In doing housework or gardening, old gloves which have lost their freshness and grown large by use may be worn. They will protect the hands from the effects of the air, and keep them clean. Too frequent washing is open to objection, but there are many labors which cannot be performed with covered hands, and in that case they must be washed as often as necessary. A perfectly pure soap should be used. A little almond meal may be put into the warm water in which the hands are washed, and if they are much soiled a little borax or ammonia may be added.
The roughest hands will be softened if care is given them before retiring at night. It scarcely requires five minutes to efface the traces which the rudest labor may have left on the hands. And the necessary articles are not expensive. A nail brush, a box of rose paste, a box of nail powder, a vial of ammonia, almond meal, and French amandine and a lemon are useful.
If a callous spot forms on the inside of the hand it must be rubbed, as patiently and for as long a time as may be necessary, with pumice stone. The operation preserves the softness of the hand and the delicacy of touch. Stains may be removed by lemon, borax, or ammonia, according to their nature. When the hands have been perfectly cleansed, rub them with French amandine. Wear gloves while sweeping.
If glycerine were not injurious to many skins it would be excellent. The following mixture will be acceptable to those who can use glycerine: The yolk of an egg, six grammes of glycerine, seven grammes of borax. Mix well. Rub the hands with this salve, and cover them with gloves. Almond meal will do as well.
If the hands are very rough, and have been much used, cold-cream may be employed with great advantage at the begin ning of the daily treatment which has been suggested. After using for one month the hands will be sufficiently improved to need only almond meal.
Women who do no domestic work may keep their hands white by simply washing them night and morning in bran-water.