Cuticle care is one of those things that doesn’t seem that important in the scheme of things, but if you ever neglect them, you notice straight away. If you suffer from dry cuticles and hangnails, not only do they look unsightly but if left untreated, they can become cracked, sore or worse case scenario, infected. Not a pretty look.
Luckily there are few simple things, that you can do at home. These leave the hands and nails soothed and moisturised and well on the way to recovery. If your cuticles are in a real mess, these would be my top tips and tricks to get them from drab to fab. Also if they are in desperate state, try using my hand and cuticle treatment which leave hands and nails supremely hydrated.
To do this treatment you will need:
- A non Acetone Nail polish remover and cotton pads
- A nourishing nail oil or something similar
- A small heat insulating container to put your hands into (something big enough for both your hands)
- A hydrating hand mask or intensive moisturising treatment
- One pair of cotton gloves
- A saucepan to warm your chosen oil
At home for this treatment I tend to use L’occitane’s Pure Shea Butter as my nourishing oil to soak my hands and nails in. I warm it gently so it is in a liquid state.
I use L’occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream and the previous shea butter (in solid state) as my moisturising treatment mixed together and OPI’s Avoplex Nourishing Nail and Cuticle Oil. These three products together I layer up in my cotton gloves.
MY HAND & CUTICLE TREATMENT
STEP ONE – Remove polish from the nail and take a break from colour polish.
Your cuticles will respond better to treatment if the nails are bare and there is no barrier between the nail bed and the treatment. We want the treatment to work so this is a necessary step even if your nail shade looks the bees knees, your cuticles will thank you for it.
STEP TWO – Soaking your nails in a nourishing oil of your choice.
If you haven’t had the chance to invest and buy one, try coconut oil, vitamin E oil or even olive oil will work. A good penetrating oil which is easily absorbed into the skin is what you are looking for. Soak your hands for about five to ten minutes, longer if your nails are in a bad way.
TOP TIP – Pop the oil into warm water in a saucepan for roughly 10 minutes – this will gently heat the oil prior to use and your skin will find it easier to absorb and penetrate the skin. Pour oil into a suitable container, heat gently in the warm water, then pour into your soaking container and leave your hands and nails to soak.
Tissue off any oil residue with paper hand towel and lightly rinse off any remaining residue and pat dry.
STEP THREE – Apply a thick hand treatment to the nails, almost like a mask and apply cotton gloves.
The gloves will help the treatment reach deep into the layers of skin, maintaining the moisture levels. Do this either prior to going to bed or for a few hours before bed.
TOP TIP – For extremely dry hands, use a nail and cuticle oil and oil based cream under the treatment mask.
Building up the layers of moisture will act as a seal around this skin keeping moisture in.
POST TREATMENT TIPS and GENERAL UPKEEP
If you go out, apply hand cream or cuticle cream to the nails prior to leaving and you’re ready to go.
Frequently use cuticle oil into the cuticles throughout the day and seal it in with hand cream.
Try and add moisture to your skin after every time you wash your hands as this will prevent your hands and cuticles drying out.
These three steps are really key if your hands and cuticles are severly dehydrated!
If you are really struggling to keep moisture in your hands and nails, consider layering up your hand cream with a barrier cream on top.
TOP OVERALL TIP – The most key tip to combating dry cuticles and hands is ensuring an protective moisture barrier on your hands and nails at all times. If your hands feel dry to touch, apply a nourishing cream, same with the cuticles.
Getting into good moisturising habits and applying moisturisers often is key to keeping hydration levels high, especially in your hands and nails. Prevention is the best form of cure in this case.
With a regular moisturising treatment, applied at least once a week, it keep your hands on the straight and narrow. Try and fit it into your manicure routine.
Coming into autumn and the colder months with harsher weather conditions, looking after your mitts becomes a very important ritual and it’s best to get into good habits sooner rather than later.
As someone who suffered with serious bouts of contact dermatitis, I talk first hand of these treatments, which I continuously used on my own hands and nails. The skin around my nails was often sore and painful and using these treatments helped me manage my skin complaint and now keep on top of flare ups, especially in the winter months.
If your cuticle routine is on the minimal side, add a few of my tips to your repertoire and in turn, promote good nail health and keep your hands looking lovely everyday!
What are your top tips for avoiding dry cuticles and hangnails?
Let me know in the comments.