Thursday, February 21

Pamper Your Hands: How to Care for Them Naturally

Now let's talk about the hands. I don't take them for granted one bit, because now I appreciate how important caring for them is. Aches and pains will be a thing of the past, and it's easy to keep them looking beautiful as well. We get the best of both worlds. So here's how to do it.


Care for hands naturally:

- Rest and exercise. It's really simple and easy, but few do it. Take time every half hour to take a break from whatever it is that you're doing. It's good for the brain too, because this small break helps one rest and retain information better. Relaxing will help insure that the hands don't get overworked and tight. Which is serious for anyone working at a desk or on the computer. Stretching the fingers is vital as well. I like to extend them for as long as I can, hold, then curl them up as tight as I can, hold, and repeat. Another one that I like to do is to get on my hands and knees, place my hands down flat, splay the fingers out, and rock side to side. These simple exercises help hands stay their best. That, and going outside to exercise is great too. Something as easy as daily walking can help one loosen up and it does wonders for the entire body.

- Try not to get the hands wet too often. My dishwasher broke a few weeks ago and I had to do my dishes by hand. I noticed right away that my hands started to quickly get dry and ugly like never before. So something as simple as wearing rubber gloves while washing and cleaning will do the trick. That way the precious sebum isn't washed away and the hands retain their moisture. Another thing to mention again is over showering or bathing. The hands do not produce a lot of sebum like the face, neck, and back, so they will be left very dry if they get wet often. So keep it to a healthy minimum. This also includes sticking one's fingers in one's mouth. Saliva dries out the skin and nails, and leaves them cracked and unsightly. Fight it!  

- Eat good foods and drink lots of water. Food and water is always a factor. It just makes sense. If one eats awesome raw foods the way they're found in nature, then all is well. When cooked and processed foods start creeping in, we'll have to face more problems. Ideally if one can't find it in nature, then don't eat or drink it. Simple but very challenging, I know. Pay attention to the color and quality of your nails as well. They should be a pinkish-beige color with no ridges. The foods one eats will dictate this. I know because this happens to me. Whenever I eat well my nails are lovely. Then I go on holiday and eat crap and I'll get a tiny horizontal ridge that I now have to spend months growing out. It's like clockwork. Split nails and hangnails are also a dietary issue. When the body lacks water, and it drop to below 18%, the nails will dry, split, and crack. This also can mean that one's consuming too much sugar, and is all over the place with diet. So be kind to the body, constantly eat well, and it will reward you with beauty.

- Wet exfoliation. This is pretty much essential for every part of the body. A good exfoliation works wonders, and will prevent further dead skin build up in the future. With a natural pumice stone, I gently rub away any dry spots on the hands. Typically I like to focus on the palms, the underside of the fingers, and all around the nails. This will definitely take a few sessions to completely soften the area, especially for any calluses that one might have. So make exfoliation a routine.

- Clip away dead skin gently, then moisturize. Last, but not least, I clip away dead skin around the nails after getting out of the bath or shower. It's best to do this right after, because the dead skin around the nails is soft and it's easy to clip away with a pair of small fingernail clippers. Please do not hurt yourself doing this! It's important to only cut away the white skin that's built up around the nail. It's pretty easy to tell if it's done right because it won't hurt, turn red, or bleed. A way to tell is if it can be felt at all, then it's fresh skin. It should be like clipping one's nails. There's no pain at all. I find that the more I live by the following tips above, the less dead skin I have to clip away. I barely have anything to maintain, because my body knows how to take care of me if I take care of it. I'm always surprised by the little things that go away and aren't a problem anymore. It's fascinating. Then of course we can't forget the moisturizer. Coconut or olive oil is great because it nourishes and strengthens skin and nails, especially while sleeping during regenerative hours. Showering and bathing at night is ideal for this, that way one doesn't have to touch many things before going to bed. Spa gloves or long sleeves work well for this, because they can cover moisturized hands at night when sleeping.

So there you have it. Give those hands some love, and start reaping the benefits.
 
Cheers,
~Claudia

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