How to have Soft Working Hands

My hands are so rough and dry at the moment that I put runs in my own sheer silk stockings. That is a joke! When was the last time you saw me in black stockings and heels!  But my working hands are pretty rough.  One way to have soft hands is to work with raw wool.  The lanolin in the wool is the best thing for your hands. However I do have an alternative as well!  More of that in a minute.

Mama’s fleece has been washed.  Sara the Crazy Sheep Lady over at Punkins Patch has done all the dirty work.  Her hands will be very soft. You will remember the fleece laid out before I shipped it. All filthy.  Well pop over to Punkins Patch and look at the difference. It is fantastic. Mama is hiding a snow white fleece under all that.

Don’t tell  Sara what I used to do with the wool! She is going to blog each step for us right through to the spinning so that we can learn the process too. I will link it in each time.

Now because most of you do not have access to this lanolin laden wool, how about this!  I was reading Heidi’s post over at Lightly Crunchy and came across her lemon oil hand wash.

It reminded me of the sugar scrub I used to make.  Thank you Heidi.

I was at the old folks home the other day telling an old dairy farmer  that I was going to milk a cow soon. He looked at my little black jacket and my skinny jeans tucked into my long boots and my slightly too bright red lipstick and all that blonde hair tied up in a pony tail and dubiously said, “Well, show me your hands then”

Surprised, I did. He visibly relaxed when he held and inspected my worn and battered hands, with the scars and the healing burns , the skinned bit where Daisy leaned on me as she walked past not realising she was dragging the top of my hand along the fence post,  the uneven nails that I can never quite get clean. He nodded as he handed me back my hands. “You’ll do good.” Hmm.

So yesterday I  made a batch of my lemon honey hand scrub, incorporating Heidi’s recipe,  and it will sit on the windowsill above the sink so I can be a clean girl again and my working hands will be soft.

Sugar Scrub for farmers and gardeners hands.  (And your legs!)

  • 1/3 cup grapeseed  or olive oil for the moisturising (I use grapeseed)
  • just over 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for the scrub
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon  of honey to help heal all those nicks and scratches
  • 2 Vitamin E capsules (these are optional)
  • Take your time scrubbing with this. Then rinse thoroughly.

I was rummaging about amongst the oils, looking for the grapeseed oil, and saw that the coconut oil had melted in its jar. It was that hot yesterday. So I poured some of it on my head and massaged it through my hair. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? It is great for blonde hair.  An excellent natural hair conditioner. My blonde headed friend in NZ used to say that “it was blondes like me who give the real blondes like her a bad name!”  I have told you that before.  But it always makes me laugh!  Mean!! Anyway for shiny healthy hair (do I sound like a commercial?) leave the coconut oil in your hair, on a hot day, for an hour -then wash out.  Not a cold day. The oil will go solid in your hair on a cold day and look really funny!

Anyway, while the wind blew, and the bendy trees bent, I sat on my sheltered verandah with my scrub, my moisturising hair and a big bowl of water and I had a solitary spa moment!  The wind was terrible yesterday. Hot and howling. Important to note, do not go out and work with bees after using the sugar scrub!! Worse, do not go out and hose down the pig sty, having your newly scrubbed legs nibbled at by a snuffling  pig is most unsettling! Yes I know. Scrubbing the skin then scrubbing the pig sty is the wrong was around. But I can’t stay clean more than five minutes anyway!!

Good morning.  How does Friday come so fast? Friday morning is my rest morning. The chores are done at double time thenTon and I  drive to the retirement home to see The Old Codger and his friends and lay about chatting for a few hours while TonTon gets his cuddles. Which reminds me- that dog  needs a shower before we go! I had better get a wriggle on!

Have a lovely day.


64 Comments on “How to have Soft Working Hands

    • It is .. If I am in a restaurant i keep my hands out of sight when the waitress is hovering, they are clean! just grubby looking! c

  1. Fabulous recipe, C!
    If I remember, the vitamin E helps keep it from spoiling, if you don’t use it all at one go…I could be wrong – it’s been a long time since I made any cosmetics…
    Enjoy your time with the Folks…how much longer will the Old Codger be a resident? Is his rehab going well?

    • AH, well that makes sense now, Maybe I should take out the optional.. I have always added a cap of Vit E to my beeswax lip balm. I guess it is also a moisturiser! the old Codger told me on the phone yesterday that he would “be getting out of here” soon. I will find out more today. Though last week he was still not allowed to put full weight on his leg.. so we will see.. c

  2. I’m happy you took the time to give yourself a spa moment! We all need those every now and then. I just happen to have all of the ingredients for the sugar scrub. I’m going to make some today!

    I loved reading through Punkins Patch’s blog to see how Mama’s wool was cleaned. I learn something new every day from your blog!

