People are surprised that despite being a messy gardener who’s not afraid to get covered in soil by the end of a productive day, that my nails are white and well groomed and my cuticles and hands are soft. There are a few key things that I use to keep my hands from looking grungy.
1. Gardening Gloves. I have a number of different gloves that I use to garden, some are thin so I can feel tiny seeds, some are thick for muddy days, some are thick and rubbery for thorns, and some are fleece lined for winter gardening. The key here is to choose gloves that fit you. I fit a “Ladies Small” and can’t garden for even a minute in a floppy large pair of gloves. Take the time to buy a pair that fits your hands and your needs and it will cut down on the end of day scrubbing because you peeled them off so quickly.
2. Nail Brush. If you are putting in a solid day in the dirt, there is little chance that some of it didn’t end up under your nails. I use a super soft nail brush and have one at all my sinks. They do double duty as a soap dish and work well to clean up under your nails if you have been cooking too (nothing like raw meat or garlic under your nails!).
3. All-Natural Soap. Soap can be very drying and if you wash your hands around 20 times a day like I do, then it’s important to have soap that is gentle on your skin. I make all my own soap and you can too! Check out How to Make Cold Process All-Natural Soap for instructions.
4. Healing Cuticle Balm. This homemade cuticle balm is filled with richly intense moisturizing oils and beeswax to hold it there. With some added essential oils it heals and soothes while softening and protecting. See the recipe here: Healing Cuticle Balm Recipe