Taking Care of Your Hands

I was doing my college homework today putting together an after care leaflet for manicures along with advice on lengthening the life of the enamelling – and I thought I would share some of this information with you lovely lot! I’m going to break it up into a few shorter posts starting today with ongoing skin and nail care.

Skin and Nail Care

Taking care of the skin on the hands in between manicures (rather than just presenting them to a manicurist to rescue when something goes wrong) is a good starting point.
I recommend using a good hand cream on a regular basis to keep the skin in good condition, personally I’m a fan of the the shea butter hand creams from L’Occitane and also of Hand Food by Soap & Glory, the pump dispenser is very handy for keeping by the sink for use after hand washing. On the subject of hand washing, do avoid harsh soaps which can dry out the skin – in fact throw out the bar soap full stop! Soap is alkaline and strips the skin of it’s acid mantle – our natural protective barrier – leading to tightness, dryness and leaving the skin more vulnerable to infection. Always dry your hands thoroughly and follow up with that hand cream. Try a liquid hand wash such as those made by L’Occitane. Avoid using alcohol hand sanitiser instead of washing as this dries out the skin and nails.
If you have extremely dry hands smother them with plenty of good cream or even better an oil such as almond or olive last thing at night and pop on a pair of cotton gloves. These will protect your sheets from the product and help keep the hands warm and aid maximum absorption of the cream/oil.
If you have overgrown or dry cuticles apply cuticle cream or oil nightly and massage it in, this will help soften them and aid in removal of the dead skin at your next manicure. It’s very important to apply oil if you wear gel polish or nail enhancements – listen to your nail technician when she tells you to use oil!

When it comes to using your hands for everyday tasks always try to wear gloves for things like cleaning or gardening. Many household cleaning products are very drying to the skin and nail and soaking the hands in water to do that pile of dishes will significantly shorten the life of your enamelling.
Avoid using the free edge of the nail to prise open lids, pick at stickers or open drinks cans – all of these can chip your polish and cause breakage. Remember the saying: your nails are jewels not tools!

I will cover filing separately as I think that one warrants a whole post of it’s own.

Do let me know your thoughts!