When it comes to caring for dry, cracked hands, whatever you use has to work—it's non-negotiable. The big chill of winter brings on a multitude of pesky skin issues—for hair, too. To keep my digits and locks soft and smooth instead of chapped and snapped, I'm always armed with my trusty shea butter hand cream, a formula I honed through lots of trial and error. But it works a treat, and is simple to make.
Did you know that nails grow about 2-3mm every month? A natural feat that can be tough when they're prone to brittleness and breakage. Which is why I swear by concocting formulas with essential oils—they protect from thinning, splits, beau lines and cracking, a.k.a, you'll get the healthiest nails ever!
This DIY concoction that grows your nails into roses (well, kinda) and tames hair into shiny submission, is a transporting experience thanks to the heady aromatherapy blend of myrrh, lavender, geranium, and cedarwood. Of all our senses, smell is the one I’m pretty sure (judging by the panic and upset/depression I get with a blocked nose) I’d want to lose the least. I definitely cloak my descriptions in overblown adjectives, because, well, fragrance is such an elusive beast. Sometimes you need a big cacophony to even get inside the (first) front door. Sometimes you need to invoke every gorgeous flower that ever was placed in a bottle, especially when your hands and hair are involved. Olfactory vanity? Guilty as charged.
Myrrh essential oil has wonderful moisturizing properties that protect cuticles from dryness and nails from brittleness, thinning and easy breakage.
The most versatile essential oil on the planet, lavender strengthens nails and cuticles. Its antibacterial properties fight off germs that can waken and infect the cuticle.
Hydrated nails naturally tend to grow longer and stronger than dry nails. Geranium restores moisture to the nail bed, and has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that protect from infections and fungus, which inhibit nail growth.
Cedarwood is one of my favorite smells and is great for dry skin and nervous tension, both which impede Jack and the Beanstalk-level nail growth.
DIY Hand Cream & Frizz Tamer
If you're an artist, a florist, a bartender, or just a frequent hand washer, this unctuous formula will be like a pair of invisible gloves. Ditto for your locks, because mushroom-cloud hair ain't so fun and I should know—I have a lot of frizz.
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/8 cup sweet almond oil
- 1 tablespoon beeswax
- 5 drops myrrh essential oil
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
- 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
- Melt the shea butter, beeswax, and sweet almond oil together in a double boiler. (I just use a Pyrex measuring cup and place it in a pot of simmering water).
- Stir the mixture as it melts.
- Once everything is melted, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in the essential oils, and pour the liquid hand cream into a small glass container. Allow it to harden completely (this usually takes several hours).