COVID-19 came like the boogeyman at night and took away many luxuries from us, one of which is appointments with the nail technician or manicurist and regular visits to the nail salons.
The nails are a part of the body that needs to be pampered and cared for. While we may be indisposed to carry out our routine nail care at the nail salons, due to the limited or total restrictions to our movements, there are other ways to ensure our nails – toenails and fingernails – receive the tender loving care due them.
Continue reading till the end for a complete DIY guide on how to care for your nails while observing the lockdown.
STEP 1: Wash Your Hands
Top on the COVID-19 prevention starter pack is to wash the hands with soap and water frequently to kill germs that may have come in contact with the hands, and it is also the first step to a successful and healthy Mani session.
STEP 2: Clean Your Nails
Whether or not you have nail polish on, it is wise you go over your nails with a nail polish remover to take away dirt. Dip a cotton swab or cotton wool in polish remover, wipe your nails with it to remove old nail polish and dirt and natural oils on the nails, and then use a cuticle pusher to clean underneath the nail tips. However, the acetone in nail polisher removers can dry up the nails, so it is advisable to use it in very little quantity. For a more laid-back option, use a lemon slice instead of a polish remover to clean non-polished nails.
STEP 3: File and Buff
File your nails gently in the direction of the shape you want your nails to take. After that, go over the tips, sides, and nail plates of your nail with a nail buffer to circulate blood to the nail bed and avoid your nails natural oils from building up. Clean your nails after this step with a polish remover.
STEP 4: Oil Dips
It is essential you prep your nails for what is to come. Nails preps soften the nails and make the cuticles more pliable. While it is very common to prep by soaking in warm water, it tends to expand the nail beds, which change the shape of the nails and leave the cuticles stretchy and susceptible to tear. Instead of warm water nail soaks, opt for hot nourishing oil treatments or other natural mixtures.
Olive oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, Vitamin E oil, and likes are good hydrating, rejuvenating, and strengthening options for nails. Simply heat up your choice of nourishing oil, and when it has cooled a bit, dip your nails in and massage the oils into your nails and cuticles with your thumb for 5mins. This will eradicate brittleness and add moisture to the cuticles, and the heat in the oil helps to fasten absorption into the nails.
STEP 5: Prep Your Cuticles
Prep your cuticles by applying cuticle remover (skip the cuticle remover if you do not have it and have done the hot oil treatment) to get it soft, and then push back with a cuticle pusher or a cotton swab to make your nails appear longer. It is not advisable to cut your cuticles as they act as protective barriers for your nails against germs. So, push back and trim hangnails instead. Keep your cuticles adequately hydrated, soft, and smooth by moisturizing frequently. Failure to adhere will leave your cuticles looking dry and cracked.
STEP 6: Exfoliate and Moisturize
Exfoliate your palms to shed dead skin cells and reveal a more rejuvenated and smooth skin surface. A simple exfoliating option is the sugar and olive oil scrub. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture thoroughly and apply it on your hands and wrists. Leave for 20mins and then wash your hands thoroughly and dry.
After exfoliating, moisturize your nails by rubbing petroleum jelly or moisturizing cream into the nails and cuticles. Moisturizing the nails and cuticles should be done frequently and not limited to only when you want to get your nails done.
STEP 7: Coats on
After moisturizing, apply a base coat on your nails to prevent chipping, and if you want to go further in applying nail polish, give at least 2mins intervals between the applications of layers to allow each layer of coat dry properly. After the base coat, go over your nails with two coats of nail polish and a third top coat to give it a fine finish.
There you go! Now your nails are all set and done for that ZOOM meeting or date!