I work in an office and my hands and cuticles seem very dry. I usually have a manicure every 10 days to two weeks, but I still find that the cuticles especially are cracked and dry. I can’t wear a greasy hand cream during the day so what can I do?

There is no magic to having beautiful, soft hands and well-conditioned nails and it does not have to take a lot of time. Here are some tips to keep your hands and nails looking good.

At night, apply a rich, healing type of hand cream to still damp hands.

Wear lined, rubber gloves whenever your hands are in hot water or exposed to household cleansers or chemicals.

Always wear gloves when going outdoors in harsh weather.

Use mild and superfatted soaps or non-soap cleansers. Make sure that you rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Don’t rub your hands dry, just pat them. Follow with a good hand cream (instead of lotion). If you think that hand cream feels too sticky, blot the palms of your hands with tissue or a dampened cloth and leave the cream on the outside and the cuticle area.

For an intensive softening treatment, wear cotton gloves over treatment hand cream while you sleep.

Don’t cut your cuticles, or let a manicurist cut them.

Apply a moisturizing mask to your hands at least once a week. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and then apply hand cream.

Can obesity affect the feet? I have put on quite a bit of weight and now seem to have problems with calluses.

Obesity can cause a number of problems. For example, an obese person perspires more than a thin person. Impared circulation can make the feet more receptive to an invasion of fungus. Additional poundage adds pressure to the already brutal amount the feet have to bear normally. Fat tissue on the feet can make it more difficult to get a good shoe fit. Additional pressure on the three middle metatarsal bones can cause callusing under the ball of the foot. This could lead to an inflammation of the metatarsal bone and even bursitis.

Can you suggest a product that will make my lashes grow thicker? They are so short, thin and stubbly.

There isn’t anything I know of that will stimulate lash growth and make them thicker, but there are products to condition, moisturize and strengthen the lashes. Mascara can give the illusion of thicker lashes. Some have fibres to give extra length and thickness. Since your lashes are short, thin, and stubbly, I suggest that you use black mascara or try the softer colors such as teal, plum, khaki etc. and use a matching pencil liner to give the illusion of more lashes.

I am in my 80s and always seem to have cold feet. Do you think hot booties are safe to use. My esthetician said that she could order them for me (she uses them in her salon).

If you have diabetes or a circulation problem, do not use them. Also, diabetics should not sleep with a hot water bottle at their feet. I would suggest massaging your feet with some cream and then putting on woollen or cotton socks. Some silk socks are very warm too. Discuss this with your doctor, who may have some suggestions or give you a checkup.

I have oily and sensitive skin as well as allergies. Labels on cosmetic products sometimes do not list ingredients and sometimes the names mean nothing to me. What else can I do to get the proper products?

It is often difficult to decipher the list of ingredients to determine the quality of the product. Even if ingredients such as collagen are listed, it is hard to determine if the collagen is of good quality or if a substantial amount is used in the product. Do, however, continue to read labels, ask lots of questions of an esthetician or skin specialist and have an analysis done to determine your type of skin. Patch testing is another way to determine if the product is suitable for you. Some cosmetic companies offer samples to try.

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