With the nail art craze booming, hands are on display big time. With these simple hand and nail care steps, though, it’s easy to keep hangnails and cuticle issues from ruining the awesome effect.
1. USE A MILKY HAND WASH
The clearer the cleanser, the more it may dry out your skin. Also avoid soaps that contain the harsh chemical triclosan (often marked “antibacterial”) and instead look for naturally antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus.
2. NEVER PUT YOUR HANDS IN HOT OR ICY WATER
“Hot water makes skin dry by taking away sebum; cold can cause a constriction and then a dilation of capillary vessels, leading to redness,” explains manicurist Mie Kitabayashi of Beverly Hills’ Chi Nail Bar.
3. LEARN PROPER CUTICLE CARE
“If cuticles are dry and torn, any manicure will look old,” says L’Oreal Paris global nail artist Tom Bachik. However, “cutting cuticles can open you up to infection and make them look worse,” warns Illamasqua manicurist Fleury Rose.
Exfoliate hands with a body scrub, then nip only hangnails that you can wiggle.
Soften other cuticles weekly. Then push them back with an orange stick.
4. PROTECT WITH SUNSCREEN
Your hands can wrinkle and spot just as fast as your face, so apply sunscreen along with a lotion to retain moisture as sunscreen alone can be drying to hands.
5. TRY ANTI-AGING FACE CREAM
Bachik uses retinol-based creams that improves elasticity during his clients’ manicures. To conquer crepeyness, apply it to the backs of your hands at night.
6. SLATHER ON A MASK
Smooth on a hand mask then place hands in plastic bags and top with a warm towel for five minutes. “Heat helps the mask penetrate,” Kyees says.