Note from Naturally Loriel: Today’s exciting DIY comes from Amanda of Refocus on Being. Amanda knows her stuff when it comes to DIY and picking ingredients to help achieve whatever result you are wanting. She’s also a fellow real food lover and activist and loves getting her hands dirty in the garden. My kind of girl!
If you haven’t checked Amanda out, you MUST check out her version of Kid’s Monster Spray and this DIY Essential Oil Diffuser Locket Necklace tutorial. I’m so excited to have you here Amanda — thanks for joining us!
It is finally Spring where I live, which is one of my favorite times of year. It means getting down and dirty in the garden; prepping and getting everything ready for the harvests of organic veggies and fruits that will help to feed my family of four. It helps me work towards self-sufficiency and opting out of the commercial food system. It fills me with pride and self-satisfaction.
But one thing you learn pretty quickly when you are a gardener is that between the dirt and the constant moisture, your hands end up in rough shape.
And although there is so much to be said about being a productive gardener, you don’t have to live with dry, dirty, stained, and calloused hands. Here are some gardening hand care tips for you to help take care of your skin so it continues to look, and feel, it’s best. Plus, don’t miss a special gardener’s healing hand scrub recipe at the bottom of the post!
This should go without saying, but I think so many of us overlook it. Gardening without gloves leads to difficult and lengthy cleanup. And cleanup is not the only thing to be thinking about; gardening without gloves can potentially lead to getting an infection since bacteria can be present in the dirt and can get into your bloodstream through under your nails or through skin abrasions.
Have a few different kinds of gloves on hand to choose from. Not only will having choices protect your hands better, you will be ready for whatever job is at hand. Weeding and planting? Use nitrile touch (these have an added advantage for ladies with long nails as your nails do not break through as easily as cotton gloves) or cotton gloves. Pulling up or pruning back thorned plants and heavy bushes? Don your heavy duty suede gloves for ultimate protection. No matter what type of gloves you keep on hand and wear, make sure they fit snug without being too tight as this will help keep excess dirt out. (Note from Naturally Loriel: For light-weight gloves, I use these regularly and I am totally in love with them. They are breathable, fit perfect to my small hands, and are easy to work in)
No matter what type of gloves you choose to wear, dirt will eventually make it’s way in, and into every crease of your skin and under your fingernails. It’s fairly easy to get the overall grime off, but getting it out of every crack and crevice is much harder.
5 tips to help make cleaning your skin and fingernails easier:
1. Use the old fashioned trick of running your fingernails over/across a bar of hard soap before putting your gloves on. This causes the soap to get stuck under your fingernails, making less room for dirt to get under there, and it is a lot easier to clean up soap that it is to clean up dirt and grime.
2. Try dipping your fingertips into or coating your entire hands with Vaseline, or another oil or ointment, before putting your gloves on. This forms a barrier all the way around your nails, including underneath, and the dirt will not be able to directly stick to the skin or nails. Not only will it make for easier clean up when you are finished for the day, your hands will be well moisturized.
3. Double-glove method: first put on a pair of latex gloves (or a suitable alternative if you are latex sensitive), and then put on your gardening gloves. Although I have not personally tried this, I hear it works wonders!
4. Keep handy tools around for your nails. A nail brush or toothbrush, luffa (or loofah) sponge, castile soap, and an exfoliating scrub will help get the dirt from under your nails (recipe below!).
5. Keep a small jar of either white or apple cider vinegar on hand to use to soak off berry and fruit stains. Hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice will also work for this purpose.
If you have the ability to have a small sink outside, near to your garden area(s) to hook up to warm water, you can setup a well-stocked cleaning area. You can also wash your gloves here each time, and allow to air dry for the next day (I usually have 2-3 pairs of gloves in rotation, so that if one pair isn’t fully dry for the next day, I have others clean and ready to go.
Hands still need a little bit of TLC after spending time in the garden? Try this rosemary and citrus healing hand scrub. The sugar helps exfoliate, soften, and remove stains from skin. Rosemary disinfects and increases blood flow to the skin when hands are feeling sensitive. Finally, the citrus essential oil is a great cleanser, de-greaser, and brightens the skin.
- Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and place in an airtight jar. Mason or recycled jars work great for this!
- Use a small amount after gardening to loosen tough dirt and stains from your skin and nails.
Amanda is the creator and writer for Refocus On Being, providing inspiration on living life authentically while pursuing passions and doing what we love. She is an aspiring homesteader living in Maine with her amazing boyfriend, Jedi son and Princess daughter (twins!) and a very furry Maine Coon cat named Simone. After leaving the corporate world to become a work at home mom, she empowers and inspires people to follow their heart and embrace life. In addition to writing about being a highly successful Adult Child of an Alcoholic, she is passionate about being a mom, strives for self-sufficiency, loves to live creatively, enjoys teaching others about healthy living, and has a borderline obsession with all things organizational.