While we struggle hard to maintain a routine working from home, many of us having started prettying up for our Zoom meetings. And no amount of pictures of celebrities going make-up free can convince us not to. The weekend brought the news that salons across the UAE are opening up, but with huge waiting lists due to overwhelming demand and the risks of catching the virus still existent, it might be a while before we step into one again. While we miss the professional pamper sessions, at-home beauty treatments are a great way to feel as though we still have an aspect of our normal life intact, also serving as a form of self-care that can have positive ripple effects on our mental health. They are also a good distraction from the news cycle and the economic climate.
But while many of us have mastered at-home facials, we’re guilty of neglecting our hands and feet. This can be particularly important now as we follow recommended safety procedures – using sanitisers and soap regularly as we wash our hands more frequently, while not moisturising your skin sufficiently.
So if, like us, you’ve been looking at your nails and dry skin on your hands in disgust, we’re here to help.
Galina Antoniuk, Spa Director, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, says, an easy way to counter the dryness that arises from excessive washing is by always making sure to moisturise hands after washing and sanitising. She also swears by another pantry staple, coconut oil, and says a good way to get relief from dry skin is massaging hands with coconut oil before bedtime. The ritual also has the added benefit of relieving tension from all that WFH. ‘Just press the middle of your palm, stretch out your fingers by interlocking them in and out and rotate your wrists inwards and outwards for added relaxation.’
DIY scrub for hands
Want a homemade scrub for smooth, soft hands? Just mix ground coffee with honey and lemon and massage your hands with the mixture, leave for a few minutes and rinse.
With pounding at-home workouts, our feet take quite the beating every day. This can be the perfect time to counter the effects of stress on your feet, both from intense exercise and the high heels/ill-fitting shoes we’ve worn to work. Galina recommends applying a good foot cream or a natural moisturiser before going to bed.
Galina also recommends using petroleum jelly on toenails to stop them from drying out and breaking. “If you’ve run out of petroleum jelly, use some glycerin and lemon juice,” she says.
And since we’re all indoors now, this is also a good time to reduce tan lines that develop on feet due to the different shoes and strappy sandals we wear. “Every two to three days, mix half a tablespoon of baking soda with enough rose water to make a paste and leave on your feet for 10 minutes.”
And in the frightening scenario where you’ve run out of moisturising cream, here are three options for a DIY moisturiser for hands and feet:
1. A mixture of a spoon of whipped cream/heavy cream with half teaspoon sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence.
2. Melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter and whisk half an egg white in until fluffy. Add a few drops of vitamin E oil for better results.
3. Make a paste of two tablespoons of coconut oil, a teaspoon of ground mint leaves and a generous pinch of turmeric powder. Leave this on for 15-20 minutes as a mask before washing off.
Step-by-step guide for a manicure and pedicure at home
Step 1: Add warm water to a tub-like vessel with salt, along with a few drops of almond oil (you can substitute this with any oil, such as eucalyptus, or even aloe vera gel). Drop in some mint leaves and some hand-wash liquid. Soak your hands and feet for not less than 20 minutes.
Step 2: Wipe your hands/feet and follow with scrubbing with a pumice stone. You can use a towel to do this (works only for feet) if you don’t have a scrubber or pumice stone at home. Rub a little bit of an alcohol solution after the scrub (you can use sanitiser for its antibacterial properties) and rinse it with water.
Step 3: Clip your nails or file them as you prefer.
Step 4: Use a moisturiser or specialised hand/foot creams to complete, then neatly paint your nails.
More health tips from experts
- 5 ways to treat quarantine skin naturally at home
- DIY treatment to give dry skin soothing relief from constant hand washing
- Willpower hacks when Covid-19 pandemic saps your motivation
- Staying fit in the pandemic: Microbes in your gut will defend you, if you feed it right
- Coronavirus: Why am I having weird dreams lately? Science explains
- Quarantine food planning: Get your nutrition right while under lockdown
- Stressed by the quarantine? Yoga, meditation to the rescue
- No gear, no motivation? How to spice up your quarantine workout