Beauty DIY

Simple at-home manicure for dry hands

It’s incredible what we expect our hands and nails to contend with on a daily basis – regular washing, household cleaners, soaps and shampoo, constant exposure to the elements. Then there’s the thousand and one tasks that can also take their toll such as prising open lids with our nails, carrying heavy shopping or simply holding a piping hot cup of tea.

Treating dry and over-worked hands and nails to a home manicure couldn’t be easier and needn’t take any longer than five minutes (assuming you’re not planning on three full coats of varnish!). Your hands will feel softer, more comfortable and look ten times prettier!

At-home manicure how-to:

  1. Wash hands and scrub nails in warm soapy water.
  2. Remove any old nail polish with an acetone-free remover. Shape nails with a nail file (be sure to file in one direction: sawing to and fro tends to weaken nail strength).
  3. Mix one tablespoon of light olive oil (extra virgin is too sticky), almond or grapeseed oil together with one tablespoon of granulated sugar. Rub vigorously over the hands focussing on any hardened areas. Stroke gently over any areas that are sore or chapped. Cuticles respond well to a bit of sugar scrubbing!
  4. Rinse in warm water and pat dry.
  5. Apply a little more of the oil to cuticles and base of the nails and massage in. Leave to soften for a minute or so, then very gently push the cuticles back using a wooden orange stick. These are kinder to skin than the metal type).
  6. Next, massage a generous layer of hand cream into your fingers, palms, backs of hands, over the wrists and on to your lower arms.
  7. Wipe away any excess cream from the nails and add a little more oil to the nails for extra shine. Buff with a soft, dry muslin cloth for a naturally healthy shine.

If your nails seem to be particularly brittle at the moment, make sure your diet is rich in iron (and vitamin C to help absorption), zinc and magnesium, as well as plenty of essential fatty acids, protein and water. Nails also love oil (avocado oil being particularly good) so rubbing a drop into the nail bed and cuticles twice a day will help nails stay long, strong and flake-free.

Liz’s at-home manicure

Watch below for Liz’s at-home manicure to keep your hands and nails healthy.

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