When you think about it, the most over worked parts of our bodies are our Hands and Feet, but we try to look after our hands, but our feet tend to be the last things on our minds, in fact the majority of people i have come across hate their feet, but really they are just as easy to look after as our hands. So how do you achieve healthy hands & feet and strong Nails.
First things first a Healthy Diet is very important, as too little protein can make your nails brittle and dull. Keeping them well moisturised is also important as the nail is extremely porous and gives off moisture a 100 times as fast as skin. Massaging the Cuticle will increase the circulation and encourage new nail growth. All of these things take minutes to do and the effects are long lasting. So next time your sat on a bus, train or even just waiting in a queue, take a pot of cream or balm with you and spend some time on your hands and nails.
Here is a list of few things i have picked up from the books that i have read and also experience over the years of making skincare.
- Always keep a pot of Hand cream by your sink
- Never use your nails as tools, I have learnt that lesson the hard way...
- My Mum always told me to push back my cuticles when ever i use hand cream, as it makes them softer and easier to push back.
- Never ever cut your cuticles, not only does it hurt, but it will inflame the nail bed as the cuticle protects the nail by sealing off the opening between the nail and the skin.
- This tip i love, to keep your nails clean while gardening, scratch a bar of soap, let the soap get under your nails so the dirt doesnt.
Now i am a fine one to talk, but at least once a week you should give yourself a manicure, these steps can also be used for your feet.
- Remove all traces of Nail polish,
- Soak your nails and fingertips in warm soapy water for at least 5 minutes, as this soften the cuticles and rinses off all nail polish remover. For your feet i find soaking them for about 20 minutes is so relaxing, and if you have really hard skin on your heels, it gives it a bit longer to soften, also for my feet i soak them with so sea salt or epsom salts.
- Gently pat your hands dry and apply cuticle cream/ balm into the base of your nails while they are still slightly damp. Massage thoroughly while gently pushing back the cuticle with a cotton bud. Now your Feet, after they have soaked for 20 minutes get a soft towel and rub them dry firmly, any dead skin should come away, if you have any stubborn bits, gently use a pumice stone, do not be too firm with it as it can make your feet sore.
- File your nails into rounded ovals, never points and make sure all nails are the same length.
- I'd advise doing each hand one at a time, Cover your hand in a Hand mask, you can use a Face mask, if you don't have one specifically for hands. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse well with cool water and pat dry.
- Massage your entire hands with a rich hand cream or oil, wrap in a towel or if you have cotton gloves even better and leave for at least 30 minutes or over night if you can. This part is so good for feet, they feel so soft in the morning.
- Now buff your nails, with a light oil and a cotton pad, buffing helps to increase circulation and results in healthier nails.