Jan 17, 2012

Vintage Hygiene: Hands

There are four areas that receive our regular attention, our daily ablutions.  They are: Hands, Face, Hair, and Body.   Well, they are four areas that SHOULD receive proper attention!

This post is one of four in which I will share vintage advice regarding these areas.  This was prompted by my walk down the aisles of the makeup and toiletries department of Walmart recently.  There. Were. Too. Many. Choices!  It made me want to run away.  I bought an eyeliner and a bottle of makeup because I was out of both, but then I was out of there!

In the past it was harder for the companies to promote their products than it is now.  The choices were limited.  In fact, in one of my cookbooks from the late 70s, there is a picture of a pantry with labels of blank construction paper on the cans!  Now when I go shopping, I feel overwhelmed and, frankly, annoyed.

When I saw an article from 1920 in the Vintage Notions book about care of hands, I thought it was refreshing and informative:
  1. Try to feel pride in hands.  A woman's hands are an expression of herself...they say..., "I am strong and useful and you can depend on me," [and] she has reason to be proud of them.
  2. Gloves are your friend: rubber gloves for hot water, work gloves for rough things, warm gloves for winter.
  3. To wash hands:  use warm, not hot water and soften with a pinch of borax.  (Really?  I'll have to look into that.)
  4. Apply soothing lotion after washing.  (The book recommends using almond or olive oil, glycerin with lemon juice, or glycerin with rose water.)
  5. Using an orange stick wrapped with cotton, dip in cuticle remover and run around the base of and underneath the nails, pushing the cuticle back and cleansing.  Then rub on a little Vaseline to make them smooth and shiny.
Vintage Notions, page 26 and 75

I love that the first thing mentioned by the author is seeing our hands as something we need to care for because we depend so much on them.  I also laughed about the gloves.  I am the WORST about wearing none of the gloves mentioned.  I have them, I just don't wear them!

I think I will fill bottles with some olive oil laced with lavender essential oil and put one at each sink.  That sounds so soothing to my winter chapped hands.  (I know, they wouldn't be that way if I would wear gloves!)

Next week: Vintage tips for the face.


Mary said...

Nice post. I never wear gloves.

Roxanne said...

Mary--I actually have gloves for all the categories I listed. I usually regret NOT wearing them, but I never seem to remember they exist when I should put them on!

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