There are many great things about the winter, but that harsh cold and dry weather can really do a number on your skin and nails. The lack of moisture in the air means a lack of moisture in your nails and the skin surrounding them, and that means: dry, cracked and bleeding cuticles and hangnails which not only look bad but can be very painful; splitting, peeling, and breaking nails due to the dryness; and the fact that sanitizing and extra handwashing has been drying out your hands anyway. Basically, you need some tips on taking care of those tips! Here are a few ideas on adding TLC back into your life and hands in the winter season.
Basics of Moisturizing
- Yes, we’re starting off with the most obvious but probably most important tip – hand lotion. In the colder months you need to be applying a good moisturizing hand lotion every day, preferably multiple times a day especially after washing your hands or getting them wet. Water actually bloats your nails and sucks the good oils right out, so be sure to moisturize your cuticles so that your nails are benefitting too!
- It is also good practice to use a thick hand cream at night before bed as this will seal in the moisture while you sleep.
- The next product you’ve probably heard of is cuticle oil or cuticle cream, which are specifically designed to prevent dry and damaged nails and cuticles. These can be applied multiple times a day as well (before hand lotion), but many people opt to make a kind of moisture pack at night so the oils and minerals can properly penetrate the skin and nail beds without environmental influence. Look for products that contain Jojoba and squalene as these are natural ingredients that are very moisturizing and protective.
Basic Good Habits
Now, we don’t want to sound like your mother here but caring for your nails in winter is also all about good habits.
- You need to try keep them dry and clean to prevent fungus and bacteria from growing under the nails. When washing dishes or using harsh cleaning chemicals, pop on some rubber gloves.
- When you see hangnails starting to form you need to clip them with the proper tools, at the root. No pulling! This will only damage the surrounding skin further.
- That goes for biting your nails or picking at your cuticles too. These are bad habits that hurt your nail beds and just need to be kicked!
Taking TLC Further
Now that you’ve gotten the basic care down, its time to get seriously protective of those clean, moisturized nails to keep them that way.
- Naked nails are vulnerable nails. Keep the fingernails protected from the bloating effects of water by keeping them painted – always with a base coat, polish, and top coat to seal in the oils and strengthen the nails
- When you paint them, you actually need to remove some of that oil and lotion you’ve been applying otherwise the polish wont bond to the nail. Cleaning them off with some nail polish remover takes away just enough surface oil to get a better manicure.
- Extremely dry and damaged hand skin and nails can actually benefit from heel cream. Yes, the lotion designed for your feet, but obviously made to combat the driest of dry.
- Wear some cozy gloves when going out into the cold! This will protect those hands from the dry air and also common nail accidents such as catching or bending the nails and breaking them.
- Along this line, be mindful of not using your nails as tools in your daily life as this kind of habit is a common cause of breakage. Ask someone else to get that lid open, or use an actual tool!
And if you’re still not satisfied, be sure to ask your nail salon for a oil soak or other treatment to help you cure the winter nail blues!