As the summer approaches we have been researching and gathering the best practices and rituals that will help you take care of your hands with loving care. Whether you are getting ready to fill your diary with hot dates once the world starts opening up, or considering a career change as an aspiring hand model, these 10 tips will help you achieve the softest skin, brightest nails and groomed hands at home. Minimal effort required and you’ll probably find most of the ingredients in your kitchen pantry.
1. Make it flex!
How much time are you spending each day typing on your computer or phone? Generally we tend to overuse our thumbs and index fingers while the rest of the hand just hangs out. Build flexibility and increase the blood circulation in your hands with some self-massage. Choose your style and commit to it daily. We love to do it as a night-time ritual just before going to sleep. And rubbing your hands doesn’t need to be like another thing on your to do list. Use your intuition. Read about hand reflexology and focus on specific points. Integrate tools like gua sha or practice bedtime mudras. These are not just good for your hands, but your overall sleep-quality and wellbeing.
2. For all the sweet tooths out there: swap a dessert to a weekly exfoliation ritual for your hands
We love it when we can integrate readily available ingredients from the fridge and pantry into magical skincare rituals. This is a hand scrub that you’d probably want to lick off your fingers…
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cranberry juice
- Start by cleaning your hands with mild soap and warm water. Rub the mix onto your hands and massage for a few minutes. Feel free to apply some pressure to improve your peripheral circulation. Rinse off with lukewarm water and enjoy your baby soft skin.
3. Use protection
As the gardening season begins, we might want to get dirty and press our fingers into the soil. Maybe put down some seeds. Perhaps just grow some herbs on our windowsill or the balcony. Or maybe you’re gearing up for a spring clean. Our hands often do the bulk of the job and get a beating.
We can’t recommend it enough – use protection! There are different varieties of gloves available for each job: not just for green fingers, but also for washing your champagne glasses in the kitchen or scrubbing your bathroom sink. Make sure that those are reusable and eco-friendly though – we like the ones from If You Care and Sulin, which are made of natural rubber sourced from responsibly managed plantations.
4. Number One cuticle tip from a professional hand model
Best piece of advice that still gets overlooked in the conventional beauty salons: don’t cut your cuticles! They will grow back even harder and you end up in a vicious fight. Rather shower them with love – and your favourite oil – and only push back occasionally, and gently. Source: Byrdie
May we suggest a new ritual that your cuticles will thank you for:
Use 1 teaspoon of almond oil to rub into your hands and cuticles. Wrap each hand in a small towel and allow the oil to penetrate for at least 5 minutes. Wipe the excess oil off hands, but don’t rinse them; any remaining oil will be absorbed over the next few minutes.
5. Are you familiar with the natural beauty queen Nadine Artemis, founder of Living Libations? Her book Renegade Beauty is our natural wellbeing bible and features a clever nail brightening soak with lemon + baking soda
This mix diminishes yellowing and staining, while the sea salt softens cuticles and strengthens nails.
- 5ml sea salt
- 5 ml baking soda
- 60 ml water
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 3 drops tea tree essential oil
- Mix ingredients in a small bowl of water and soak your nails for 10 minutes. For enhancing the whiteness of the nail tips, add a drop of tea tree oil under each nail.
6. Leave it on: DIY hand mask
In a true DIY style, this recipe features ingredients that you probably find in your kitchen. We all know the benefits avocado has for our skin. They contain lots of healthy fats and phytonutrients, so even if you don’t like to eat avocados, you can use them externally to get all the benefits that these natural treasures have to offer.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons honey—orange blossom if possible
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons plain yogurt
- 10 drops sandalwood
- 8 drops myrrh
Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or a blender. Apply to hands, then wrap in plastic bags and a towel to allow the mask to penetrate the skin more effectively. Leave on for at least 15 minutes for maximum results. Spread the love – feel free to use the same mask on your feet too!
7. Moisturise your skin, repeat.
We probably wash our hands more often and thoroughly than ever before, however conventional hand soaps often leave your skin dry like the desert. If possible, choose a hand wash that is soft and gentle, yet effective, and prefer organic ingredients.
Make sure you have a hand cream ready at all times – it’s so easy to forget, but will truly be a gamechanger for your skin. We recommend getting several in different consistencies – balms, salves and also lighter lotions – so you can have one in your car, one in your handbag and one next to the computer and the kitchen sink. Again, look for organic and natural ingredients, since everything you rub on your skin will be absorbed directly to your bloodstream.
You can easily make a nourishing hand cream at home.
- 10 grams coconut oil or shea butter
- 10 grams other plant-based oil: olive, grapeseed or almond work well
- 1 – 3 drops essential oil of your choice
- 1 drop E vitamin (optional) which can usually bought from pharmacies
Make sure the coconut oil or shea butter is room-temperature and mix the base ingredient with your chosen oil in a bowl, blending with a fork. Using the same fork, start whipping it to build up a soft and foamy feel. Keep whipping until the mix doubles in size and feels consistent. Add your essential oil and optional E vitamin drops and blend. Grab a small glass container and scoop the cream into it. You can also create a nice label to show off your design skills.
8. The Dry Gloss Manicure by Bare Hands is genius.
Suzanne, the founder of Bare Hands, always loved the look of natural nails and caring for them in an intentional way. As an art school student she learned about the harmful effects of solvents in oil-based paints and started to ask why these are used in nail care? After 2 years of development, she created a method that is natural and healthy for your nails, leaving them polished without the polish. We believe in equal accessibility to quality manicure, and The Dry Gloss Manicure is priced to be less than the cost of one salon visit.
Also, starting to take care of your skin and nails as a weekly or bi-weekly ritual, is a beautiful way to connect with yourself and your body. And you’ll see the results every time you pick up your phone or pet your dog.
9. Ethical polish revolution! If you like a splash of colour, choose a nail polish that is free of harmful chemicals
We all like to show off some colour sometimes. Luckily there are brands who have created nail polishes that are free of the bad stuff like toluene, formaldehyde, synthetic camphor and parabens. One of our favourite finds is Kure Bazaar, created by supermodel Kartika Luyet. Like many mums, Kartika had the “awakening” when she was pregnant with her son, and started to be more and more conscious about everything she was putting in and on her body. You might also try Benecos.
After several years of research, a technological innovation has enabled the significant reduction of chemical substances making Kure Bazaar formulas “10 Free”, up to 90% bio-sourced and enriched with Bamboo extracts and Vitamin E.
Finally we can have fun and take care of our wellbeing at the same time! Don’t forget to use the base and top coats for longer enjoyment. And when you decide to take it all off, choose a nail polish remover that is free of chemicals as well.
10. And as we are still in virus-season, stay safe, reuse a bottle and make your own DIY hand sanitizer!
It’s so easy and you have a continuous controlled supply rather than having to search for one in the shops or run around trying to locate a hand-sanitizing station while out and about! We’ve been there…
What do you need?
- A small spray bottle
- Organic vodka
- Essential oil of your choice: you can try tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender or frankincense
- Fill the bottle with 3 parts of organic vodka and 1 part of any of these essential oils:
Bonus: tea tree oil is one of the top antimicrobial essential oils that is a common active ingredient in disinfectant sprays.