Our hands are always on display. We use them constantly in our work and even in conversation. The hands begin to show neglect and aging very soon. The hands come in contact with soaps and detergents daily, when we perform our washing chores. These play havoc on the skin and nails, making them rough and dry. Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves for your washing chores. Surgical gloves are easily available at a chemist shop. A weekly manicure goes a long way in keeping the hands in good condition.
Give your hands a luxury treatment at home. You will need a small bowl for soaking your hands in warm water; wooden emery board; an orange stick; nail clippers; cotton wool; cotton buds; nail varnish remover, nail varnish and hand cream.
First remove old nail varnish with cotton wool and nail varnish remover. If you wish to cut the nails, use a nail clipper. Then shape them using the emery board. You should file the nails in one direction only and not back and forth. Put some warm water in the bowl and soak your hands in it for 5 minutes. Add a few drops of shampoo or soap-free bath gel. After soaking, use a soft brush on the nails to clean them. Wash hands. Use cotton buds, with a little cream to push back cuticles gently. Avoid using a metal cuticle pusher. Clean beneath the nails with cotton bud.
Massage cream on hands and nails. Wipe off excess cream with a moist towel. Apply nail varnish, using smooth strokes, from the base of the nails to the tip. Three long strokes should be adequate to cover each nail. First apply it in the middle of the nail and then on either side. Two coats of colour will be needed for an even finish. First apply one coat of colour on all the nails. Wait for it to dry and then apply the second coat of colour. Broad nails can look narrower, if you leave a very narrow strip on either side without polish. Small and short nails can look longer if you apply light coloured nail polish.
Points to remember:
- Avoid using very hot water to soak the hands, as this can cause dryness of the skin and nails.
- If you have nails that chip or break easily, avoid frosted nail varnish.
- Never cut the cuticles or use sharp metal instruments on them or beneath the nails.
- If you have any infection of the nails, avoid filing them and avoid using nail varnish. Seek medical attention, as it can be a fungal infection or psoriasis.
- Your daily diet should provide adequate quantities of calcium, sulphur, amino acids, phosphorous, Vitamins B and E. These are available from milk and milk products, wholegrains, eggs, fruits, leafy green vegetables. Take your doctor’s advice before making changes in your normal diet, specially if you are suffering from any disease or medical condition.