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This One Dishwashing Tip Will Make Your Hands Feel As Soft As Butter & It's Easy To DIY

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Graphic by Addictive Creatures / Stocksy
February 9, 2021

Of all the household chores, washing dishes wreaks a special sort of havoc on your hands: Soaking your nails in water can cause them to expand and contract, which can make them brittle and weak over time; and the hot water temperature, while perfect for scrubbing off grime, can strip the skin of its natural oils and lipids. Not to mention, even the most natural-leaning dish soaps can contain drying ingredients—like vinegar and lemon—which can cause cracked and scaly hands. Bottom line? You might want to invest in a set of dishwashing gloves in order to protect your paws as you scrub down the flatware. 

But don't stop there: Why only protect your hands from potential aggressors, when you can moisturize them at the same time? An mbg staffer let us in on a little DIY tip (the same one who had this nail-strengthening trick), and we're never looking back. 

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The tip? Apply a hand mask while washing the dishes. 

If you have some extra cooking oil, try slathering it on your hands before pulling on the gloves. Any organic, unrefined oil will do: Some of our favorites include extra-virgin olive oil, which contains a high dose of vitamin E1; coconut oil, which can help your skin boost collagen production2 and can help improve3 moisture levels and barrier function4; avocado oil, which contains oleic acid and monounsaturated fats; and almond oil, which is anti-inflammatory and can help prevent structural damage5 caused by UV radiation.

Not only do the oils themselves provide skin-softening lipids and antioxidants, but the steamy, sudsy water takes this mini mask a step further: Steam increases the skin's permeability6, which can help these healthy oils penetrate deeper into the pores for baby-soft skin; it's the same reason an esthetician might use a facial steamer before going in with masks or peels, or why you might throw on a shower cap after sliding a hair mask through your strands so the conditioning agents can penetrate into the inner layer of the hair shaft.

After all the dishes are scrubbed and dried, peel off your gloves and rub in any excess oil—trust us, your hands will feel touchably smooth.

The takeaway. 

Plenty of experts recommend wearing gloves while washing the dishes (or completing any other home chores, for that matter) to protect your hands from drying ingredients or skin-stripping hot water. Sound advice, but try taking the tip a step further by creating a DIY hand mask as you wash up—the steam from the sink allows for deeper penetration, which will make your hands extra soft after cleanup. 

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