So you’ve got strong hands. Manly hands. And maybe they’re tough hands, but that’s what happens to a guy like you. You’re lifting. You’re working around the house. You’re doing all those dudely-type things that turn a lady on.
But here’s the rough (pun intended) truth: She could care less if those hard-earned calluses help you bench-press twice your weight, because nothing kills the mood faster than a brillo pad to the small of the back… or even worse, the breast. Ouch.
So we talked to Christine Farrier from Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa about the most common problems—and how to fix them. Read on… and never watch a woman grimace to your touch again.
Problem #1: Dirty Nails
No, sorry. They don’t say that. And listen: There’s a lesser known reason the lady gets a mani, and it’s not just because she likes shelling out 20 bucks on the regular. It’s because it also serves to keep everything clean. And if you still need convincing, research actually shows that there can be some pretty nasty stuff just chillin’ beneath those nails—like germs that cause stomach bugs. Ew.
Relax. You don’t need to trade in your manhood for a manicure. All it takes: Keep them short by clipping at least once a week, and follow that up with a quick one-minute soak in soapy hot water. Then finish the job with some gentle back-and-forth action using a revolutionary little tool called…a nailbrush. We like this one from Ace, which comes with a man-sized grip.
Problem #2: Jagged Nails
So you’ve been keeping up with your clipping. Congrats! But even if your nails are clean and short, it means jack if she’s getting cat-style scratches every time you caress her back. “Most guys clip, but don’t file,” says Farrier, “which gives you hang nails and those razor-sharp edges.”
Once you clip, take two minutes (two minutes—that’s all!) to file them with a good grit nail file—that will get rid of any rough corners or cancel out any uneven clipping, says Farrier. Then run a buffer along the edges for an extra smooth finish. (Pro tip: This little combo tool will do it all.)
Problem #3: Calluses and Dry Skin
Look, a callus here and there is okay. It’s to be expected. But after months of heavy lifting, some dudes have one rock-hard palm-and-finger surface—we’re talking not a square millimeter of squishy skin. And when every hands-on touch feels like sand paper? Chances are, she’s eventually going to opt for hands off.
Soak hands in warm water for one minute, then use a pumice stone to smooth out calluses and dry skin. After that, scrub with olive oil and sugar (1 cup olive oil plus ½ cup sugar can be mixed and stored in a sealed container for two weeks), rubbing hands together to scrape off even more dead skin. Finally, rinse, dry, and moisturize with a thick lotion that won’t leave you smelling like roses. This Gold Bond Foot Cream is also good for hands, or Eucerin makes a fragrance-free formula designed for intensive repair.
So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and start giving those suckers some tender loving care…and maybe (just maybe) you’ll get some more in return.
– Kim Tranell
This post originally appeared on Men’s Fitness.