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How to take care of your Hands & Feet

Poor hands and feet; they are so far away from your body’s central working system – the heart – that they tend to lose out on good, nutritious supplies of blood and get colder than the rest of you and half starved when the temperature zeros. And all four of them take a terrible pounding on the work front every day.

Yet they will respond very quickly and well to a little regular care and attention.

Hand cream is vital to keep your hands well nourished. Use it to give them a massage. Smooth it across the back of hands from centre outwards down each finger from base to tip, slightly pinching with other forefinger and thumb as they move. Use an emery board and file nails in one direction (no sawing movements) from sides to centre.

Hands

Hands, if not looked after will give your age away. It’s because they work so hard that hands suffer badly; household cleaners and water take their toil. Both upset the skin’s important protective acid mantle which helps hold essential moisture in. The result is rough red skin that is often also dry and flaking.

The answer is protection

Hands also suffer from exposure to harsh winds and weather in winters. Hands cream puts back the moisture which water, work and weather steal from your hands, so keep a pot or tube by every tap and one on your bedside table, another in your bag and one at work. Remember to dry your hands well after every wash or any wet work, before you massage the hand cream.

If your hands need extra help, try one of these three tricks:

  1. Put on a layer of hand cream. Cover with a pair of cotton gloves and keep them on overnight.
  2. Apply hand cream, followed by cotton gloves, then rubber gloves to cover the others. After 30 minutes pull off the gloves and rub in any cream that remains.
  3. Melt a block of paraffin wax, testing the temperature carefully. When comfortably warm, but not too hot, ask a friend to paint it on your hands using a soft brush. Wrap hands in cling film for 20 minutes, then peel off the cooled wax gently.

Taking care of your nails

Nails too need care and attention, if they are ragged and torn or untended, your total appearance is undermined.

First stop using your nails as tools. There are better ways to open parcels, dial the phone or pick off glue! Again its water and work which cause the problems diluting the natural glue which binds nail layers together. Use rubber gloves.

Nail polish can provide protection by adding an extra layer and by binding flaking nails together.

Nails will be stronger if you don’t grow them too long or file too far down into the corners.

Massage will stimulate faster growth and can make your nails stronger too. Rub hand cream into the base of every nail down to the first knuckle or massage the nail itself with a buffer and buffing cream to give them a super shine and smooth out ridges.

Nails will always look their best if you make time to give them a rectangular manicure. Start by collecting everything you’ll need – a bowl of warm water, soapy water, cotton wool, oily polish, remover, an emery board, cuticle cream and cuticle remover, an orange stick, hand cream, base and top coat and your favourite colour if you wear nailpolish.

Begin by removing your old nail polish by simply holding a pad of remover soaked cotton wool against the nail wiping the polish away. File nails next (never use a metal file as this can cause heat which will weaken the nails) from sides to centre. Then rub cuticle cream into the sides and base of every nail. Next soak hands for 5 minutes in the warm soapy water Carefully apply cuticle remover where needed, then wrap the blunt end of the orange stick in a wish cotton and use it to lift and to loosen cuticles then push them back.

Clean under nail tips with the orange sticks pointed end, then rinse nails again in the water. Apply hand cream and massage it well into the base of each nail. Next, paint on the base coat and allow a few moments to dry. Then apply two thin coats of colour stroking from base to tip, first down the centre of each nail then on either side. Finish with a top coat then sit back, relax and wait for your nails to dry naturally.

Taking care of your feet

Foot troubles will reflect in your face – and you’ll hate to show them off when holidays and hot weather finally arrive. The fact that we’re almost all born with perfect feet is fast forgotten because sadly 4 out of 5 adults suffer some sort of “foot fault”. Badly fitting shoes cause most of our problems though tights, stockings or socks which are too small cause trouble too.

Feet

Comfort should come first in buying footwear otherwise sooner or later you’ll pay the price. One way of avoiding the discomfort shoes can cause is to do without them going barefoot when you can safely do so is best for your feet. And don’t wear the same shoes every day.

Daily care for feet should start with washing, then careful drying especially between the toes. Hand cream helps keep the skin soft and smooth but hard dead skin needs removing.

Cut toenails after a bath when they’re flexible and straight across. Curves encourage ingrowing toenails.

Tired feet will thank you for a gentle massage with warm oil or a brisk rub with cool cologne or try lying down for 10 minutes with feet higher than your head.

Feet which get over heated during a busy day can get instant relief from a foot spray.

A little tender loving care is all your feet need for you to walk tall.

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