Thursday, July 05, 2012

Yet another round of really good ideas from my friend at Tipnut.  If you haven't visited her site, it is soooooo  worth your time.  Lots of ideas, recipes, and DIY stuff for home and garden.
Dry & Chapped Hands, Elbows & Heels
In Home Spa,Wellness
Here’s an assortment of recipes and tips you can try for treating dry and chapped hands, feet, elbows (including remedies for getting rid of dark patches), and other trouble spots you may have.
Homemade Balm:
1 cup Cocoa Butter
1 cup Shea Butter
1/2 cup Jojoba Oil
1/4 cup Beeswax

  • If you have a large enough Pyrex measuring cup, place ingredients in that or just use a deep casserole dish of some kind. Loosely cover the top with foil (for steam and moisture to escape).
  • Heat in oven at 180°F for two hours or until all ingredients are melted.
  • Stir very well then pour into heat proof jars with mouths large enough for your hand to get in. Once cool, cover with lids and let set fully.
  • Use as needed on trouble spots (it doesn’t take much).
Alternative Tips:
If commercial creams and balms are too harsh for your sensitive skin (due to perfumes, additives, etc.), a couple quick & easy home remedies you could try (just rub these into skin):
  • Crisco Shortening (Plain)
  • Mineral Oil (Baby Oil)
  • Olive Oil
  • Vaseline – Coat hands then cover in cotton gloves (at bedtime)
Dark patches on elbows can be caused by heavy use (such as leaning on them all the time) and neglect if you don’t moisturize them regularly.
Here are a few treatments I’ve collected to help clean those up. If you have a painful case (cracked, sore), check with a doctor since you might have a condition that can easily be cleared up with a prescription.
Sugar Scrub:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup olive oil

  • Mix ingredients in a bowl. Massage the scrub into any trouble spots (including knees, elbows, ankles, etc). Wash off after 30 minutes.
Crisco (or any other lard):
  • Before bed rub Crisco into patches then slide on a pair of clean cut socks (to use as protectors). Do this every night until problem clears.
Lemon Salt Scrub:
  • Squeeze the juice out of two quarter wedges of a lemon, add salt then scrub into skin gently, trying to slough away the dead skin. Then take the lemon wedges and lean your elbows on them (one on each). Rest like this for 10 minutes. Do this daily until the darkness disappears.
Lemon Soft Scrub:
  • Mix fresh lemon juice and baking soda to make a thick paste, apply to trouble spots. Gently rub in to exfoliate and leave to sit for about 15 minutes. Wash off and apply a moisturizer or Vaseline.
Rehydrating Soak:
  • Exfoliate with a favorite scrub or loofah, then soak elbows in warm water for 10 minutes. Apply Vaseline. If you apply Vaseline right after a hot bath or shower, this will have the same effect.
Basic Maintenance: Exfoliate or scrub rough spots daily then apply honey, Vaseline or a rich moisturizer to trouble spots. If using honey, leave on for 30 minutes before washing off.
Tip: Use a clean sock, cut off to have two open ends, and slide on over your elbows when applying moisturizers to try to protect any from rubbing off (especially good for overnight treatments). You could also wrap them in plastic wrap.
If patches are thick and quite dark, this will take several regular applications to clear up.
Summertime means strappy sandals and barefeet since it’s more comfortable for our feet to breathe in hot weather than to keep them bundled up in socks and shoes. For some this leads to problem dry patches that can progress to the point that it starts cracking and can get painful (especially around the heels).
Here’s a home treatment that can help soothe, moisturize and repair that damage:
  • Soak in a warm foot bath for about 15 minutes. See this page for soak recipes [1].
  • Pat with a towel to remove moisture then gently scrub with a pumice stone.
  • Apply a rich moisturizing skin cream, Crisco lard or Vaseline all over.
  • Put on a pair of socks to protect the layer of moisturizer so that the skin has a chance to absorb it. Wash off in the morning when you shower.
  • Do this each night until problem is solved.
If you don’t see any improvement after a couple weeks the problem may not be as simple as dry skin, it could be a fungus that you’re dealing with. Spray area with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for about a half hour before soaking in the bath. You could also try one of these [2] to treat.
Scrub: For rough areas on feet, try this simple recipe that you can pamper yourself with while giving your tootsies some TLC.
3 TBS used coffee grounds (fine)
1 TBS flour
1 TBS heavy cream (whipping)
1 tsp cornmeal
1 to 2 tsp olive oil (extra-virgin)
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops tea tree oil

  • In a small glass bowl, mix the coffee grounds, cornmeal and olive oil.
  • Next add the cream and flour to make a thin paste. Add the essential oils and blend well.
  • Gently scrub on your feet, making sure to focus on problem areas. Rinse off completely, pat with a towel then apply your favorite moisturizer.
Also rubbing a layer of olive oil into your skin is helpful.

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