Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Secret to Smooth, Supple Hands Is Not What You Think

In hand cream advertisements, you are told that all you need is to use a good moisturizer to attain soft, supple hands — wrong!

The secret to smooth, supple hands is actually removing dead, dry, cracked skin first with an exfoliating scrub.

Then, once the calloused layer is gone, the moisturizer can penetrate to soften your living skin.

When do your hands need attention?

  • You can see small cracks in your skin where there is a fine dirt inlay that doesn’t wash away.
  • Your hands look aged and tired. An exfoliation will remove all the dead cells, allowing the new cells to be visible — your hands will look refreshed.
  • Your hands feel rough and textured — even the thickest, richest hand cream won’t change that!
  • You want to feel nurtured and cared for — do a spa treatment for yourself or a friend.
Wrinkled working hands of an elderly gardener tying a vine to a stake.
Laborious work can lead to calloused, cracked skin. (Image: Oleg Belov via Dreamstime)
  • Before a manicure.
  • After hard, laborious work.
  • In the winter when your hands feel dry and cold.

Use a sea salt hand scrub for smooth, supple hands

Sea salt is an excellent exfoliant, as it easily smooths away rough and hardened skin, yet is gentle when applied in repeated circular movements.

You don’t need to buy expensive sea salt scrubs; you can make this sea salt hand scrub easily at home — and avoid extra chemicals you simply don’t need.

This recipe combines the exfoliant grains of sea salt with lemon to brighten and minimize age spots, honey to soothe chapped skin, and coconut oil to deeply replenish and protect your skin.

Sea salt is an excellent exfoliating treatment that can lead to smooth, supple hands.
Sea salt is an excellent exfoliating treatment. (Image: Valeriidekhtiarenko via Dreamstime)


  1. Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 1 tsp honey until a smooth, thick paste forms.
  2. Squeeze in 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and mix further.
  3. Add 2-3 tbsp sea salt to the paste, and mix well.
  4. Apply to clean, moist hands in a gentle circular motion. The longer you exfoliate, the more dead skin you will remove. Concentrate on knuckles and the sides of your fingers, where the skin has become calloused.
  5. When finished, wash hands in warm water, and apply a light oil or moisturizer.

The before and after effect is dramatic, especially if you have neglected your hands for a long time.

If your skin is still visibly calloused, that is okay. It may take a few treatments to wear down those thick layers of dead skin. Repeat this routine one or twice a week, as the results will appear gradually over several weeks.

When not to scrub

Some types of dry and irritated skin are the result of eczema. If dryness and cracking continue, see a doctor or skin specialist, as a more medicated approach may be needed.

Don’t forget about your pups!

Now that you are enjoying your super-soft hands, no doubt your feet will be next?!

Exfoliation can likewise be done for your feet, and a scrub or pumice stones are good methods. Best results will happen when you first soak your feet to soften the hard skin; foot soaking has additional health benefits.

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Emma Lu
Emma Lu is an author who specializes in Cultural and Historical myths and stories.

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