As I write this article, I am on day 9 of our lockdown here in New Zealand. My kitchen bench is mounted with a never-ending stack of dishes, my child is driving me bonkers, my hands are super dry, I haven’t worn makeup for a couple of weeks and I’m running out of snacks – sound familiar? Although I can’t control the outside variables that are preventing me from leaving the house or the fact that no matter how much I nag my family refuses to wash their own plates after use, or the constant battle I have between my feet and those little LEGO pieces, what I can control is the amount of self-care I add into my day. Even just setting aside 30 minutes per day to do something for yourself can help with your mental wellbeing and spark a little joy.
So, today I have chosen to give my hands a little TLC because lord knows they need it. With all of the washing and sanitising that comes along with trying to stay healthy and clean, also brings about dry, cracked, overwashed skin on your hands and putting a list of my favourite hand creams together would be redundant, because you wouldn’t be able to just pop to the shops to buy most of them other than supermarket brands. Instead, I have put together a list of 5 simple and easy recipes for hand treatments with ingredients you can find in your kitchen. So, set yourself some time out today, whip up one of these treatments, close the door and shut out the outside world and by outside world I mean your quarantine bubble buddies, have a cuppa tea or even better, a vino and treat yourself.
Avocado hand mask
Avocado contains Vitamin E, Potassium and Lecithin among other nutrients which can nourish the skin. The outer layer of our skin will easily absorb these nutrients to help form new skin.
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of raw honey
2 teaspoons of plain yoghurt
10 drops of essential oil (optional)
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender and apply to your hands. Here’s a pro tip – if you have plastic gloves or even just plastic wrap, wrap your hands up to let the mixture absorb better into your hands. Rinse and apply a moisturiser.
Oatmeal exfoliating hand treatment
When your hands are dry and cracked sometimes a gentle exfoliator will help to slough off those dead skin cells and help to nourish and reveal new skin. Oatmeal has rich antioxidant properties, it can help to reduce redness, itching and inflammation so it is great for eczema-prone skin also.
½ cup of oatmeal
½ rough sea salt
½ softened coconut oil
4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
Mix ingredients into a large bowl, then apply onto hand rubbing in a circular motion for about 3 minutes. Rinse and apply a moisturiser.
Coconut oil hand treatment
Coconut oil contains fatty acids which are said to help reduce inflammation, help to heal wounds and moisturise the skin.
Organic coconut oil
This one is simple. Just rub about a teaspoon of the coconut oil onto your hands and cuticles, wrap each hand with a small towel and let the oil absorb into the skin for about 5 minutes. Wipe off the excess oil but don’t rinse your hands as the oil will be absorbed into the skin within the next few minutes. Follow by moisturising your hands to lock in that moisture.
Olive oil and sugar scrub
Olive oil is a natural antioxidant which helps to protect the skin against free radical damage. Sugar contains glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid which will help maintain your skin’s equilibrium.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of organic honey
½ cup of sugar
Mix the olive oil and honey into a bowl then slowly add in the sugar until it forms a paste. Apply to your hands and rub in circular motions for 3 minutes. Rinse and moisturise!
Olive oil and honey hand mask
Olive oil is a natural antioxidant and honey is a natural antibacterial and also very moisturising for the skin.
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Mix the ingredients together and apply to the hands. Pop on a pair of plastic gloves or wrap the hands in plastic wrap to help the ingredients penetrate the skin better.
Images via Adobe Stock.