Our hands and feet are some of the hardest working parts of our body. It is no wonder the skin covering them takes a beating and can easily become neglected. Stores carry many hand and foot care products that will help the problem, but most are expensive and contain harsh ingredients and preservatives. You can make your own hand and foot care treatments at home, using natural ingredients that may be right in your own kitchen or bathroom. If you don’t have the things needed on hand, you can find them at natural health and food stores or even drugstores.
The skin on our hands can face harm on a daily basis, sometimes without us even realizing it. Cleaning products, even dish washing liquid, contain harsh ingredients that shouldn’t come in contact with our skin. These harsh ingredients can cause our hands to become dry and chapped. Even washing our hands too often can lead to dry skin. The cold, dry air of the winter months can also zap the skin on your hands of moisture, leading them to become chapped and sore.
If you are facing the issue of dry, chapped hands, you can try a recipe for your own cocoa butter hand cream. All you need is 4 tablespoons grated beeswax, 4 tablespoons pure cocoa butter, and 4 tablespoons of almond oil. Put the beeswax and cocoa butter in a medium bowl. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Add the almond oil and mix well until smooth. You can also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil, which will add a pleasant fragrance and extend the shelf life of the mixture. Pour into a jar. Your cream will get firmer as it cools. Use daily and your hands will thank you.
Nail and Cuticle Cream
Dry skin on our hands usually means that our nails aren’t in the best shape either. Brittle, cracked nails and cuticles can really benefit from regular massages using olive oil. Olive oil will help keep nails strong and shiny.
You can also make your own homemade nail and cuticle cream using 1 teaspoon mashed avocado, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch of salt. Mix all until smooth and apply a small amount to each nail, massaging the cuticle and skin surrounding the nail. Let that penetrate for at least 30 minutes before using or washing your hands. Store any remaining product in the fridge and use within a week. You will notice a big difference in the condition of your nails with regular use.
Using a foot soak is a relaxing way to freshen your feet. Soaking your feet softens hard, cracked skin and can prepare them for a foot scrub. An easy foot soak recipe combines 7 cups of water with 2 cups of milk. Heat the two until comfortably hot. Pour the mixture into a big bowl or basin and soak your feet for at least 10 minutes, then rinse and dry. The milk contains acids which help soften dead skin cells.
Another recipe for making your own foot soak uses 2 cups kosher salt, 1 cup Epsom salt, 10 drops of essential oil, and water. Mix the salts in a basin and add one gallon of comfortably hot water. Add the essential oil of your choice and stir well, until salts are dissolved. Relax and soak your feet for 20 minutes. Good suggestions for essential oil in this recipe are eucalyptus or peppermint oils, both of which are invigorating and refreshing. Lavender oil is relaxing, and tea tree oil has deodorizing and antiseptic qualities.
Using a foot scrub after a foot soak can really help to exfoliate the skin of your feet. It helps remove rough, dry skin and dead cells. A foot scrub also prepares the feet for a good foot lotion. You can create your own strawberry foot scrub by combining 6 to 8 mashed strawberries, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Mix to make a paste and massage into feet for a couple of minutes. Rinse and dry. Your feet will feel much smoother.
The recipe for a brown sugar foot scrub uses 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon almond or olive oil. Mix all in a large bowl until a paste forms. Apply to feet using circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry.
Once you have completed a foot soak and a foot scrub, your tootsies will be ready for a moisturizing foot lotion. Plain old petroleum jelly really works wonders in softening the feet. Just be sure to put on a pair of cotton socks after applying, as petroleum jelly can be quite slippery and can stain fabrics and carpet. Many people like to use this method at bedtime.
Make your own foot lotion by combining 1 tablespoon almond oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon wheat germ oil, and 12 drops of eucalyptus oil. Place all ingredients in a dark-colored bottle and shake well. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 3 months. You will need to shake very well before each use to ensure all oils are blended. Massage a few drops into your feet and feel them become drastically softer with every use.
Whether you suffer from dry hands, dry feet, or both, all of these treatments will pamper you in the comforts of your own home. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to create your own hand and foot products, and the end results make it really worth your while.