Friday, January 04, 2013

New Blog Series! How I Do It: Cuticles

Happy Friday lovelies!

I have been blogging for over one and a half years now and I've realized, that so far I have just showed you nails, nails and nail. Well, I guess that is what most of you are here for, but since this is a fresh start into a new year, I decided to blog about some additional things as well. Don't be afraid, they will still be nail polish related ;) One obvious topic is nail and hand care, so I prepared a little blog series for you that will guide you through my nail routine. I am aware that you have read such "How To"s over and over again, but since everyone does it a little differently, I still find it worth sharing. So today I will show you how I keep my cuticles neat and healthy.
My cuticles aren't the easiest to work with. They're fine at the sides, but growing like weed at the base. In order to make them look neat, I have to remove dead skin and push back my healthy cuticles from time to time. By the way, treating your cuticles like this can also elongate your nailbed. I often hear people saying they cut or file their cuticles. My advice is to NEVER EVER cut your cuticles! Damaging them can cause infections and hangnails, so please avoid cuticle clippers.

Instead, try using cuticle removers. There are basically two different versions. Some will just soften the skin so you can push it back easier. The second type contains a chemical called alpha-hydroxy-acid, which is the substance that will remove dead skin cells and which is also commonly found in chemical peelings. I use the latter one. An affordable one that works well for me is the Essence Fast Cuticle Remover. OPI and Sally Hansen offer a good one as well. I just put a good amount of product over my cuticles and let it soak in for a minute (I know the instructions say 15 seconds, but I found it to be more effective when I wait a little longer). Afterwards I carefully push back my cuticles in small circular motions. The white gunk that comes off is your dead skin. I always use a rosewood stick for this, as I find most of these metal tools being too sharp. Either way, don't push too hard or you can damage the growing nail underneath (which will appear as a white spot in your nail later). Once I am done, I wash my hands and I am good to go. I use this cuticle remover only every 2-4 weeks, as the chemicals irritate my skin when I use it too often. In between, I simply push back my cuticles after a shower.

To moisturize and nourish my cuticles, I like to use two products. The first one is my trusty Solar Oil by CND. I just love this product! I got in a swap a while back and have become addicted to it ever since. It's a blend of natural oils and it smells like almonds, which I love! And it does a great job keeping my cuticles hydrated. I used to love the Butter London Handbag Holiday cuticle oil, but that is much more expensive and I won't purchase it again (even though it smells like Pina Colada, yumm). I also found out that the ingredients seem to differ between the US and the German version, which was a let down (the main component in the version I have is not a natural oil, bummer).

Another product that most nail polish lovers seem to like is Lush's Lemony Flutter. I am no exception to that rule, I just love this citrus scented buttery cream. It is quite rich and leaves a greasy film on my fingers, so I mainly use it in the evening before I go to bed. I massage it into my cuticles quite obsessively, like 5 minutes per hand or so. Massaging also helps with the blood circulation and can promote nail growth. The artificial lemon smell can be a bit overpowering, but this has been a go to product for years nonetheless. A great - but more expensive - alternative is the Cuticle Butter from the Douglas range Hands Nails Feet (only available at Douglas perfumeries though).

So these are my "holy grail" products that help me keep my cuticles nice and healthy. I hope this was somehow informative and helpful for you. What are the products you use for your cuticle care routine? And if there is a particular topic you would like me to tell you about, just say the word (in the comments, via twitter or any other way to connect with me) :D

Thanks for reading this wordy post, have a great weekend!
<3 Sabine


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