About this time a year ago, my hands were so dry, irritated, and cracked that they were bleeding. Like all of the best solutions, mine was born out of necessity. After I solved my problem, I noticed I wasn’t in the minority. Friends and family who came to stay, were often plagued with the same problem. It’s time to say goodbye to dry, cracked, sore winter hands for good. Let’s get rid of the old “antibacterial” methods stripping our skin of everything, good and bad. Chalk them up to a mistake of the past. It is possible to cleanse and moisturize while allowing our skin to build it’s natural balance of bacteria that renews it and keeps it young. Afterall, are we really protecting ourselves from germs and viruses if we’re causing our skin to crack, allowing in more germs and viruses?
We begin here, step 1 of 3, with this liquid, foaming soap that’s both gentle and moisturizing. It cleanses with a castile soap base, while the essential oils add natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, that won’t leave your hands feeling dry and irritated. In fact, this wash is just as great for your whole body, by simply adjusting the essential oils you use. To really solve the winter hands problem, you can’t start by adding a balm or lotion after the fact, the answer is all in the wash.
Foaming Hand and Body Wash
- foaming pump – You need a foaming pump, because this soap is free of all the nasty chemicals that make others so sudsy. You can get full-sized and travel-sized (Yes, I travel with soap. That’s when my hands take the hardest hit.) bottles at a great price at aromatools.com, but you will pay more for shipping. They do cost more on Amazon, but you could save on shipping. Better yet! Re-use a foaming pump you already have on hand.
- 1/3 C liquid castile soap – I really like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild. It seems a little expensive, but who would have thought I could have gotten a year out of just one bottle? I refilled three pumps in our home regularly and made many for friends and family.
- 3-6 teaspoons oil (depending on how moisturizing you want it to be) – I like to use one of these organic, carrier/massage oils, but you could buy liquid coconut, almond, or olive oil from your regular grocery store too. Some oils will be heavier and leave your skin a little oilier, like almond or olive. Others will leave a lighter, less greasy feel like coconut or grape seed oil.
- 22-25 drops essential oils – here are some of my favorites:
- lemon ~ in the kitchen
- “lavender mint” ~ for the bathroom sink (12 drops each lavender and peppermint), or as a body wash. A good peppermint essential oil will have a cooling effect on your skin, so you may want to omit it in a body wash for the winter months.
- “orange spice” ~ I use the immunity blend from this company, that is a mix of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus, in another bathroom. Independent clinical studies have shown it to kill MRSA.
- distilled water
- Add 1/3 Cup of liquid castile soap base to the foaming pump reservoir.
- Add up to 6 teaspoons of a carrier/massage oil, according to your preference for moisture level. A food grade liquid oil is ok too, like sweet almond or grape seed oils.
- Drop desired essential oils into soap/oil base. I like to use between 22-25 drops.
- Fill the remainder of reservoir with distilled water. Using distilled water will ensure minerals don’t build up in/around your foaming pump.
- Turn the pump over a few times to mix. You may need to turn it over occasionally as you use it, if ingredients separate.