The hands and feet are often the neglected parts of the body and sustain the most wear and tear during your daily routine. Hands and feet are especially prone to damage during the cold weather and therefore winter care for hands and feet must be an essential part of your core body care routine. In this context, nourishing essential oils play a major part in ensuring that the suppleness of your skin is maintained.
Hands and feet get affected adversely from mere dry and rough skin texture to more risk-prone and serious skin conditions like ulcers, sores, infections, constant irritations, dehydration or mineral deficiencies that might require costly and elaborate medical procedures to ensure complete treatment.
People suffering from diabetes might experience sensitivity in their feet more often than most people with optimal sugar balance, and the chronic condition might affect nerve endings in their extremities. Diabetics might experience adverse effects especially profoundly when their winter care for feet is not optimal and suffer from tingling, dryness, numbness and burning sensations in their hands and feet.
Hands and feet often experience symptoms including cracked, itchy, dry and scaly skin, which is often difficult to resolve with just regular moisturizing lotions. The deep moisturizing for skin affected by wear and tear is taken care of well by nourishing oils, which have the potential to soothe and stimulate the 72,000 nerve endings in feet, helping resolve pain and discomfort through a deep and holistic healing action.
In order to resolve hand and feet problems, a number of essential oil blends are recommended during your winter care for feet and hands. Herbalists recommend the use of nourishing oils in foot baths for a range of treatments, from effective relief from unpleasant foot odor to complex medical conditions of the hands and feet.
Nourishing essential oils are especially beneficial for foot and hand care. This is true owing to the concentrated nature of essential oils, especially suited for local application on hands and feet. Essential oils are concentrated in nature and therefore most suitable for use during winter care for hands and feet, rather than the rest of the body.
Also, the soles of the feet are less sensitive and readily absorb nourishing oils for use by the body through a safe mode of application, eliminating any chances of an adverse reaction. For the same reason, the essential oils of citron, peppermint and oregano are used hot during winter care for hands and feet.
Besides, nourishing essential oils when applied to the hands and feet are absorbed very fast, making their way into the bloodstream, and also assisting the art of reflexology in terms enhancing its effectiveness.
Most essential oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties, which make them the perfect medium to not just tone and hydrate the skin, but also keep it disinfected and protected from microbial agents. Also, the skin of the hands and feet does not contain sebaceous glands and hence these nourishing oils are not impeded from any kind of oily barrier, as is present over the rest of your body.
Nourishing essential oils can be used in a number of ways during your winter care for feet and feet, including hot soaks, rejuvenating scrubs and soothing creams for the best form of personal care.
How Soaking Helps during Winter Care for Hands and Feet
Soaking your hands and feet in warm water, containing the goodness of essential oils helps deep relax and soothe your senses. It makes your nails and cuticles softer and helps smoothen rough skin or callouses. Further, skin is ready to be cleansed or exfoliated after a hot soak. Massage of the hands and feet also works wonders to improve blood circulation and promote overall health after a hot soak with nourishing oils.
Nourishing Oils Can be Great Cleansers by Themselves
Even without diluting, essential oils have certain properties which enable them to kill the bacteria and germs we tend to accumulate on our hands and feet. Owing to the weather conditions during winter, that promote multiplication of microorganisms more rapidly than during the dry season, a skin scrub made with salt or sugar infused with nourishing essential oils can prove to be a great way to cleanse the skin of the hands and feet.
Skin Hydrating Must be the Primary Regiment during Winter Care for Hands and Feet
Homemade moisturizers with your favorite lotions and creams can be supplemented with nourishing oils, which not only imparts a soothing natural scent but also transfers the vital properties of essential oils to keep your skin supple and hydrated.
Invest Time in a Massage Regimen with Nourishing Essential Oils
Winter care for feet and hands is never complete without the use of essential oil massages. Massaging hands and feet either after a hot soak or before going to bed can produce long lasting effects to promote the health of tissues and nerve endings present in your hands and feet. Your skin feels invigorated and revitalized and your underlying deep tissues and bones receive the right pressure for de-stressing and relaxing after extended use.
