Saturday, July 2, 2011
Caring for your hands while Gardening
Working in the garden, gloved or not, is hard on the hands. I have red hair and fair skin, in addition to sunscreen of the highest SPF I always where a hat and gloves, but still my hands get that rough flaky texture from the drying effects of dirt and sun. Before and after I work outside I use a nice rich lotion on my hands. This is one of the recipes I have made for several years. It includes lavender which is a natural insect repellant and a darker oil which gives it some sun screening ability (about SPF 6.)
In addition to keeping my skin soft I like to protect my nails. I don’t keep them very long, but anything short of a nubbin will still collect dirt when you garden, so to protect the nails from breaking and cracking while making them easier to clean after a day of gardening or potting, I scratch a bar of soap getting the soap under my nails so the dirt cannot get there.
Lavender Hand Cream
3 tablespoons grated beeswax
½ cup dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons spring water
2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Combine all ingredients in a heat-resistant container or double boiler. Gently heat (do not boil) the mixture in a microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often, until wax and oils melt completely. Pour the mixture into a container or jar and allow it to cool. After it has cooled completely, give it a final stir before capping. To use, massage the cream into clean hands.
Always make this in small batches as it has no preservatives and you do not want it to go bad before you use it. I think a 6 to 12 month shelf life is about all you can hope for.