Torn, dry cuticles? My tips on how to have gorgeous hands!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The skin around your nail is actually called the eponychium while the real cuticle is actually the rigid growth underneath the eponychium. Since most people are use to calling the skin around the nail the cuticle I'll use that term for this blog post.

Torn, dry cuticles? My solution is an old fashion solution. Vitamin E oil baths.

Items needed:

1. Manicure bowl (about $1.50 at Sally's Beauty supply, or any shallow bowl.

2. Vitamin E oil (Rite Aid has it on sale for $3.99

4. Warm water with a bit of conditioning soap of your choice.
5. Hand towel.
6. plastic wrap (optional)

Before you soak your hands you need to remove any nail polish and file your nails just like a normal manicure. Once you've done that soak your hand in the manicure bath for several minutes, just enough to soften the cuticles. Remove from water and with the towel you want to gently loosen and push back the cuticle skin but don't push it back to much otherwise you'll damage it more. Just enough to lift the dead skin up.

With the manicure stone you want to buff away the dead skin. Do NOT cut the cuticle and do NOT push it back any further as this can lead to splitting. The stone is like a foot stone eraser where it'll gently remove the dead skin. I love my foot "eraser" since it doesn't tear the skin up and a cuticle one is the same. Don't press hard with it otherwise you can tear your skin and cause it to bleed.

Now from here you can do one of two things if you still have too much dead cuticle skin. You can either use a cuticle remover OR re-soak your fingers and repeat the process. If you feel that you've removed enough cuticle skin then you can skip down to patting your nails dry and then proceed to the Vitamin E oil bath.

Rinse out the manicure bowl. Dry it. Now keep in mind that the bowls are not microwave safe which means too much heat and cause it to melt so do this part at your own discretion. In the bowl add the oil and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, stir. You can also do this part in a microwave safe bowl if you feel more inclined to do so. You want to heat the oil so it's warm but not boiling hot.

Another way to is boil water and add the Vitamin E oil bottle into the water so it heats up that way. Don't use capsules since it'll melt with the heat and don't add the oil directly to the water. Once the oil is heated and in your manicure bowl you're basically going to repeat above but this time with an oil bath. DO NOT MICROWAVE THE BOTTLE OF OIL!

  1. Dip hand in oil bath and allow to soak for several minutes (no less than 5 but no more than 10 as too much soaking can lead to soft nails).
  2. Remove hand from oil bath and with the cloth massage in the oil into your hands and cuticles.
  3. You can either wrap your hands/fingers in plastic wrap at this point or not depending on how you feel your hands look. If satisfied then remove any excess oil with the towel or massage up your hands and arms. If you want to wrap your hands/finger in plastic than do so but remove the plastic wrap after 10 minutes. When I competed in beauty pageants - so many years ago - I would sleep in plastic wrap on my feet, around my knees, elbows and of course hands covering the hands and feet with socks to keep the plastic on. Loved having soft skin.
  4. Allow nails to dry before applying a base coat and nail polish.

Yes, it's a bit of work but if you do it once a week or every two weeks you'll have healthy cuticles that are not dry and splitting. I know in some salons that the old fashion cutting of the cuticles is still done but that's a big no no in my book since cutting the cuticles can cause more damage (as in split skin, cuts, etc, etc). I love my nail and foot stones because it removes dead skin without cutting off the skin.


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