Recommended Nourishing Essential Oils for the Hands and Feet
Essential oils come in a wide range of scents and contain very different properties. Certain nourishing oils have subtle scents, while others have very strong scents. Further, the characteristics of essential oils differ greatly, providing a range of benefits to help with winter care that can benefit your whole body. Some of the most effective essential oils for winter include:
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the preferred oil for massage therapies as it contains the full range of vitamins and minerals, making it gentle enough for any type of skin care regimen. Olive oil contains exceptional healing properties and can effectively disinfect the skin from all kinds of foreign bodies and infectious agents. Olive oil can also help seal wounds and smoothen dry skin for long lasting results more effectively than any other oil. All these properties make it an excellent medium for winter care for hands and feet.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is one of the most ancient forms of healing oils and especially suited for imparting the right warmth during the winter season. Eucalyptus is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. Using eucalyptus oil during winter care for hands and feet provides stimulation for your immune system, making you less prone to the flu and cold conditions triggered from the cold weather. The best way to massage eucalyptus oil is during or after a bath to allow muscles of the hands and feet to relax and restore themselves.
Eucalyptus oil has a strong smell and provides very effective action against colds, by penetrating deep inside the nasal passages and lungs to bring about decongestion even when you are suffering from a severe cough or cold. However, due to the strong smell and concentrated nature of eucalyptus oil, it might not be suitable for people with high blood pressure or epilepsy, or when women are pregnant.
3. German Chamomile Oil
One of the most effective anti-inflammatory agents available in the range of essential oils is the German Chamomile Oil which acts as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. German chamomile is especially effective for your winter care for hands and feet, helping you achieve deep relaxation from its natural analgesic effects. German Chamomile can effectively soothe away headaches and help relieve symptoms of insomnia.
When used in foot and hand soaks or massages during the cold winter months, the nourishing essential oil of German Chamomile can help treat abscesses, boils, inflammation, and allergies through regular use. German Chamomile can also handle rashes, boils, burns and minor wounds effectively. However, it might cause skin irritation in certain sensitive individuals and must be used with care.
Tea tree oil also serves as an excellent disinfectant and can be used to heal effectively from minor scratches and scrapes. Even wounds on hands and feet that tend to occur during winter and do not heal well and fast can be assisted with the goodness of tea tree oil to bring about the right disinfectant action, while also cleaning up the wound area and reducing pain to a large extent.
The spectrum of skin conditions that can be addressed through the use of tea tree oil during your winter care for feet and hands go beyond burns, insect bites, cold sores and rashes to more complex and stubborn skin conditions like blisters, extreme fungal infections, athlete’s foot, deep skin infections, and warts. Tea tree oil is largely concentrated in nature and must be diluted using the right carrier oil. The quantity of carrier oil used depends on the nature of your skin. While certain individuals can take on more concentrated tea tree oil, others can sustain only a mild action.
Mixing Nourishing Oils for Winter Care of the Hands and Feet
Essential oils serve as great healing agents for the cold winter months. However, most essential oils are concentrated in nature and require to be used in combination with a carrier oil. Also, two or more essential oils can be combined to infuse their effects and bring about the right healing action during effective winter care for hands and feet.
Carrier oils are diluting agents for pure natural nourishing oils. Some of the most common carrier oils used in combination with essential oils include coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. Each of the carrier oils have its own properties and scents and is usually combined to complement the essential oils in the best way possible.
Therapists recommend combining only 2-3% essential oils with the desired carrier oil. Also, you must make sure that the carrier oil and essential oils used during winter care belongs to therapeutic grade quality, which is pure and suitable even for sensitive individuals. Also, certain individuals may face reactions even with 100% pure essential oils, based on their skin type and sensitivity towards the essential oils, in which case they must stop use immediately and seek medical attention.
Some of the most effective combinations of essential oils, especially suited for winter care for hands and feet include:
Nourishing oils are available from through a number of brands, and care must be taken to incorporate only the purest form of oil in your winter care for hands and feet regimen. Consulting a good alternative therapy practitioner is always a good idea before choosing the right combination of essential oils and carrier oils that will suit your lifestyle and skin sensitivity.
Nevertheless, essential oils work to bring about a much deeper action through the nervous and circulatory system by deeply restoring your body’s natural relaxation and defense mechanisms when judiciously incorporated in your routine dedicated to winter care for hands and feet.