Hands are one of our most expressive features that need to be moisturized and cared for to keep them looking their best. Often we spend personal time on your face and hair but don't think twice about the way that our hands look...could it be that our hands are our most neglected feature?
(From the archive: This article was originally published in 2000)
Make it up to your hands by pampering them with a manicure and a hot home-made cocoa butter treatment!
Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water for 3 minutes and apply a tablespoon of heated moisturizer or home-made cocoa butter hand and nail treatment. Work the moisturizer into the base of each nail.
Use a small piece of soft cotton flannel or cuticle tool to gently push back your cuticles on each finger and thumb. Trim your nails and remove any jagged edges.
Massage a dab more of the butter into your hands and fingers one by one, working into the palm of your hand and up your wrist. If possible have a partner perform the massage on your hands and fingers so you can relax.
Buff your nails with the flannel cloth or the buffered side of a nail file but be careful not to buff so hard that your nails burn.
COCOA BUTTER HAND AND NAIL TREATMENT
In a double boiler heat and melt the following items:
When melted remove from the heat for several minutes until it is only warm. Add 20 Drops Sandalwood and Rosemary Essential Oil and stir again until it is completely mixed. This mixture can then be stored in a jar for up to 4 months and requires no refrigeration. In cold climates it may harden slightly but can be warmed and will soften prior to use. A jar of home-made hand and nail cocoa butter treatment would be a wonderful addition to a gift basket filled with nail polish, file, cuticle scissors, nail buffer or nail clippers.
PROTECTING OUR HANDS
Depending on what type of work you do, your hands can receive a lot of abuse from weather, harsh chemicals and cleansers, dirt, grease and heat. Our hands can become dry, cracked and rough with thick hard fingernails and unattractive callouses.
Wearing gloves when possible can certainly help protect our hands from the elements but applying a good moisturizer frequently can be a wonderful protective coating as well.
To avoid sun damage blotchiness and premature aging of our skin we need to remember to use a good sunscreen of at least a SPF-15 or more.
Avoid soaps that have a high alkaline content. They can strip your skin of it's natural oils and leave it dry and tight. Choose a mild gentle soap that is pH balanced to keep your hands young and supple.
You can also soak your hands in a citrus castor oil solution to strengthen weak and brittle nails. Add 5 Tablespoons of Warm Castor Oil to 10 Drops of Orange Blossom Essential Oil and Sandalwood for a refreshing citrus soak. Soak your fingertips for about 10 minutes and then manicure as normal and follow up with a moisturizer.
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