Promoting your nail health (and leaving them be)

       
March 12th, 2011 | Contributed by:

Promoting your nail health (and leaving them be)If you’re like a lot of us, the day-to-day stresses of everyday life may inspire all kinds of unruly nail-biting habits and cuticle abuse. And, on top of everything else, we’re just starting to see the light at the end of the long winter tunnel, a season which isn’t particularly known for being friendly to our hands.

Perhaps it’s time to make a resolution, don’t you think? With a few simple steps and expert tips, we can all start treating our manos a bit better. After all, who doesn’t want to be able to show off gorgeous, manicured hands on a regular basis?

1. Every good manicure starts with a soothing soak – attending to your skin is an important first step to getting those hands into shape.

While every inch of your skin generally requires extra TLC in the winter, nothing gets a harder beating than your hands. If you’ve been suffering from dry, cracked knuckles, it’s crucial that you begin applying lotion to them at least once a day. Carrying ultra-rich hand creams in your purse is also a good idea if you find yourself needing access to the stuff at all hours of the day.

Look for lotions that are specially designed to treat the sensitive skin on your hands. L’Occitane Mini Honey and Lemon Hand Cream will make taking care of yourself all the more intoxicating with its fresh, delicious scent and ultra-effective shea butter.

Cuticles also need special attention in the winter, and tending to them well can help prevent the temptation to chew them up.

“I’ve had a number of nail gurus tell me that oil is better than lotion,” Genevieve Monsma, beauty director of MORE magazine, told CNN.

Monsma recommends applying nail oil to the cuticles before bed or before putting on your gloves in the morning in order to give enough time for the product to sink in (olive oil works just as well, too).

2. For those with some rugged-looking cuticles, keeping your nail beds in shape can make the difference between promoting your bad habit and having flawless, healthy nails.

Toronto nail salon owner Leeanne Colley told The Globe and Mail that avoiding “wet” and “soak” manicures may be a better solution for the cuticle-afflicted. Colley recommends applying a gel cuticle remover on dry nails and letting it sit for about 30 seconds or so. Then, gently push back the skin with an orange stick wrapped in cotton.

For healing purposes, a bit of special cuticle salve may help you with any existing damage on your hands. Colley recommends looking for products that contain grapeseed or almond oil.

3. If you’ve been tearing up your cuticles, chances are you never let your nails get too long either. Some people like having short, manageable fingertips, but if you’re longing for a little extra length, there are ways you can promote your nail growth.

A high-protein diet can be an unexpected route toward faster growth, according to OneIndia Living. Fish and lean meats can provide the most noticeable results, and vegetarians can benefit from some Vitamin D supplements or protein-rich legumes.

The news source also recommends massaging nails with olive, coconut or sesame oil. This is especially good therapy for anyone that does a lot of dish-washing throughout the day.

If you haven’t been wearing gloves this winter, you should probably get on that right away. Nails can crack without the proper circulation and warmth, which doesn’t do much for your manicure. One way to help prevent this is by wearing some thin polish at all times, according to the news source.

Of course, a little outside help never hurt anyone. Use a special nail treatment such as Talika Nail Regenerator Serum for extra nourishment and healing power.

       

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