“Help, my hands are dry from so much sanitizer use! ”

Last week, I would have told you to go buy some shea butter, mango butter and cocoa butter and make a whipped body butter
But this week, it’s not that simple. The coronavirus disrupted normal life. Online orders are delayed. Going out for cocoa butter is not an essential. Finances are strained. Yet your hands are dry and hurting – and you need relief. 
So I’m dedicating this article – and the next several recipes – to resourceful remedies: using the most accessible, basic kitchen ingredients to support your skin health and overall wellness.

Resourceful kitchen pantry remedies for over-washed, dry hands:

OLIVE OIL: it’s abundant, inexpensive and specifically supports DRY skin. Many herbal remedies, especially the more traditional recipes, use olive oil because its accessible, shelf-stable and highly nourishing for the skin. Olive oil can be used directly on the skin head-to-toe, it can be infused with herbs and poured into a bath. It’s also a top choice for making soap.
Olive oil is very high in oleic acid, about 75%. Our own sebum naturally contains oleic acid, so it’s very compatible. Oils high in oleic acid are good choices for dry skin because these oils coat the skin to protect from damage and moisture loss. Olive oil is also high in phytosterols, which attracts moisture to the skin. *Other options: Avocado oil or Ghee.

How to Use Olive Oil for Dry Hands
When over-washing and sanitizing is drying out your hands, you want to make sure that your moisturizing more often.
Keep a bottle of oil by your sink. After every time you wash your hands, apply a few drops of oil and massage it in. You also want to do this before every shower, again massaging the oil onto your hands.
This supplements your skin and creates a protective shield so that your skin doesn’t become dry.

HERBS: anti-inflammatory herbs can help to soothe the skin, while mucilage rich herbs can help to hydrate the skin. And you might just have some herbal tea in your pantry that you can use to make your own hand mask treatment. 

  • If your hands are inflamed: Chamomile
  • If your hands are hot and burning: Lavender
  • If your hands are dehydrated: Marshmallow Root, Mullein and Slippery Elm. Wait, I don’t have that in my pantry? Well, if you happen to have an Herbal tea blend for Sore Throats & Coughs (like this), often they contain mucilage rich herbs, look at the ingredients. You can also use Flaxseed.

How to Use Herbs for Dry Hands
In the blender, blitz your herbs with an equal amount of rolled oats to make a fine herbal powder. Oats are soothing but also gives a creaminess to this treatment.

  • 1/4 cup herbs (one herb, or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

If kept dry, you can store this blend in an air-tight container for 3 months.
To make a treatment, combine in a bowl, 1 TBSP of herbal powder with 1/4 TSP of olive oil and droplets of water until it forms a creamy consistency.
Apply this mixture onto hands and wear it as a hand mask. Remove with water, you hands will feel transformed.

These are simple, but good remedies. And they demonstrate just how effective herbal skincare is. This is a time for us to get hands on and be resourceful. But you know what – that’s a skill that will not only help you today – but will carry on to help you always.

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