Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Hands Tell Another Story

After posting about my Crypt Keeper hands the other day, things went from bad to worse.
Friday night, my hands just flat out hurt and burned from being so dry and chapped. Then of course when there is a dry cuticle, I have to pick it til it bleeds.
(Sparky, I'm ordering the product you recommended, and Deb at FFH, I'm drinking more water!)

I thought I'd refer to my latest copy of Women's World to see what they recommended.
It's from February 1932, but it is the most recent copy I have.

Lo and behold, on the very first page, I found my answer.
Seems that I've been using the wrong soap.
I didn't know that washing dishes, cleaning woodwork and washing curtains could ruin your hands!

I really got a kick out of this advertisement.

So much so, that I'm going to type the whole kit and caboodle out, just in case you'd like to read it too!

It happened just about the middle of the luncheon. Frances, smiling and charming, in lovely Paris clothes. Millie, talking with gay animation - eager to describe her ten happy years of married life.

And Tom has done awfully well," she was saying. "He's a manager of the new factory - and the people here in town say..."

Just then Frances' eyes fell to Millie's hand resting on the white tablecloth. It was just a fleeting glance, but Millie noticed. Her voice died away as she looked at her own hands. How red they were. How rough. How scrubby looking. The didn't look like the hands of successful man's wife.

She couldn't go on to tell about the dear little house they'd bought and the new car. It would sound as though she were trying to make up for those poor, hard-working hands...

And the meeting was spoiled for Millie.

The busiest hands can stay as smooth and white as hands that never work. It isn't work that spoils hands - it's harsh soap. And harsh soap is so unnecessary.

Ivory Soap will wash dishes, clean your woodwork, wash your curtains quickly and well. And Ivory will protect your hands. It will keep the cuticle soft and even. It will keep your skin smooth. It won't spoil your manicure like strong soaps. Just try Ivory for every soap and water task for one week - your hands will tell the world a pleasant story.

What have I learned from this advertisement?
First of all....I'm amazed at how ads were 'stories' then.
Would today's consumers bother to read an entire ad?
I think not.

My hands are terribly 'scrubby' looking.
I could do better, I really could, and I'm going to try.
Gardening season is coming, and if I don't get on top of my scrubby hands now, I'll look positively homeless by June.

I've also learned to keep my hands UNDER the table when I'm having lunch with a friend, thankyouverymuch.

On the other hand (no pun intended), I'm rather proud of my hands.
They've served me well.
They do their tasks quickly, and with skill.
Perhaps my hands don't tell the story of a successful business man's wife, but they do tell a story of a hard-working, farm girl wannabe, that's not afraid to get her hands dirty.

And friends, that's a story I'm happy to tell.


  1. I really love when people put wonderful illustrations in with their posts. Sometimes when I see a commercial today I often have to ask myself what was the commercial selling! Thanks for the fun read.

  2. Hilarious. As if. Evidently that advertising works, though. Remember Madge?

    I've used straight organic coconut oil on my hands when they chap. Dunno why, but I'd read while learning to make soap that in the old days women loved soap-making day so they could slather lard on their skin. But perhaps that was to offset the abundance of lye in their bars. :)

  3. I have crocodile hands, or DID until I found Lubriderm's new ointment. It goes in in seconds and for the first winter that I can remember my hands look pretty dang good! If I just didn't have to wash dishes I'd be in good shape...

  4. For me it's just that I don' t drink enough water. I try, but I hate walking around with that swishy feeling in my stomach all day like anyone around me can hear it! How embarrassing!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  5. Great advertisement! I'm going to have to get some of that Ivory soap because my hands are looking horrible this winter! Iowa winters are not helping and after all the hand washing from dishes and painting projects and my daughter bringing home kindergarten germs, I'm not going to be that hand model I thought I might be at one
    point, lol!

    Hope yours start looking and feeling better soon!