    Have a great day! ~ April

  3. I like the idea of adding in the honey – I’ll try that next time! It’s been hot here too lately, almost 30C, which is a little unusual for May in Ontario. My coconut oil has been liquid all week. I should try it out in my hair sometime. Ive got curly hair – right now, with the humidity, I swear that even the love child of Phyllis Diller and Richard Simmons would point at me and say, “At least I don’t look like her!”.

    • I will bet you anything you like that my hair is curlier! I straighten it if there is going to be a camera near by!! So the oil is lovely! Phyllis did have the hair though! c

  4. Sounds great. I used to make all sorts of stuff like this for myself and my family. Now I only do face oils for myself. I need something to soften my hands so I’ll try this when I get home. I prefer to use ‘natural’ things on my body.

  5. Hands do tell it all. Glad you passed the test.

    The wind up here has been unbelievable also. When my husband was driving into town the other night, he saw a tree fall onto the roadway a block ahead of him on a side street. He says it would have smooshed a vehicle. I’ve had to keep windows closed, otherwise half of Iowa is blown into my house.

    • Oh i know that feeling. Our windows were closed on that side yesterday as well and still the dust piled up on the table in front of my eyes! c

  6. I am always glad when I hear that you have a moment to take care of yourself, Celi, since you are so busy with the animals and farm tasks. Enjoy your visit today.

  7. This is definitely one I can make and use! I recall one of my sisters using olive oil on her hair the same way you used coconut oil. Natural things are best 🙂 t

  8. Just what I needed to hear today…my calf has finally started drinking straight from the bucket and I have had my hands in the milk encouraging her these past days…my hands are so dry and chapped. Thank you!! Question though…does working your hands in wool fleece work as well when the fleece is still on the sheep?

    • Oh yeah!! I am sure! Though you might want to ask Sara. And isn’t it a relief when they will drink from the bucket. It is just all over so much faster!! c

  9. Before I retired as a Midwife, I had a heck of a time getting my nails scrubbed clean! Hurray for ‘latex’ gloves !!

  10. Mama’s wool is beautiful. Kigelia, coconut oil,aloe vera and lavendar oil sorts out my excema and is a natural sunblock too. Laura

  11. I am going to whip up some of that scrub right now! So funny, I saw a picture of myself with my hands up near my face; I was shocked! I said, “Who put their hands in my picture?” Well, in all honesty my hands are huge…now that they are rough, used and older…holy! I need this scrub.

    Enjoy your visit.

    • Morning jess, I know what you mean about rough used hands, however like me I bet you are secretly a little proud of those useful working hands! c

    • Coconut oil melted and mixed with Bay Rum (sp) good for Brunettes. I haven’t seen Bayrum for ages – but my late Mum used to condition our hair with this when we were kids.

  12. I really enjoy your blog! I cn hardly wait to make the sugar scrub. Is grapeseed oil found in the same area as I would find olive oil? I have never used it.

  13. As usual, I love tuning into your blog, but I don’t think tapping the keyboard, pressing the shutter and whisking meringues has given me the proper outdoor hands that would demand your softener’s attention:)

  14. When I saw the title of the post it reminded me of a very old ad for Fairy Liquid (did you have those in NZ?) and have been humming the tune all day. Then I expected something about lanolin, and you go and surprise me with a lovely hand scrub and little spa moment…perfect!

  15. ^ “Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face…”
    Apparently working with raw meat gives you soft hands – I do know a female butcher in New York, I’ll have to check.
    I used to share a flat with a girl who spun and knitted – she got a dreadful wool allergy and her skin went scabby (even her face poor thing). Lanolin has always been good for my skin though and I like the smell of it.

  16. Bookmarked!!! This is fantastic 😀
    My mum does all the housework and constantly claims her hands are no longer beautiful – not content with herself, ever since I started cooking at high rates, she has gone on about my ‘baby’ hands roughening 😉
    This is perfect!! Thank you my friend 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  17. I love the bit about the old man examining your hands before declaring you a milker! Coconut oil is great for the skin, and I like the sound of the lemon scrub.

  18. celi, you are a star, I’m going to try this recipe as soon as I get my mits on some lemons. My hands take a battering, and what with being prone to excema I can’t use normal soaps and moisturisers so this sounds like it’s worth a try. besides if it goes wrong I could cook with it. Right?… laughs…..

  19. Have you ever used citric acid and dishwash liquid to clean your hands? It gets all sorts of grubbiness out – but it does sting a bit if you have cuts on your hands…

  20. I think I’m going to use that coconut oil trick today! 🙂 And I love the sound of this scrub. My right hand is impossibly dry all the time. Perhaps this will do the trick.

  21. Thanks for sharing the sugar scrub recipe. I imagine the pigs thought your legs smelled good enough to eat. What a warm-hearted telling of the old dairy farmer examining your hands. 🙂

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