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Low maintenance hand and nail care
Are you looking for some low maintenance hand and nail care routine?
Hey guys. As a farming, homesteading, parenting girl, I am hard on my hands. I know you all feel me. From gardening, to stall cleaning, to dishes. I am constantly using and abusing my hands. By the end of the day, my cuticles are dry, my hands are cracked and my nails are broken and dirty.
I am not a high maintenance girl by any means. So I had to develop my own care routine. One that didn’t leave me constantly trying to maintain a fancy manicure. That way I am not running around looking like I scooped poop out of the chicken coop with my hands.
These are all relatively inexpensive, but worth every penny.
If you are looking for more natural products try some of these instead.
- Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Or Coconut Oil, in place of cuticle oil.
- Coco butter Lotion- in place of the working hands.
Dealing With Your Cuticles
I don’t know about you all, but my cuticles end up in pretty rough shape by the end of the day.
Here is step-by-step how I deal with dry, tearing cuticles. This not only cleans them up, but helps keep them from getting tore up in the future as well.
Step 1: Apply cuticle dissolver across the edges of your nails and cuticles. Let it sit for about 2 minutes.
Step 2: Use your cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back and clean up your nail beds. The small end is great for pushing your cuticles back in the corners of your nails. This removes any excess skin and cuticle. If you have a large amount of cuticle still sticking up close to your nail, you can take a pair of nail clippers and just clip it back.
Step 3: Wipe away all excess cuticle gunk with a towel.
Step 4: Apply Cuticle Oil in the same areas that you applied your cuticle dissolver previously. This oil is great for softening up your rough, dry cuticles. Let the oil sit for a few minutes and wipe off with a paper towel
That’s it! Your cuticles are back to looking clean, and healthy.
I do this routine about once a week. BUT, in between I also carry this cuticle balm with me and apply it when my cuticles start to feel dry again.
Now, keeping your nails looking cute when you are constantly working with your hands is a challenge. Not only do our nails chip and break from constant wear and tear, how in the world are you supposed to keep nail polish on them? Well, I figured that our myself through a little bit of experimenting.
Dealing with Breakage and chipping
To keep my nails strong, I supplement with a biotin gummy. You can get biotin vitamins just about anywhere. They are also known as hair, skin, and nail vitamins. Although I keep my nails rather short (my preference), these vitamins have drastically helped strengthen my nails (they also did wonders for my hair shedding). Of course, before taking any supplement, you should talk to your doctor first.
If you are constantly gardening, washing, wood working, or turning wrenches, then you know how hard it is to keep nail polish on longer than a day.
I have tried all those little tips and tricks, as well as a billion different nail polish brands. While some DO last longer than others, I have found that the top coat, nail prep and the way you apply your polish are what really make the difference.
Step 1: Before painting, prep your nails by buffing the top surface with a 3 way buffer. This ensures that your nails are completely smooth.
Step 2: Wipe nails down with vinegar. The vinegar cleans your nails so that the polish isn’t sticking to anything other than your nails.
Step 3: Paint with your base color. I usually do about 3 coats. Start in the middle and paint to the edges. Be sure you coat the very tip of your nail, as this is where the paint catches and lifts causing chips.
ALSO. Make sure each coat is somewhat tacky before applying the next coat. You do not want it to be completely dry or still super wet.
Step 4: Gel top coat. One nice coat of gel top coat protects whatever base you used. If you use this, the base you are using really doesn’t matter. I have used anything from cheap Dollar Tree nail polish to the $10 a bottle stuff. With a nice top coat, the nail polish you use doesn’t matter.
If you follow these steps, your nails last about 2 weeks. An alternative to polish is shellac. You can have shellac done at the salon, or you can buy it and do it yourself. It can be expensive to buy, and you also have to have a lamp to cure it BUT I have had it last for a month before, which is insane for someone constantly using their hands!
Digging in the dirt, shoveling crap, using tools. All of these things are so tough on your hands. If you were a dude, you would deal with dry, calloused hands by rubbing some more dirt or maybe even some oil on it. Not sure if that works or not (judging by my husbands hands, it doesn’t) but, I am guessing you want something a little more sophisticated than all that.
Of course, you can always buy those heavily scented lotions, which don’t get me wrong, I do love. But, you need something that is ACTUALLY going to heal your cracked hands.
I use a few different things for this:
Cerave for all day every day use. I slather this on my whole body. Added Bonus: It is great for eczema! It is just a really thick cream type lotion and it soaks in really well.
Working hands is awesome for cracked and calloused hands, but it can be a little heavy and greasy. I use this at night before bed. By the morning, my hands are soft and the cracks look insanely better.
Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion. I buy little tubes of these in the travel section at Walmart for a little over a dollar. This is what I carry with me to use when I am not at home. It provides quick, and lasting relief for cracked working hands.