  6. Mmmm the 30's.... mmmm!

    NOT :-D

    Gloves are your best friend. Wear rubber ones when doing dishes, wear latex ones when cleaning anything else. At bedtime, thickly slather on your favorite hand cream and cover with thin white cotton gloves (available at drugstores), and in the morning you won't believe how lovely your hands will look :)

  7. I could spend hours looking through those old magazines! Nowadays you need 3 pages to tell you about the drug you need, plus all of it's possible side effects.
    As for dry hands, I typically use Cetaphil, and SHOULD use gloves when doing dishes, but I don't.
    Seems like you are all back to your normal self, Jayme!

  8. You have your mother's hands... Tis a shame about her wedding band.

    My doctor told me despite the .99999999% pure claim Ivory's one of the harshest soaps around. I may develop dry skin issues in the near future...she recommends Dove.

  9. Our hand working hands are so important to use and we do need to take care of our skin.

    My daughter who lives at 8,000 foot elevation in the Sierras suffers from really dry skin and on top of that she is a potter. Her hands are always in the clay which does double duty drying out of her skin!!!!

    Her solution is found at any chain drug store. This is what is used. I poo-hooed it for months and finally tried it and had to have my own bottle of it. It is the greatest! And, not very expensive.

    "Heel Rescue" Superior Moisturizing Foot Cream.
    Made by ProFoot

    Don't be mislead by the name. It is great for hands, knees and elbows.

    Their website:

    Have a nice Sunday...

  10. When the kids were little and still in diapers and I was washing my hands all the time they would get so red and dry they would crack and bleed. And hurt something fierce! I don't remember how I found out about it but I started using Camille Beckman's Glycerine Hand Therapy. I can go to bed with my hands completely red, dry, and bleeding and wake up with them soft. I don't know of any places around here that carry it anymore, but I get mine online. Just google Camille Beckman and it should take you to the website. Hope it works for you!

  11. You and me both! My hands look like an old, old woman's hands. They've got surgical scars. I have dry skin. I don't take care of them. But they're the only two hands I'm gonna have. So I'd better do two things: take better care of them. And surely remember to hide them under the tablecloth when I'm with a non-gardening lunch partner!

  12. I use Avon Moisture Therapy , at bedtime. Works great. Started using it when I was caretaker for dad. On tube it says for extremely dry skin. Makes your hands smooth soft. Beth

  13. I use Avon Moisture Therapy , at bedtime. Works great. Started using it when I was caretaker for dad. On tube it says for extremely dry skin. Makes your hands smooth soft. Beth

  14. 15 yrs of producing pottery for a living and working hard my whole life... there is the story my hands tell...hands that are not afraid of work :O)...

    I try to wear gloves but usually don't ... I try to remember lotion, but usually don't ... I was given one of those hot wax treatment things for a gift from someone one year for Christmas... plugged it in melted the wax dipped my hands sat in the gloves, peeled off wax when I was suppose to... yep they looked some better ... said okay I will do this once a week... LOL but that was the first and last time I did that LOL... can't seem to find the time ya know LOL... but the bath as I stated before, that I will not give up! LOL

  15. Oh man do our hands tell the story of our lives...
    Something I've done when my fingers crack and hurt like hades, I put some good ol Mentholatum on the cracked places before I go to bed and in the morning they're dang near healed. Another good one is Udder Cream..ya, that's just what it's for and works on hands pretty good. You can find it sold commercially in stores with other hand creams. Ok, now I'll have to try that foot cream... and I think that's the key here..use a cream instead of lotion.
    Ok, I'm like the ads and have to tell a story :P
    I'm proud of my old hands too Jayme. They've done a lot of dishes, hand washed clothes, kids, walls and my long hair. But after all these years, they still serve me well, wrinkles, age spots, dryness and all (O:
    Thanks for such a fun post!

