A while ago, well actually what FEELS like a million years ago, I wrote a post about how taking supplements and caring for my cuticles has completely changed my nails. It’s been over a year since I wrote about that, and my nails are literally the longest and healthiest they have ever been. I have stopped taking the supplements because I ain’t gonna lie . . . I got sick of spending money on them. BUT in the interim I really changed the way I eat and I think the better nutrition picked up the slack after I stopped taking the biotin.
What hasn’t changed is the fact that I am still very diligent about caring for my cuticles, and I think that’s what is making the biggest difference. What reminded me of this was the fact that I was with my sister this week and she was complaining that her nails are in terrible shape, so I gave her a lecture on cuticle care (Sorry Rach lol) and she’s decided to start trying to take good care of them. I am going to try to document her progress as best I can from another state, but in the meantime I want to talk about my easy cuticle care routine that I try to do weekly. And by easy I mean that you can do it while you’re sitting and watching Netflix and stuff. If it’s easy enough that you can do it and still re-watch old episodes of watch Parks and Rec then you’re more likely to do it regularly, amiright?
Start with clean, unpolished nails. You can see mine have gotten a little bit dry, I was lazy and didn’t do this for a couple of weeks. Calling it a weekly routine is kind of wishful thinking I guess but I DO try to do it every weekend when I remember.
First I choose a fairly deep bowl and put a pump of hand soap and a few drops of Jojoba Oil (around half a teaspoon) in the bottom, then I fill it with warm water from the sink. I let my fingers soak in the warm concoction for around ten minutes, or until the water doesn’t really feel warm enough anymore. I find that soaking them softens all the skin around the nails and makes the much step far more effective.
After I let them soak I dry them off and apply a cuticle remover gel. I have had the same tube of this Sally Hansen one for ages, so I’m not sure if it’s the best one on the market, but it seems to get the job done just fine. The instructions say to leave it for 2-3 minutes (but no longer then 8-10) and I usually leave it on for around five. I don’t want to push the boundaries but I do want to make sure it has a chance to do its thing.
After that five minutes is up I run some warm water and then gently brush off the cuticle remover with a toothbrush. A lot of people push the cuticles back with an orange stick but I hate the way that feels. My Nails are kinda soft near the cuticle and it just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Blech. Plus I also find that the gentle scrubbing exfoliates more excess than what you would push back with an orange stick, so win-win.
When that’s done I pat them dry and apply my favorite cuticle oil. Personally I always reach for OPI Avoplex because it has given me the best results. The one I have right now is the “to-go” version in the tube, but it works the same as the one in the bottle, it’s just a little thicker.
Now is the part where I usually want to get lazy and do the half assed version, but I make myself do it anyway. I massage the cuticle oil into each nail for at least a minute each. I know, I know thats ten whole minutes of rubbing, but to be fair I told you to put some Netflix on for this…
It’s said that massaging oil into your cuticles helps to keep them soft and moisturized, but also helps increase blood flow to the nail bed which is important for overall nail health. So I think it’s worth the ten minutes. Especially since I used to have stubby little peely terrible nails and now I actually have to file them down because they get too long for me. I’m not saying this will solve every persons nail growing problems, but for me this is what made the most difference.
Side Note: I also try to massage a little oil (usually jojoba) into my cuticles every night before bed, but not for a whole minute, just really quickly so they don’t dry out. Not a part of this routine, but worth noting.
That’s what they look like after. Definitely better and ready for a nice polish. The whole process takes around a half hour, but it’s pretty easy and mindless and I actually find it sorta relaxing. Once you’re done you can feel free to spend spend the rest of the afternoon like this. . .