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Gardener’s Hand Care Routine for Healthy (and Clean) Hands

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.

Four steps to healthy hands

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


  1. For years I had my nails done until I found out what horrible chemicals were in the products they use. I stopped getting them done after that but now I have struggled with finding a safe but effective product for strong nails and soft hands. This would be great to have if it really works!

  2. I am starting my gardening as well and I just cannot find a product that will help keep my hands and nails looking good.

  3. Nice post. It’s always such a struggle to keep your hands nice looking during gardening season. I have a light weight lotion by the sink (which goes on after every wash), a heavy moisturizer for over night and when things get really bad I whip up a half cup of salt or sugar, pour in olive oil until it’s slushy and maybe add a little honey if I have any glaring scrapes. It works well as a scrub – it’s also great on elbows etc., just be careful if you use it in the shower – slippery.


  4. Glad I stumbled across your blog. I’m also a dig in the dirt girl. Love working in my gardens.
    I keep many gardening gloves in the shed as well. I’m here in Ontario Canada.
    I have never heard of Lady Soma. Where in Canada can I purchase this product to try?
    I’m now a following your blog. My daughter has made her own soap for years and that is all my hubby and I use. We are big on using all natural product.


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