such as canola oil or sunflower oil. Or if using the oil is too greasy for you, you may use a carrier cream or lotion base. You may use unscented body lotion you can find in the dept stores.

After the oils are well-mixed, warm the oils first before applying to hands and nails. Massage well into the skin and cuticles. Cover your hands with plastic wrap and pull on a pair of cotton gloves over the wrap. Keep it for an hour before rinsing off or you can go straight to sleep. If you don't have any essential oil, then using olive oil, sunflower oil or sweet almond oil would be better than nothing. For a boost, try giving the hands an exfoliating face mask before applying the oils. Also, the Apricot hand mask below would be wonderful to complement your hand care.

I found that after one or two days, the hands will be dry easily because of this cold weather. So the more often you do this hand treatment the better they would be. Also, using a warm damp towel would be a great way to wrap your hands instead of the plastic wrap.

Nail Treatment

Lavender essential oil is particularly good for strengthening weak and damaged nails. Each evening apply a drop or two on the nails and rub the oil into the cuticles. After two or three months, you should see some improvements as the treated nail grows through. Jojoba oil is also very good for fragile and flaky nails. Just rub them with the oil.

Ingredients

  • warm water, lavender essential oil

Equipment

How: Soak your fingertips in warm water before gently cleaning the cuticle from the nails with your cuticle stick. Use a cotton bud to apply neat lavender oil to each cuticle to strengthen them.

Apricot Hand Mask

A healing mask for overworked hands, this recipe smells great. Apricots contain Vitamin A, which helps heal damaged cells in the top layer of skin. Yogurt and honey soften and moisturize. Store in a glass or plastic container in the frigde.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cop plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey.

How: In blender or food processor, combine ingredients and blend until soomth. Spread mask onto hands and nails and leave on 20 minutes. You may want to wear dispobable gloves or plastic wrap while the mask sits. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Warning! Only two essential oils can be applied directly to the skin: tea tree oil and lavender. The rest must be dilluted with a carrier oil. As a guide use 15-20 drops of essential oil in 50 ml (2fl oz) of the base oil for mixtures to be applied to the skin other than face.

Now, I'd like to hear your feedback on this treatment or if you have other tips you'd like to add as well. Feel free to contact us. May the moisturizer be with you! (TS-01/08)

Resources:

  • An explanation on what a hot oil manicure is, from Overall Beauty Blog. Hot oil manicure is a good treatment for dry nails too.
  • www.nandaoils.com, an online store for essential oils and kits, by a small, family-run company