(The hands are one of the most noticeable parts of the body, so set aside a regular weekly slot to perform a quick manicure as part of your home spa treatment.)
Hands are regularly exposed to extreme conditions, such as immersion in water and detergents, so it is important to look after them if their skin is to remain soft and supple. Fortunately, hands respond extremely well to a little tender care. The two most common hand problems are dry skin and brittle nails, so give yourself a manicure once a week and finish with a deep-moisturizing treatment for both hands and nails.
MANICURE WITH SHORT NAILS
This manicure will take just a few minutes to perform, but will keep your hands and short nails looking and feeling good for the rest of the week. All of the items needed are readily available from pharmacists and beauty stores.
- Wash your hands thoroughly in soapy water, then scrub the nails gently with a soft nail brush. This increases the blood circulation to the nails and encourages healthy growth. Immerse your clean hands in a bowl of warm water containing 2 drops chamomile essential oil. Leave them to soak for two minutes.
- Apply cuticle cream to the base of each nail and massage it well into the nail bed to encourage blood flow and healthy growth. Continue massaging for about a minute, using circular movements, then gently push the cuticles back with an orange stick.
- 3 Apply a rich moisturizer to the hands and massage it in well. If you are giving yourself a manicure at night, apply petroleum jelly in the same way, put on cotton gloves, and leave it to be absorbed overnight – this is a wonderfully moisturizing treatment for dry skin.
(Although hands are exposed to dirt and harsh chemicals such as detergents more than any other area of the body, they have thick skin and respond well to spa treatments.)
Olive oil treatment for hands at home
This home remedy is excellent for dry hands and is also good for eczema. Choose organic extra virgin olive oil for greatest benefit and apply it at night.
- 3tbsp (45ml) olive oil
- 3 drops orange essential oil
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil
Mix all three oils together and store in a dark glass bottle.
Apply the mixture generously all over the hands and massage it in thoroughly. Put on a pair of thin plastic gloves and leave them on overnight. In the morning, massage your hands again before wiping away the excess oil with a tissue. Rinse your hands thoroughly and pat dry.
The combination of cleansing lemon oil and nourishing sweet almond oil in this cream helps to revive dry, flaky nails, and is particularly effective in cold weather.
- 1tbsp (15ml) beeswax
- 3 drops lemon essential oil
- 3tbsp (45ml) sweet almond oil
Heat the beeswax in a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. When it becomes runny, add the lemon essential oil and stir thoroughly. Add the almond oil a little at a time, stirring constantly. As the beeswax cools, it will become solid but pliable. If it is too hard, reheat it and add a little more almond oil, drop by drop.
Apply the wax to the fingers and nails every night as a treatment, once a week for maintenance.