Gardening can be such a natural pleasure, but what it can do to hands is anything but! Skin can become so dry and cracked that it can even bleed.
The good news is that no one needs to give up homegrown fruits and veggies or that stunning flower garden to keep hands beautiful. With a little TLC, they will be as soft and youthful as ever.
Protect With Fabric
A dry fabric barrier is an excellent first step in keeping hands from suffering too much damage. It prevents soil from leaching the natural oils right out of the delicate skin of the hands.
The best fabric barrier, of course, is gardening gloves.
Cotton jersey is ideal for general garden tasks, waterproof gloves with plastic liners are good for extreme wetness, and leather works perfectly for mild moisture and keeping thorns and spines at bay.
When cotton or cotton lining gets wet, change gloves right away. Do the same if any chemicals seep into the gloves. Trapped moisture or irritants do more harm than those exposed to air.
Some gardeners have trouble working with gloves, which is why so many end up tossing them off and suffering the consequences. Instead, try cutting the tips of gloves off. Fingertips may get a little dry but at least the largest surface area of fingers and hands will still be protected.
Gardening in cold weather? If hands are crying out for warmth, if the task isn't too demanding you may want to try mittens instead of gloves. Sometimes having fingers touching can keep them warmer.
Coconut oil moisturizes skin and acts as a protective barrier.
A Healing Type of Moisture
Even with protection, working hands dry out easily. They need a lot of moisture.
It may be counter-intuitive, but water itself is one of the most drying elements. Added to the skin alone it causes chapping.
This process is significantly slowed by adding a substance that both penetrates and moisturizes skin while it serves as a protective barrier.
The perfect substance for accomplishing that is coconut oil. Unlike petroleum, it does not suffocate the skin. It penetrates deep layers to moisturize and strengthen tissue.
Virgin, organic, unrefined coconut oil introduces no chemicals to the skin.
Let the Healing Begin
To use coconut oil on hands, start with a dime-sized amount and gently massage it into hands in circular motions.
- Make sure no spots are left out.
- For the first few minutes, avoid using hands much or rubbing them against things. This just wastes the oil before more of it can penetrate.
- To maintain soft hands, do this once in the morning and once in the evening. On gardening days, use it every two hours. If hands are already chaffed, red or cracked, use it every hour or two during waking hours until the problem fully resides. Visit Biconi to purchase the highest grade virgin coconut oil available.