Before I get into this post, if you read the very short post from last night I would like to reassure you that the 'pages' tabs are now back in working order. I got a few messages to let me know they were down, so thank you!
Ever since I was a teenager I've suffered from dry cuticles that have a tendency to split. It's only been over the last year or so that I have found products and a routine that seems to be working really well for me. As with almost everything I buy, I looked for the best value for money without skimping on quality, and I feel really happy with all of the cruelty free products I have found.
File away any rough patches
Before I paint my nails I feel around the edges of my fingers to see if there are any rough areas. I tend to get these on the ends of my fingers. I used to cut them away but that's really not very good, and I stay away from cuticle clippers completely now. I use a cushioned nail file so it's not too harsh and concentrate on the very tips of my cuticles. It doesn't take very long per finger to make them smooth and soft.
Push cuticles back
I use a rubber cuticle pusher from ELF (link) to push my cuticles back. I do this every time I paint my nails, even if it's every night. It helps to keep them healthy and stops them from peeling. After pushing them back I flip the pusher over and scrape around the nail bed to make sure that it's clean.
Use a nourishing pen
I have been taking this extra step for the last couple of months and have noticed a difference in the strength of my nails. The one I've been loving is the one from ELF (link). I simply run the pen all over the nail bed and around the cuticle and rub any residue in with my fingers. You certainly don't need to do this is you're going to do the next step, but as I say, I have seen a difference since I added this step. If you're using a product before you paint your nails, make sure they're free of oil before you apply the nail polish.
Moisturise the cuticles
After I've painted my nails and they're completely dry I use China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil (link)to moisturise them further.I have been using this for about 5 months now, and am loving it. It comes in a standard China Glaze shaped bottle with a frosted glass finish and applies with a brush. This is the first step after my nails have dried as I find it helps to really moisturise my cuticles after having nail polish remover on them. I paint a small amount of the oil around each nail on one hand and massage it into the cuticles one by one then move on to the other hand. I then rub any excess into my hands and find that within minutes it has totally absorbed, and because it's a dry oil it doesn't leave a nasty greasy residue.
Apply a hand cream
The last step is to apply hand cream. With the amount I paint my nails I obviously have nail polish remover on my hands a lot, and that can play havoc on my already dry skin. A good hand cream is an essential last step for me. I have been loving Soap and Glory Hand Food (link) for the last 5-6 months. One pump is all I need and my hands feel so soft and nourished.
I understand that not many people will have time to do every single one of these steps on a regular basis, but if you can incorporate just a couple of them into your nail routine I think you'll find your cuticles in better shape. If I had to recommend just 1 product from all of the above, it would have to be the China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil. It has helped bring the skin on my fingers back to health, I'm no longer ashamed to post nail pictures, and it's mainly because of this.
Do you have a cuticle care routine or do you prefer to just paint your nails and be on your way?