I dont know about you but my hands are disgusting
throughout winter. Dry. Cracked. And in general,
unpleasant to look at or be near.
For one, I wash them WAY TOO MUCH.
I am a chronic hand washer and I'm not sure why.
While I don't like germs, I wouldn't go as far
as to classify myself as a germophobe.
I know people way worse.
Secondly, with the dry heat cranking all winter
inside our homes its easy for your skin
to dry out and get ashy.
While I always moisturize fresh out of the shower,
thats pretty much the only time I do.
I've taken to throwing a small bottle
of hand lotion in my purse,
but of course the only time I put it on is
AFTER I notice they are cracked, dry, or bleeding.
All this wear and tear on them -
no wonder they look
raw, irritated and beaten up.
It looks like someone squeezed citric acid
over already irritated dry skin
and then proceeded to throw them in
THATS HOW BAD THEY GET.
Now that the weather is warming up,
things will get better - but we're not in the clear yet.
With the heat still on, and extreme temperatures
of Spring (highs in the 60-70's during the day and 30-40's at night)
the changing of weather can also wreak havoc on your skin.
It doesn't know how to adjust
because even the weather outside can't make up its mind.
So here is a little hand regime to keep
your paws lookin' purdy:
Thanks to Ashlea - my younger sister and lovely assistant
for being my hand model.
- Find a good scrub. I know what you're thinking - if hands are already irritated and raw, why do I want to scrub them. But this is the first step in getting rid of some of the dead skin cells that want off anyways. Underneath you'll find smoother, more beautiful cells hiding. Those are the ones we want on display.
2. Next, you'll want to moisturize your hands so that when we apply the paraffin, the moisture gets locked in. I like this hand cream from the same line - but any will do. Try to use one with shea butter or any kind of butter (mango butter, etc.) so you know its got the heavy duty moisturizing ingredients that can get the job done! Apply the lotion well, leaving thick - meaning if you hands soak it up too fast (poor babies, they're thirsty!) then apply more so you have a generous coating. Next we are going to give our hands a moisture bath- 10 minutes of penetrating bliss for those overworked + underpaid hands of yours.
$18.50 (Bath & Body Works)
A little pricy for hand-cream, but worth it!
3. Now the fun part. Dip your hands in a paraffin wax bath thats been pre-heating for at least several hours. We're going to do this 3 times. Dip once, wait 5 seconds to set, then repeat two more times. Once you've dipped 3 times, you can cover your hands in either plastic, then heated mittens OR (the ghetto fabulous way, which we took advantage of) just wrap each hand in aluminum foil to seal in heat. Try not to move your fingers around much and crack the wax - the main point is to seal in the heat and the heat will stay longer with less cracks in your wax enclosed hand casing, so its better if someone covers your paraffin dipped hands FOR YOU. For the ultimate experience, use an aromatherapy scented wax. I have lavender vanilla in my Homedics paraffin. Ahhhh!
You can pick one up from Target, Bath Bath & Beyond,
Walmart, etc for around $40 bucks.
You can go crazy with the wax scents here.
4. Remove wax (pull off in one piece, throw it back in your paraffin and use it again!) and reapply a moisturizer. I would suggest investing in a small purse-sized lotion so you have one readily available, in case someone decides to examine YOUR hands. Keep it classy, not ashy!
$12.00 (Bath & Body Works)
Perfectly sized for your purse.
Why am I so worried about my hands?
I'll tell you a quick little anecdote
thats made me very AWARE of the way my hands look ever since.
I was shotgirling at The Nutty Irishman in Bayshore
(you know, the girls who sell the watered down liquor in test tubes)
and this guy was flirting with me.
You're too old for me - I told him.
"Why, how old are you?"
Guess! I told him
(I like this game because I'm a midget
and so no one ever guesses my real age)
Without asking, he grabs my hands and studies
them before I have a chance to pull them away
(Definitely in need of a manicure at the time,
I did not want him examining them.
Plus who does that? CREEP.)
"You're - 25" he told me
He was close! A little too close for comfort.
"Hey how did you know that?
No one ever guesses my age right!" - I exclaimed.
(I was 24 at the time, but people always
said I looked like I was under 20)
"Your hands", he said. "You can always tell a women's age by her hands."
Then he walked away.
(So I have ugly hands. Can you still buy a shot?)
I sulked the rest of the night.
Were my hands THAT bad?
I hid them under my tray for the rest of the night,
super self-conscious of my old lady hands.
When I got home, I moisturized them
every 10 minutes... for the next week.
They significantly improved.
Case & Point:
I never want to be the girl whose age is pegged by her hands.