Gardener’s Hands: From Beat to Beautiful in 5 Easy Steps

Courtesy of Michel Filion

Courtesy of Michel Filion

Serious Hand Care 101 with Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master at Awakening Skin Care.

If you poke around in the world of “hardcore gardeners” (I’ve known a few myself), you invariably find some very dedicated, very passionate people with very beaten up hands. Not that it stops them of course – when your passion for something as deeply satisfying as gardening “takes over” – well, who cares about those nice shirts and sore knees, and… unfortunately, those poor hands! If your hands could talk, they’d tell a tale of woe – strewn with cuts and scrapes, calluses, pricked fingers, fungal infections, and skin just generally battered and beaten by the damp, unforgiving earth. But it’s “loving abuse,” since after all, the benefits you reap – literally – are well worth the wear and tear on your body.

But still, living your life with cracked hands and dry skin – or worse, with cracked nails and shredded cuticles – is not a lot of fun, whatever the payoff you’re getting out in your victory garden. And because it can be so difficult to return your gardeners’ hands to their silky smooth origins, people tend to try pretty radical measures, like soaking their hands in olive oil and wearing gloves all night to lock in moisture. Most of you probably have bottles and jars of hand cream all over the house, in your glove compartment, on the shelves of your potting shed… And yet, what you hear over and over again from serious gardeners is that nothing seems to work in the long term.

Well, I’m here to tell you today that there are some easy steps you can follow to TOTALLY TRANSFORM those beaten up, dried out hands – even if things have gotten to the point where your blood is starting to flow! At Awakening Mineral Skin Care, we believe in “healing” – and that’s what this how-to article is about: how to actually HEAL gardener’s hands for good, and keep them so soft and silky, your significant other will actually REQUEST a massage from you (how’s THAT for a promise?)

The Short Version

For those of you who are pressed for time, here’s the short version of our 5-step, “Beaten to Beautiful” program. It’s “deceptively” simple, so I’d highly suggest reading the full version below.

1. Clean gently
2. Soak in mineral salts
3. Hydrate
4. Avoid excessive water exposure
5. Drink lots of water

The Long(ish) version

Here’s the long version. First of all, there are some important things to pay attention to. As I write this, Fall is beginning its approach, and with the drop in both temperature and moisture in the air, most people notice significant shift in skin hydration as well. Even without sticking your hands into the earth on a daily basis, you’re likely to notice around this time of year a sudden need to reach for your bottle of hand lotion.

Remember: change in climate is a biggie when it comes to skin maintenance, and major shifts will almost always have an effect on your skin.

Of course you probably know this already if you live in a dry climate year round, but even our customers who live in dry states like Colorado often mention that the most difficult time of the year is Fall. We’ve even heard them call it the time of “Fall Gardeners Hands.”

So what can be done to get those hands moisturized? Well, if you’ve poked around the Awakening Skin Care main site, you’ve probably heard the term Mineral Hydration Factor. That’s the base formula for almost all our products, which is a concentrated blend of pure Dead Sea minerals. Specifically potassium and magnesium. Together, these two ingredients give our Dead Sea products their ability to Hydrate & Heal™.

There’s a lot of science behind how this works, but to make a long story short, potassium is the body’s hydration director. It’s present in hundreds of your body’s functions, and its main job is to make sure that the water in your body is regulated – cells get the right amount here, not too much escapes there, etc. The scientists among you may be cringing with this over-simplification, but that’s more or less how it works.

So by using this “building block” mineral in our skin care products, Awakening mineral skin care products are able to actually hydrate your skin, by delivering directly to your skin cells the very substance they need to keep their hydration mechanisms functioning at the highest possible level.

What is “hydration,” really?

Now you may wonder how this is so different from all those “moisturizing” lotions out there. The difference is actually pretty simple. Most of the “hard core” moisturizing creams and lotions on the market rely on greasy , plant-based substances like shea butter or plant oils to fulfill their claims about moisturizing. Ever notice how the more “moisturizing” a lotion is supposed to be, the heavier and greasier it tends to be?

That’s because, like Vaseline, these products are doing half the job of moisturizing very well. That is, they’re sealing in moisture. They create a greasy moisture barrier which prevents the moisture in your skin from escaping. And of course, many good products have excellent healing plant-based agents that help to repair damaged skin tissue. But the truth is, 90% of skin health is hydration. For example, did you know that poor hydration is the number one cause of persistent eczema? Now, you may not suffer from eczema, but the point is, if a skin condition as tenacious and problematic as eczema can be cured simply by proper hydration, imagine what proper skin hydration will do for your gardeners hands!

