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Gardening is rewarding and relaxing but you wouldn’t want to end up with rough, dry hands and dirt-filled nails making them look unkempt and ugly. Gardening has you on your hands and knees, in dirt while you work your magic at nurturing and growing, but you also need to work the magic with personal care. Sometimes women find it difficult to care for both.

We care about you, so are a few tips to make it easy to have good-looking and healthy hands and nails.

Apply Sunscreen on hands before gardening

For sunny weather, apply sunscreen or SPF moisturizers on hands before going out to the garden to avoid sunburns and aging or spotty hands. Less sunny? You can rub coconut oil on hands as it protects and moisturizes simultaneously. Coconut Oil has an SPF of 4, blocking 75% UV rays (that’s about 45 minutes of sun).

Wear Protective Gloves while gardening

Putting on gloves while gardening protects the hands against the staining properties of compost and some soils. Choosing the perfect glove to fit your hands and purpose is important in order to adequately protect your hands and minimize the amount of dirt that seeps into your nails.

Where you might find gardening gloves uncomfortable – as some women do and prefer using their bare hands – you can use surgical gloves since they are tighter and feel more like skin than gardening gloves. Tip: Apply talcum powder or cornstarch on your hands to help with sweat as a result of the tight fit.

Scratch bar soap into your nails

After working out in the garden, you might find washing off soil from your fingernails a daunting task. To avoid that, dig your nails/scratch into a soap bar so it gets under your nails before you go out to do the gardening. It will prevent dirt from getting deep into your nails and cuticles, and make washing them super easy.

To wash, apply extra soap to hands and brush nails with a soft-bristle brush to get the extra bits of soap out and to wash off the dirt.

Apply natural stain removers for nail whiteness

Your nails might look dull and probably stained or colored from the continuous gardening. Make a paste to pack under your nails using 1 part (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide and 2 1/2 parts baking soda to whiten them. After 3 minutes, rinse off with water. You can also apply the juice from a freshly cut lemon or tomato for 5 minutes and rinse with warm water as these fruits are known to have lightening properties. Remember to moisturize after washing to avoid dry and brittle hands.

Moisturize hands with creams and oils

Washing hands with soap can take away the moisture from your skin and nail cuticles. So don’t forget to start with the soap you use, you want to choose something that puts the moisture back. Use moisturizing creams and oils after a wash will then lock in that moisture and rejuvenate the skin making it smooth and soft again.

Homemade moisturizers from coconut oil, lavender or sunflower oil, aloe vera or honey are very effective, cheap and easy to make. Also, massage your cuticles with moisturizing oils or balms to get the blood circulating around the cuticles which promotes nail growth.

Regular manicures

Trim nails to the same length and keep them shaped in (squared-off) ovals as this is the best shape for active hands and reduces dirt accumulation. Get a regular manicure to pamper and keep your hands and nails looking good. For polished nails, coat with extra layers and use gloves to make it last.

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