Mutton tallow is considered excellent to soften the hands. It may be rubbed on at any time when the hands are perfectly dry, but the best time is when retiring, and an old pair of soft, large gloves thoroughly covered on the inside with the tallow and glycerine in equal parts, melted together, can be worn during the night with the most satisfactory results.
Four parts of glycerine and five parts of yolks of eggs thoroughly mixed, and applied after washing the hands, is also considered excellent.
For chapped hands or face: One ounce of glycerine, one ounce of alcohol mixed, then add eight ounces of rose-water.
Another good rule is to rub well in dry oatmeal after every washing, and be particular regarding the quality of soap. Cheap soap and hard water are the unknown enemies of many people, and the cause of rough skin and chapped hands. Castile soap and rain-water will sometimes cure without any other assistance.
Camphor ice is also excellent, and can be applied with but little inconvenience. Borax dissolved and added to the toilet water is also good.
For chapped lips, beeswax dissolved in a small quantity of sweet oil, by heating carefully. Apply the salve two or three times a day, and avoid wetting the lips as much as possible.
To soften the hands: One can have the hands in soap-suds with soft soap without injury to the skin if the hands are dipped in vinegar or lemon juice immediately after. The acids destroy the corrosive effects of the alkali, and make the hands soft and white. Indian meal and vinegar or lemon juice used on hands where roughened by cold or labor will heal and soften them. Rub the hands in this, then wash off thoroughly and rub in glycerine. Those who suffer from chapped hands will find this comforting.
To remove stains, rub a slice of raw potato upon the stains; or wash the hands in lemon juice or steeped laurel-leaves.
To give a fine color to the nails, the hands and fingers must be well lathered and washed with fine soap; then the nails must be rubbed with equal parts of cinnebar and emery, followed by oil of bitter almonds. To take white spots from the nails, melt equal parts of pitch and turpentine in a small cup; add to it vinegar and powdered sulphur. Rub this on the nails and the spots will soon disappear.