Simple Tips to Clean and Moisturize Your Hands like a Seasoned Gardener
Those who spend their days with hands in soil can sympathize with the perpetual feeling of “dirt under the fingernails”. For gardeners looking to soften, brighten, and rejuvenate rough, dirt-stained hands, GC CEO Daisy Helman has compiled a go-to guide of her favorite products and methods to treat the common (if unsightly) results of good, hard, work in the garden.
Go For a Boar Bristle Brush
Durable nail brushes made from boars hair are the way to go when it comes to removing unsightly dirt from under the nail beds. Skip the built-in nail clipper scraper for a more refined, adrenal-stimulating brush treatment. (Ideally, swipe horizontally in the same direction repeatedly, much like using a nail file.) “I have a selections of beautiful brushes at home, but the best ones for me are the inexpensive wooden ones,” says Daisy. “I go through them quickly.”
DIY Shea Better and Organic Coconut Oil Treatment
Once you’ve thoroughly cleansed and dried the nails, consider moisturizing the hands with equal parts Shea Butter and Coconut Oil (about a pea-sized amount of each should more than suffice) and focus on rubbing the cuticle and other rough areas prone to callous or hang nail. “Shea butter is super moisturizing! You don’t need the fancy hand creams,” Daisy reminds us. Blot off excess oil with a hand towel (ideally, do this before bed or whenever you finally find yourself away from devices that easily smudge, like a laptop or smartphone). Those interested in doing a deep nail treatment should try GC’s Sesame Lavender Nail Bath.
Go For The [Night] Gloves
In addition to investing in a pair of SPF-proofed gardening gloves (which will prevent premature age spots on the hands, the most sun-vulnerable part of any gardeners’ body,) there are a number of moisturizing gloves available on the market, many of which are set at an affordable price point, Daisy points out. “I sleep in Eurow Cotton Cosmetic Moisturizing gloves,” she says. “It’s a good way to multitask!”
Get a Regular Manicure
Getting a regular manicure can actually encourage strong nails and keep frayed nail beds in order– as long as you use the right products. Acetone, which is found in many common nail polish removers, and phthalates, which help polish adhere, are both toxic and damaging to the integrity of the nail when used in excess. However, several new lines of non-toxic nail polish are now widely available on the market, with spa-quality eco-chic nail salons like PH7 Nail Couture cropping up in trendy New York neighborhoods like Williamsburg, as well as in a host of other cities. The regular filing and smoothing involved in the manicure process, moreover, keeps cuticles and nails from fraying, which decreases the likelihood of flaking and breakage. (And if nothing more: everyone could use a little pampering!)