  16. Neutrogena Hand Creme. Have we talked about this before?? It will transforms those raggedies lickity split.

  17. Such drama!!! Who knew Ivory Snow was a girl's best friend back then. Reminds me of the scene in Gone with the Wind where Rhett felt and saw Scarlett's hands and the game was o-verrrrrrrrrrr.
    I have poor weathered , cracked, dry hands, and scrubby nails too. I get products, honest! and try to pampter them...just NOT consistent.
    I too will hide my hands under the table. But I am a farm-girl wannabe too. so shout out girl. We all are with you. AND I'm definitely gonna try those raspberry ribbons...yuuuuuuum!
    I do live the lotions with cocoa butter in them. ! :-)

  18. I have the same trouble! I also inherited my Mom's wrinkly hands. So, I just don't worry too much about how they look! I've tried wearing gloves to do the dishes, but I wash as I cook, so it doesn't work that well for me.

  19. oh my...I just read your post ...commented, and then went back through all the comments to read what others suggested for dry cracked hand relief. When I got down to my comment, I saw so many messed up words...doh....can you tell I'm still getting over Vertigo this weekend? hah. I'm going to bed! hugs!

  20. Jayme,

    Great post. I love old magazines and antique housekeeping books. Made me think of this poem:

    "I saw you hide your hands in line, behind that lady fair,
    I noticed too, hers soft and white - immaculate from care.
    But Ma, I say, it’s no disgrace to have workin’ hands like you,
    And had she lived the life you have, she’d have hands just like that too.

    But her hands have never hauled in wood, or worked in God’s good earth.
    They’ve never felt the bitter cold, or chopped ice for waitin’ stock,
    They’ve never doctored sick ones, or dressed a horse’s hock.
    They’ve never pulled a hip-locked calf, or packed water to the barn.
    They’ve probably never patched blue jeans, or had worn ol’ socks to darn.

    They’ve never touched a young’n, or caressed a fevered head,
    With hands so gently folded, all night beside his bed.

    They’ve never scrubbed a kitchen floor, or done dishes everyday.
    They’ve never guided with those hands a child who’s lost the way.

    They’ve never made a Christmas gift, shaped by a lovin’ hand.
    They’ve never peeled apples, nor vegetables they’ve canned.
    They’ve never worn a blister, or had calluses to show,
    For all they’ve done for others, and the kindnesses I know.

    So you see, my dearest Mama – yours are hands of love.
    And I bet the Lord will notice when he greets you from above." -Tommi Jo Casteel


  21. Jayme, thanks for stopping by this morning (Monday). I have enough pics and "story telling" to make this last this entire week. Glad you enjoyed today's post. Hubby has a birthday and we have our anniversary this week...wasn't that a clever thing of me to marry him on his birthday...can't forget the anniversary that way. lol Seriously...I've decided that I'm going to make those raspberry ribbons for him for his birthday! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  22. You should be proud of your hands! They are the hands of an accomplished woman, wife, gardener, cook, homeschooler, chicken whisperer... Hands tell a story, and really like the one yours tell.

  23. Those old issues are a hoot! What a find. And, hey - Frances and Millie would make great chicken names, wouldn't they?
    p.s. I've always wanted to tell you how badly I want to come eat at the table in the first photo of your header. I think I have just officially invited myself.

  24. Poor Millie---she's only human after all.
    I've tried to wear gloves while painting, cleaning, dish washing, gardening, dog washing, tractor moving, mowing, raking, etc. etc. etc., but my hands get all sweaty, I wear holes in the fingers, and I end up ruining my hands AND my gloves.
    The dirt always finds a way in. The water makes my skin wrinkly. The gloves, frankly, sometimes make my hands just stink!
    It is so timely that you posted this Jayme.
    I decided this very morning that I will begin creaming my dry cuticles and filing my jagged nails (what little is left) and taking better care of these hands that have served me so well.
    I may even call up Millie and invite her for lunch! She'd be feeling really good after taking a gander at my paws!

  25. LOve this! The advertising story is great and if they still did cute ones like that I WOuld read the whole thing!
    Speaking of whole things...made those raspberry bars and to keep from eating the whole thing...I had to throw some away!!! They were so good, but I grabbed one every time I walked into the kitchen! I was also walking into the kitchen more frequently than usual!!!

    Have a great day!!
    And what's wrong with working hands anyway? I think they're beautiful!!

