Because working in the kitchen with related chores can cause dryness, today we're talking about how to avoid having dry hands and skin.
I am prone to dry skin (except on my face) and have been my whole life. Having dry skin, to me, is like running fingernails on a chalkboard. I hate it. I keep strategically placed lotion bars and/or natural lip balms in my key places — purse, truck, kitchen sink, bathroom, pants pocket, and desk. When we pack to go on a trip, my husband says, “Why do you have to pack those? Can't go you go without?” Well, no, I can't. 😉 I even pack one of each in my backpack for a day hike. Can't leave home without them. I hate to be dry.
Ironically, even though I am always milking animals and doing kitchen chores involving friction, soap and water, I find myself right now and for the last few months, not suffering from dry skin at all. I believe that is because I've figured how best to manage dry skin. I hope you'll add your tips in the comments! Or share your problems, and maybe we can come up with a solution for you.
I know that one size does not fit all, but I hope these tips will help you.
1. Nutrient-Dense Whole Foods & Supplementation
A traditional, nutrient-dense diet is great for the skin's health. I can't ignore that my skin has improved in the years that we've followed a traditional diet.
“While many people spend small fortunes on external skin care—creams, potions and facials— healthy skin must start on the inside, nourished by a healthy diet. A diet low in refined carbohydrates and high in animal fats, rich in fat-soluble vitamins and the proteins that support skin and collagen integrity, is the basic recipe for skin health. Bone broths and stews rich in collagen help make skin thicker and healthier; lacto-fermented foods support intestinal health and gut integrity. –Weston A. Price Foundation “Skin Deep”
Vitamins A and D are critical for healthy skin.
“Like any other organ of the body, the skin requires the nourishment of vitamins and minerals from food—first and foremost for skin health are the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Rough, dry and prematurely aged skin is a telltale sign of vitamin A deficiency, which often first manifests as rough, raised skin on the back of the arms.” –Weston A. Price Foundation “Skin Deep”
Food sources of Vitamin A — “animal products like cod liver oil, liver and other organ meats, fish, shell fish and butterfat from cows eating green grass.” —Vitamin A Vagary
Food sources of Vitamin D — naturally reared poultry and their egg yolks; fatty fish such as kippers and herring; fish skin, organs and fat. —Miracle of Vitamin D
My family eats as many of nutrient-dense foods as we can. But I know we need more, so we also take a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil / butter oil blend. That link takes you to capsules, though we are usually taking the cinnamon-flavored paste.
2. Wear Protective Gloves
Wearing household gloves while washing dishes will save your hands from the constant drying that happens when you're exposed over and over to soap and water — or soap and water plus other things like vinegar or bleach.
I'm not a fan of bleach, but when I had a job at a deli growing up, I had no choice. We were required by the health department to rinse all dishes in a bleach solution. This was killer to my hands, until I learned to use gloves any time I had to wash dishes.
3. Lose the Vinegar (or Other Tough Products)
Until recently, I added a splash of white vinegar to the soap-and-water udder wash bucket. The girls and I wash our goats' and cow's udders before each milking. But vinegar has the property of penetrating the skin, allowing whatever else is with it (in this case soap) to really get in there and do its job. Soap's job is to clean. This means that vinegar helps soap clean better — perhaps too much for sensitive skin. Vinegar was too much for me. So I gave it up, and stick with soap and water for udder wash.
If you're using harsh soaps and cleaners — you might have a look at those, too. Our dish soap is gentle, and our hand soap is gentle and homemade. Every little bit helps. If you have to use something harsh, be sure to wear gloves.
4. Use a Dishwasher
And I don't mean the appliance — if your kids are old enough, spread out the work of doing dishes. Many hands make light work, and many hands get less dry, too. My daughter A. is prone to getting dry, irritated hands like me, so she uses gloves when she washes the dishes.
5. Udder Balm
Milking time is drying. Washing the udder washes my hands as well. If I were to begin milking then, the friction of my skin rubbing on the animal's skin would be extra drying and irritating for both us. My choice for an udder balm is organic, expeller-pressed castor oil. I rub it on my hands and the udder after washing but just before milking, and add as necessary during the milking. Castor oil is not only frugal (a little goes a long way) but it is cleansing, conditioning, and protective against friction irritation. I leave the milking stand with moisturized hands instead of dry hands. It is remarkable.
6. The Right Moisturizer
As a lifetime moisturizer-user, I've tried alot of products. The field is narrowed almost right away, first because I can't stand thin products, thin like water. They don't penetrate and stay on, or do much good. Second, I don't prefer fragrances and will soon get a headache from concentrated fragrances.
I was so happy to find MadeOn's Hard Lotion Bar. It really is the best lotion I have ever used. Here's what I love:
- I love that it is a bar — so nice and thick. Its thickness means it stays on my skin, yet without gunking up things I'm touching, like my keyboard.
- I love that the bar packs easily; no tubes to burst or explode with altitude changes or being sat on.
- I love that it contains just three natural and nourishing ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax.
- I love, love, love that it smells gently like honey, from the beeswax. I think I would love the au chocolat, too!
MadeOn Hard Lotion is my source for soothing symptoms of dry skin. Renee, the kind and caring owner, offers hard lotion bars in large and small sizes, lip balms, and new DIY kits for making your own hard lotion bars.
Disclosure: I received a hard lotion gift pack from MadeOn to evaluate, without any obligation to make a favorable review. I recommend products and services that I would and do purchase myself — MadeOn's products fit that category. GNOWFGLINS will earn a commission on all MadeOn sales that begin here. Thank you for supporting MadeOn and GNOWFGLINS with your purchases.
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