Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Hand and nail care: the basics!

Before I started to properly care for my nails, they were soft and brittle. They would break off after just showing a bit of white and I was extremely frustrated. Then I started this routine and the quality of my nails has improved a lot! They still break every now and then but this is mostly from slamming my nail in between the door or something like that. I also always wear nail polish to protect my nails from breaking even more. If you want your nails to look healthy and be strong these tips and products will definitely help you to achieve that!  

1.       Filing your nails

The first thing to do is to step away from nail clippers. Filing your nails is a lot better for your nails because your nails will not break as much. Clipping your nails will stress them and therefore they will break more likely. Buying a good quality nail file is a must when you want nice looking and long nails.

Glass nail files are the best choice because they last much longer than a normal file and you’ll have less tears and splits. Glass files are rather expensive but they are really worth it. I’ve noticed that drugstores are selling cheap glass files that only cost only a few Euros but you will want to buy one from a good nail care brand. I bought one by Herôme, a Dutch brand, for €17,-. ( They also sell a smaller size which is €9,99. ) File your nails while wearing a dark nail polish, this way you won’t be distracted by asymmetrical nail beds while trying to get your desired shaped.

P2's four way buffer and Herôme's glass nail file

Getting a four way nail buffer is also a necessity. Since my nails used to be rather soft and weak, I don’t use this very often but sometimes you can just tell that you need to smoothen your nails. Don’t overdo this though! It could make your nails very thin.

 2.       Cuticle care.


Your cuticles are very important for nail growth and if they are in a bad shape, it will show on your nails. Moisturized cuticles protect your nails from bacteria and cutting them could lead to infections. Rather than cutting them, you should push them back with an orange stick or cuticle pusher. You can  use a cuticle removing cream to remove the excess skin. There are a lot of cuticle removers out there but the one that I think works best is Nfu Oh's Cuticle Remover. I just apply a bit on my cuticles and use a rosewoodstick right after to remove all excess skin.



Nfu oh Cuticle Remover

A good cuticle cream is very important because you want to hydrate your cuticles as much as possible. But why is it important? Massaging cuticle cream onto your cuticle area moisturizes the cuticles and the nail that is already growing underneath the skin. By massaging this part of your fingers, you can stimulate the nail growth!

It doesn’t matter whether you buy a cuticle cream, balm, oil or butter. As long as it is made out of natural oil like flowers or nuts. The first cuticle cream I ever bought was Apricot cuticle cream from P2, a German brand, which was made out of apricot seed oil. After hearing many positive things about Lush’s Lemony Flutter, I decided to get it and I am amazed at what it can do. This is definitely one of the best out there and it will go a long way. Another brand I can recommend is Burt’s Bees cuticle cream.

Lush Lemony Flutter and P2 Apricot cuticle cream

I don’t always carry my cuticle cream with me and when I do want to moisturize my cuticles I often use either my Smith’s Rosebud Salve or, for the cheaper version, Vaseline rosy lips. These are full of flower oils ( especially the Rosebud Salve, it has 4 different flower oils and two flower extracts ) and will help your dry cuticles when you don’t have your cuticle cream with you.

Vaseline rosy lips and Smith's Rosebud Salve

3. Hand care

You can’t have great looking nails with work-worn hands! There are many different kinds of hand crèmes out there and which one you should get depends on what you look for in a hand crème. I use Atrix Soft. This is one of the oldest hand crème brands out there and it makes my hands feel soft.  It absorbs rather fast but the softness lasts for quite some time.

I also recommend using and intense hand crème about 2-4 times a month, depending on the state of your hands and what they are exposed to every day. There are hand crèmes that are especially made to be used at night while wearing cotton gloves. I got P2’s Ultra Intense Hand Butter and p2 cotton gloves and I use this 2 nights a month. You want to apply the crème thickly and leave the gloves on at night.

Atrix Soft, P2 Ultra Intense Hand Butter and P2 cotton gloves

I hope this information has been useful for you, if you have any questions or tips of your own please write them in the comment section!

-     Steffie

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