Our hands are extra-busy at holiday time. Think of all those snapshots of loving hands bearing platters for the feast, results of the same hands chopping, stirring, and kneading. Then there’s all the wrapping and decorating we do this time of year. Hands this busy often develop cracked, brittle nails, and cold weather can lead to chapping and drying. But professional manicures take time and money, not to mention the fact that many manicurists use products with chemicals in them that can have a less-than fabulous effect on our health.
That’s where these easy steps for a home manicure come in super-handy, not only at holiday time, but any time. The process doesn’t take long, and it’s wonderfully relaxing, as well. Find out the simple steps to soothed, nourished and beautiful hands and nails:
1. First, file your nails, going in one direction only. (No sawing!)
2. Wash your hands, then soak them in warm water, buttermilk, or organic apple cider vinegar. The acids in the buttermilk or vinegar will help to slough off dead skin cells.
3. Apply a cold-pressed oil (olive oil will do fine) into your cuticles, near the half-moon shape you can see at the base of your nails. Use the blunt end of an orange-wood stick to gently push the cuticles back from the nails.
4. Dry your hands. Using a fine pumice stone or fine-grit sandpaper block, sand the tops of your nails to get rid of any ridges. Smooth the nail tops with a smoothing file and finish with a buffing chamois. Your nails will be amazingly shiny, almost as if you were wearing clear nail polish.
5. Use a moisturizing cream or lotion to massage your hands and nails.
By Annie B. Bond