Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nail, Cuticle, and Hand Care

So, I have a lot of weird dislikes and habits that probably border on OCD. Too many to list, of course, but a few examples would be my absolute hatred of peanut butter (I know, I know, I'm crazy), my preference of even numbers, and the fact that I cannot stand even the slightest feeling of my hands and lips being dry. I promise though, aside from avoiding the smell of peanut butter at all costs, you would never know I was like this unless I told you. :)

Incidentally, my hatred of the feeling of dry skin means that I am constantly moisturizing my hands, which works out perfectly for me considering my hobby! :) I've also been pretty lucky as far as genetics go and my cuticles are pretty healthy. I used to have a lot of issues with my skin peeling on the sides of my nails but that has subsided a great deal since I began blogging and quit picking at the peeling skin. However, after a trip home, "cooler" weather in the south lately, and a significant increase in swatching and polishing, I find my cuticles in worse shape than before. I also have a number of friends and acquaintances who have asked about keeping their cuticles hydrated and looking nice, so I figured this was the perfect time to share what I do with you guys to keep my hands looking healthy!

Today I'll start with what I use as far as products go and I can share my tools at a later date. I've seen other bloggers post their nail care routine and frankly, it makes my head spin. Get ready for the massive amount of products I use:

Yes, really, that's it. I don't feel like you should have to use a lot of junk on your nails to keep them looking healthy. My routine is simple: hydrate your skin as often as possible. I carry lotion with me at ALL times. I actually have Curel Hand & Cuticle Therapy in my purse. I use Cetaphil at home and I have one large pump bottle on my nightstand and one on my nail polish table to allow for easy access wherever I may need lotion. I ALWAYS put lotion on as soon as I've washed my hands and I tend to put it on much more often than that. As soon as I feel as though I'm getting dry, I lotion up.

Cuticles are the biggest thing I get asked about. Caring for your cuticles is unique to everyone. I've heard all of the arguments ranging from, "It's dead skin, why should you moisturize it?" to, "Never cut your cuticles, it's so unhealthy!" Really, do what you think is best! :) For me, I like to hydrate them because even if they are dead, I want them to look nice! Hahaha! For my cuticles, I switch between an oil and a butter. For the oil, I use Pure Oil which I discovered through a group on Facebook. The starter kit comes with a nail polish bottle full and a tube with a brush, which I keep at work. To get your nails into shape, you have to spend three days without polish on *gasp* but it is worth it! I put Pure Oil on twice a day at work and I also put it on two to three nights per week. When I put it on at night, I get as much around each nail as possible and then I put a pair of cotton socks over my hands. I sleep with the socks on my hands and I feel like it really makes a difference in how much of the oil is absorbed. On the nights I don't use Pure Oil, I use Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. This stuff smells amazing and stays in place as it soaks in.

And that's it. Simple. Efficient. Nothing fancy. My best advice is to lotion constantly and put oil or cuticle butter on your cuticles at least four nights per week. If you have really ragged cuticles and/or weak nails, I'd highly recommend Pure Oil to get your skin into shape. It's an amazing product and the woman behind it has some crazy before and after shots you can check out. I hope this was helpful! Since this was more of a tip post rather than a polish post, I leave you with this ridiculously cute picture. Enjoy! :)

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