So the real key is hydration. Real hydration. Give your skin cells what they need to allocate moisture properly and you’ll see a dramatic shift in your skin health. In fact, we’re so sure about this that we’ve built an entire company on the concept, and we even offer a complete money back guarantee on our products (which no one ever seems to take us up on…).

The second part of the picture is the second half of our famous “Hydrate & Heal” mantra. How does skin heal itself, really? Well, we’re fortunate because the skin has an incredible ability to heal itself. Get a cut, a sunburn, a rash – in most cases, with a little extra care, the skin takes care of itself. The problem is that when you subject your skin to repeated “loving abuse” – as with our gardener friends – the skin’s natural ability to heal is compromised.

How to Heal your Skin

As it turns out, the one of the primary ingredients in skin healing is magnesium, another essential mineral that is present in several hundred of your body’s most basic functions. It is part of the nerve impulse system, it is a component of protein synthesis, and it helps build bones and teeth. What’s more, it is an anti-allergen and assists in repairing… you guessed it: Skin Tissue. At Awakening, we like to say “Why not give your skin what it really needs?” And what it really needs are magnesium and potassium.

So now that you understand the basics of skin health, let’s move on to our easy-peasey 5-Step plan for getting your hands back to baby-like softness. Okay, maybe you’re beyond the point of recovering baby skin, but you get the idea.

The 5-Step Plan

1. Clean gently

There are so many garbage soaps out there that are full of harsh, drying ingredients – and many of them are marketed as “natural” or “healing.” You need to be very careful what you choose. For a full list of skin care products to avoid, read this article. Here’s the short list: FD&C colorants or dyes, synthetic fragrance oils, petroleum products, phthalates, sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates, triclosan (an antibacterial), and any other preservatives. Most important, whatever you choose, don’t overdo it! It’s hard, I know. You’ve got a day’s worth of mud and grime caked under your fingernails and you feel inclined to scrub like crazy. Well here’s a tip that may just change that forever.

2. Soak in mineral salts

The Dead Sea salts that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Dead Sea each year are possibly the earth’s most potent healing substance. In fact, we recommend soaking in mineral salts as one of the main components of our Foot Repair Remedy, and we highly suggest the same for gardeners hands. Simply fill a medium sized bowl or dish pan with warm water and a handful of high quality Dead Sea salt (such as Masada, which is available at drug stores and natural grocers all over the country), soak your hands for 10 minutes after getting out of the garden, and THEN gently scrub if necessary to get the remaining grime off.

3. Hydrate

Suprised? Didn’t think so. Indeed, hydrating is the key to the whole thing. Before tossing out all your other bottles of lotion, though, try using our award-winning Dead Sea mineral hand cream for a couple of weeks. If you don’t agree with our customers that it’s the best thing that ever happened to your gardeners hands, we’ll happily give you your money back. (Sorry, can’t make the same offer for those all those others you’ve got lying around – that’s why we’d encourage you to hang on to them – at least for now!)

By the way, we were thrilled (and kinda humbled, too) when ABC News chose Awakening Skin Care’s award-winning HANDS Dead Sea mineral hand cream as the best gardeners hand cream on the market. Check out the video on our main site.

4. Avoid excessive water exposure

As I mentioned in my article about dry nails, repetitive and prolonged wetting and drying of the fingernails is the single most common cause of cracked and split nails. It’s also the number one cause of overly dry skin. One thing a lot of the gardeners we know do is wash their hands many times a day, which is understandable if you need to come in and eat, or say, make the bed. But try to avoid it. If you can reduce the number of hand washings daily to three or four, you’ll see rapid improvement in your skin. And apply HANDS when you start the day. It will not only last through hand washings, but it will protect your skin in the process.

5. Drink lots of water

75% of people living in countries with abundant fresh water are chronically dehydrated. Unbelievable, right? The problem is, most of us consume a good share of caffeinated beverages, which actually have a dehydrating effect. And caffeine lurks EVERYWHERE. You need to be drinking lots of WATER. Plain ol’, good ‘ol H2O. Hydrate on the inside, and you’ll give your skin what it needs to stay hydrated and looking and feeling wonderful on the outside.

Well, that about wraps it up. We get a ton of emails and photos from our gardener friends out there, so if you have anything you’d like to share with us, please shoot us an email at: gardeners at awakeningskincare dot com (that’s the SPAM engine proof version – you’ll need to type it the usual way to get through.) Until next time, tend your gardens well!

Stumble it!

Click on the image below to try our award-winning mineral hand cream today. If you haven’t stopped using all the other products you’ve tried within two weeks, we’ll cheerfully refund your money, no questions asked!

HANDS

HANDS

Awakening Mineral Therapies has been hand-crafting unique Dead Sea mineral skin care products for over 15 years. For more information about this and other natural mineral-based skin care remedies, visit our main site at: www.awakeningskincare.com

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