  26. Amen, excellent post! By the way I use Prevex on my hands, it feels like lard but it does the trick!

  27. Jaym- Thanks for that happy trip to another time. I just think the world was more civilized then. My hubby reminds me that life was much tougher for women as far as how they were treated but I tend to not think that progress is ALL good. I need to treat my hands better too and after the last several weeks of hard work and having eczema on top of that, my hands are a wreck! Not only will they stay under the table but I may have to sit on them.

  28. With all this great advice I hope you never have dry hands again. I need to remember to wear gloves too.

  29. There is so much revealed about us in our hands! And you should be proud of yours! I love it that you share that they do their tasks quickly..and with skill! A sign of a wise woman!!!

    I was driving the other day and I looked down at my outstretched hands on the goodness...WHEN did I get my grandmothers hands?? Long gone are those firm, tan hands with long slender fingers and perfectly manicured nails. Now, my hands sport spots on their backs, have a story for every wrinkle, uneven nails and big veins! BUT...they are my hands. The hands that my true love held on our second date! {that's back in the day that a single touch could send shivers up and back down my I have trouble remembering to put on my Ov Glove before I take a hot pan out of the oven...and don't even know it until the damage is already done!!}

    The hands that he held the day we were married, the day I gave birth to our two beautiful daughters, that changed a gazillion diapers, hands that delivered a dozen or so babies, planted about 34 gardens, swatted hineys, shoveled snow, held his mothers hand as she slipped into glory, then held his the rest of the night, the countless times we pray together, and pray alone and the hands that prepare warm meals. They are my hands and they tell a quite a story.
    Isn't it a beautiful thing...each of us has a lifetime written on our hands...and they are all different.

    I love your hands Jayme. And I can't wait to grip em tight when we get together! We'll just have to make sure we slather up so we don't give one another abrasions!

    P.S. I use Gold Bond Lotion. Let me know how that glysolid works. Looks mighty interesting!

  30. I've missed you Jayme, I've been way too busy and am now just catching up. Love this post and the old ads. Our hands do tell the story. Working in commercial kitchens, my gardens, stacking wood, building the house, tending the animals. My hands had seen better days. About 3 years ago, I started to notice how poorly they looked. At the time I was working for an executive chef who was many years older than I and his hands looked amazing. (in food prep we are not allowed to use any mosturizers as most have chemicals added that are not food safe) as we were preparing to leave one day, I noticed him use olive oil on his hands. Had to ask. He explained that from his first kitchen job he used this, he was a dish washer and his hands took a beating, not allowed to use anything else he asked what to do his boss at the time told him to use the oil. Well I've been doing it on my hands now and WOW what a difference. REALLY! no chemicals safe around food and you'll be amazed at how soft your hands are. I know this sounds weird but my husband uses it on his feet. And I LOVE it. His feet were so bad! They are wonderful now. My hands look 1000 times better.
    On to read more of your posts - Have a great day!

  31. I'm not good at preventing cracked and sore hands, only good at getting them. One thing I use when I get those nasty "splits" as I call them, is hydrogen peroxide. It burns like heck, but takes the soreness out of them fast. Then I lather with a natural moisturiser. And yes, the water drinking cures all.

  32. Jayme,
    We are the same age, so I know what you are referring to. When I am going out and I want my hands to look extra moisturized and "young", there is only one product for the nails and cuticles. I buy it at Target and it is sold out quite often, so don't give up! I use the Boots (from London - a GREAT product) Rose Cuticle oil. It is beyond fabulous. After I file my nails, I massage a little in and also onto my hands and I am always amazed at the results! The dry cuticles disappear and your hands look smooth and healthy. Try it and you will see! I also have problems with the heels of my feet and I always use it there in the summer before I go out in my sandals.

  33. I love those old advertisements! I swear by Burt's Bees cuticle cream.

    Sweetfern Handmade

  34. Just start spinning your own rug warp! Get an old wheel or a drop spindle, a pair of cards, and a fleece (for rug warp you Definitely want a fleece with long guard hairs and minimal undercoat).... the lanolin-naturally occuring sheep grease in the wool - will do WONDERS for your hands!!! Seriously.


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