Hand and Nail Care at Home

Your hands say a lot about you so keeping your hands looking good is important as they are always on view. Regular manicures can help to keep hands soft and nails in peak condition.

Here’s how I do a home manicure

I start by removing the old polish with an acetone free nail polish remover, then rinse my hands in warm water and massage a hand exfoliator all over my hands, nails and around the cuticles and in-between fingers, rinse it off and pat dry with a towel.

Apply a drop of warm cuticle oil or cuticle cream to each nail and massage it around the cuticle and nail plate. Use an orange wood stick or cuticle tool to gently push the cuticles back to unstick them from the nail plate, then rinse off in warm soapy water. Regular cuticle massage will prevent hangnails forming and skin splitting around the nail.

Trim the nails if necessary with nail clippers rather then scissors as scissors tend to split the nails so I don t recommend them. Use a soft flexible emery board to file across the top of each nail, file the nail in one direction only from side to centre, don’t use a sawing action because this can cause the nails to split and peel so I don’t use metal nail files. Use the edge of the emery board to smooth any fray bits of filed nail away nail.

Once you have the nail shape you want apply a thick layer of hand cream to your hands and put each hand into a cotton glove. If you haven’t got any cotton gloves, then wrap your hands in cling film instead. After 10 minutes remove the gloves or cling film and massage the excess cream into your hands and up your forearms.

If you’re painting your nails make sure you degrease them first with a cotton pad soaked in an acetone free nail polish remover.

Before you paint the nails apply a base coat to each nail from base to tip, allow to dry for a minute or two then apply two coats of your chosen colour and finish with a clear top coat.

Voila you have gorgeous manicured hands!

Top Tips

  • Don t use nails as tools e.g. removing staples, scraping.
  • Wear an SPF to protect them from sun damage and age spots.
  • Wear gloves in winter to protect them from the harsh cold winds and prevent chapping.
  • Always apply hand cream after washing your hands or having them in water.
  • Regularly use a cuticle oil or cream at bedtime to nourish the cuticles.
  • If you buff your nails only buff from base to tip 3 or 4 times, never buff the nails horizontally as this causes vertical ridges to develop by drying out the nail plate because the nails natural oils evaporate from the surface.
  • Always wear gloves to do cleaning, washing up dishes and gardening, harsh chemicals can be very drying on the hands.