Lotions for a gardener's hands

February 21, 2008 5:24:20 PM PST
Having your hands in and out of damp dirt for long periods of time while gardening can wreak havoc on them. Leigh Glaser got some tips on hand care from San Jose Mercury News Gardening Expert, Holly Hayes.

Awakening Hands:
One drop of this rich lotion coats both hands, absorbs completely in less than 45 seconds, can survive about three subsequent hand washings and smells fantastic. Manufactured by Olim Industries in Israel, it contains Dead Sea minerals said to have healing qualities: magnesium, potassium and myrrh. It's pricey, but remember that one-drop thing. A 3.5-ounce tube is $16.99, which will last a good long time. Summer Winds Nurseries in the Bay Area carries it; so do some Whole Foods locations. Call (800) 200-6546 to order, or visit www.awakeningskincare.com

Crabteee & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy and Gardeners Hand Recovery:
The Hand Therapy goes on smooth and gives you a nice silky feeing that lasts and lasts. Non-greasy, even though it contains shea butter, which is derived from an African tree. Very subtle fragrance that fades quickly, which I prefer. Use the Hand Recovery product to cleanse, exfoliate and soften and then follow up with the creamy Hand Therapy to maintain softness. $28 for the set; $14 for the Hand Therapy alone. At Crabtree & Eveyln stores at Valley Fair and Stanford shopping centers (and others) and Gilroy Premium Outlets, or online at www.crabtree-evelyn.com

Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Butter:
Use a single small squeeze of this wonderful fresh-citrus scented moisture butter to turn hands from scaly to fabulous. With antioxidant vitamins A and E. And I love the packaging: on the back, under "instructions for use,'' is this sentence: "Apply generously onto any skin that an optically-challenged individual might mistake for the bark on the trunk of an ancient redwood tree.'' $12 for 1.7 ounces; $35 for 8.5 ounces. At www.blissworld.com and at Sephora stores.

Keri Renewal Serum:
This is a new product from the skin-care company that goes on smooth and fragrance-free. Gel formula is not sticky or greasy and a little goes a long way. About $15.99 for a four-ounce tube at drug stores and other retailers.

Badger Healing Balm:
Badger is the best for seriously chapped and weathered skin. It smells mildly of wintergreen-like sweet birch, which has been traditionally used as an antiseptic, a muscle rub and to ease the occasional symptoms of skin problems like psoriasis and eczema. Aloe vera and beeswax are other natural ingredients. $8 for a 2-ounce tin at Whole Foods and Wild Oats markets or online at www.badgerbalm.com

Gardener's Salve:
This tin of lemon verbena, beeswax, cocoa butter and olive oil goes on almost like an ointment and feels pretty greasy until it gets worked into your skin. But the lemony scent will transport you! Made by Bonny Doon Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the salve also is available in other yummy scents, including lavender, rose geranium and rosemary. $12 for a four-ounce tin. At SummerWinds or www.bonnydoonfarm.com

Citrus Towelettes:
Not a hand cream, but a little gift to yourself at the end of a long day in the garden. These individually-wrapped towelettes pack a powerful punch of citrus scent thanks to the combo of pink grapefruit, lemon and orange. Made by Crabtree & Evelyn. $6 for a box of 10.


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