How To Get Started With Nail Care
It’s a fact- your hands endure an incredible amount of daily abuse as they work hard to help you accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day. Whether it’s work-related duties or homemaking tasks, your hands are most likely to be lifting items, rifling through papers with your fingertips, typing away on electronic devices, scrubbing sinks, and washing dishes multiple times per day. Don’t forget to factor in water exposure too. Another big faux pas, (one that everyone does when in a bind) is using their fingernails as tools. Yikes! Don’t do that!
To have a lovely set of nails your hands need some pampering and now you see why. Follow these basic 101 nail care tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having healthy, strong set of fingernails in no time.
Apply Hand Cream
Moisturize your hands several times each day to prevent dry, cracked skin and painful hangnails. Hand creams with peptides, B and E vitamins will keep your hands smooth and soft. Vitamin C rich lotions aid in lightening age spots. Additionally, before bed, massage cuticle cream or oil into your hands and cuticles. We recommend those with dehydrated skin and those prone to brittle fingernails wear a set of hand gloves after applying a nutrient-rich hand cream to help with absorption.
Use a small amount of warm oil on your nail beds to soften the hardened areas of cuticles. After a few minutes, gently push the cuticles back from the nail bed. If you naturally have strong fingernails, you can soak your fingertips in sudsy water. Those with brittle nails should stick to using oils to soften the cuticles as water weakens nails. Never bite or tear loose skin around your fingernails. Use nippers to trim loose pieces of skin that stand up, only trimming pieces of skin that stand on end like a flag. A common mistake people make is cutting off their cuticles. Don’t do that! Cuticles are there for a purpose. They form a barrier and protect your fingers from bacterial infections.
Take time to exfoliate your hands once per week to aid in removing dead skin cells and help generate new fresh looking skin. You can purchase an exfoliating hand product or easily make one at home by mixing equal parts of sugar with your favorite oil together. Gently massage the mixture all through your fingers, palms and on the tops of your hands. Rinse and dry.
Trim, File and Shape Your Fingernails
Use a soft nail file to gently shape nails. Work from corner to center on each finger being sure to keep the file perpendicular to the tip of the nail. Never file back and forth in a sawing motion as that will only weaken the fingernail and increase breakage. When it comes to shaping, there are numerous shapes to choose from; oval, round, square, squoval, and almond are the most popular styles.
Before applying polish, swipe your nails with a cotton ball saturated in rubbing alcohol to remove oils from the nails and help create a strong bond to the surface of the nail bed. Always use a base-coat first before applying intense colors. This prevents unsightly staining of the nails. A UV protective top-coat helps protect polish from chipping and prevents discoloration of the color. After three weeks, remove the polish being sure to give your fingernails time to breathe before reapplying color.
Words of Advice
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. Remember- water and harsh cleaning chemicals are drying to the hands and fingernails, so protecting them is of utmost importance towards the goal of having a healthy set of fingernails. This step ensures your nails won’t become brittle and it protects your entire hand.
For more Beauty tips visit some of our other skin care posts.