Feb 16, 2010

Nonna By Nature part I.

For some inexplicable reason, I have had a life long phobia of white cotton gloves.  As a child, I remember seeing regal elderly women walking to the shops with white cotton gloves, neck scarves, large sunglasses and wide brimmed hats.  Somehow the effect scared me.  I don't know if it was the occasional glimpse of age spots or the wrinkly,yet soft and powdery skin that frightened me or the fear that claws here hidden under the gloves, Roald Dahl style - but there you have it.  A powerful perception from my childhood that remains imprinted in my memory. 
I got over the neck scarf phobia pretty darn quick - vitamin H does that to a girl. If you're wrapped in an H scarf, you can conquer the world, ladies. 

Ironically, here I am training in geriatric medicine and loving the elderly people that I meet everyday at work.  Not a day goes by without me seeing a couple who have been together 'forever' (back when forever really meant forever) and who have stuck by each other through thick and thin.  Even when I see them and can only tell them terrible news they come back at me with such strength, optimism and dignity.

Which somehow brings me to the terrible state of affairs that are my hands.  They are dry, prone to cuts and flake.  I've tried every hand cream under the sun.  Drug store, department store, organic, 100% cosmeceutical.  But to no avail.  If I spend the week basting my hands in hospitial issue alcohol hand cleanser, liquid soap and gloves, somethings gotta give.

In desperation, I googled for the answer.  White cotton gloves and petroleum jelly.  On every search result I clicked on.  If it's good enough for generations of women before me, it'll be good enough for me.

I had no choice but to confront my fear and go to Coles to find the gloves. $2 for 2 pairs.  Ever anxious to give old school a luxe twist, I smoothed on some Aesop hand balm before the Vaseline and finally the gloves. 

It's been two weeks now and I am happy to report that skin on my hands has improved considerably.  I look mighty strange in bed but usually the gloves slip off during the night and I wake up looking relatively normal.

It's just amazing the way beauty treatments can be conjured up from household items.


  1. I have ezcema and contact dermatitis on my hands and I SWEAR by Neutrogena "Norweigian Hand Formula" for everyday use.

    In winter especially and when i feel my hands becoming dry i coat my hands in this and then wear the dreaded white cotton gloves to bed at night. If my hands do flare up i just add my prescription creams on top. I agree the gloves look heaps strange but it works a treat!

  2. Phew - glad I'm not the only one in gloves!!


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