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Home Remedy for Gardeners' Hands
By Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master

At Awakening Skin Care, many of our most die-hard customers are gardeners. The reason for this is that you gardeners are a special breed, not afraid to endure painful, cracked hands, fungal nail rashes and all manner of inconveniences for the payoff of a beautiful plot of earth full of edible and visual delights.

But the fact is, gardeners' hands have it rough. The time spent in damp earth tends to suck the moisture right out of your hands, and this is compounded by the extra hand washing that's required. Then there are the pricks and pokes and scrapes endured on a daily basis. Just in case you're unsure, answer this question: last time you gave your significant other a massage, did he or she end up with skin abrasions?

The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way! Just follow the 5 easy steps in our gardeners' hand repair remedy below, and you'll once again be the proud owner of two silky soft, glowing, and massage-ready mitts.

1. Clean gently As I said above, you earthy folks generally need to wash your hands a whole lot more than the rest of us. And wouldn't you know it, it's the WASHING that is the main culprit. Hot water sucks moisture out of your skin, harsh nail brushes further the abuse, and the soap you're using is probably full of stuff that makes your poor hands cringe.

Instead, try washing in warm to lukewarm water, using a pure, chemical and dye-free soap like Dr. Bronner's or Burt's Bees. This alone will make a huge difference.

2. Soak in mineral salts If you take a look at our cracked feet remedy, you'll notice that a key step in the process is soaking in Dead Sea salts. This is a VERY powerful antidote for those gardeners' hands as well. Dead Sea minerals have literally been world-renowned for 4,000 years as a natural wonder in personal care. The over 120 minerals found in Dead Sea salts will not only hydrate, soften, and heal your skin, but they'll also increase circulation, which means more blood to your skin cells and even faster healing. In fact, I'd highly recommend STARTING with the soak, and then seeing if you even NEED to wash afterwards.

3. Hydrate "Hydrate & Heal." That's our mantra here at Awakening Skin Care. You must hydrate your skin properly if you want to repair those gardeners' hands. Unfortunately, the vast majority of "moisturizing skin lotions" are loaded with scary ingredients and don't even really moisturize in the first place.

If you'd like a longer description of how skin hydration actually works, take a look at our Mineral Hydration Factor page. But the short version is this: Get moisture in, and keep it in. A lot of products are good at keeping it in (heck, you can slather vaseline on your hands if all you want is a moisture barrier - of course, petrolatum is a known carcinogen, so you might want to rethink that).

But very few actually deliver moisture to your skin cells in a way that your skin cells understand. Our products are formulated with Dead Sea potassium and magnesium, which together form the "hydrate & heal" combination I mentioned above. It's the potassium that is the key ingredient for hydration. Potassium is a building-block, essential mineral that is used in hundreds of biochemical function in your body. One of the most important is regulating hydration throughout your organs, including the biggest organ of all - your skin. You'll be amazed at the difference in the way your hands feel when using a mineral hand cream, versus a plant-based formula.

4. Avoid excessive water exposure This is of particular concern for your nails. When your nails are damp for extended periods of time, they become very prone not only to cracking and splitting, but to fungal infections as well. Try to keep your hands dry as much of the time as possible, and use our Dead Sea mineral hand cream, which contains myrrh, an ancient plant with natural anti-fungal properties.

5. Drink lots of water Remember, if you want to moisturize, you have put moisture in! And there's no substitute for drinking lots of water. You may find this hard to believe, but something like 75% of people in countries with easy access to clean drink water are nonetheless chronically dehydrated. And if you drink a lot of caffeine, you need to double your efforts, because it is highly dehydrating.

Got any other fall skin care tips? Success stories? Send them to us at info at awakening skin care dot com (that's the SPAM bot proof way of writing our email address - you need to write it the normal way).