Monday, January 31, 2011

My Routine

Last night I got a comment from Amz which I started to reply to and then I realized that my response was a bit too much for a comment. So I decided to respond via a new post. I also thought the information I was sharing in my response may be useful to others and since it would be more visible in a post rather than a comment this was really the way to go about answering her questions. =)

Amz asked: "whats the best way to take care of nails and best nail strengthener that you know of?"

As with hair and skin care, everyone has their own preferences and needs when it comes to nail care so the best way to take care of nails varies for everyone. This is my nail care routine:
Moisturize daily - At least once or twice a day I moisturize. Any lotion will do and as I am a bit of a lotion fanatic I always have numerous lotions on hand. I just pick whatever is closest at the time to be honest. No need for buying a special "Hands & Nails" lotion because the truth is most lotions are about equal anyway. Some brands I use frequently include Avon, Bath & Body Works, Vaseline, St. Ives and Bodycology. I dab a small amount of lotion on each cuticle and then gently massage it in. It's especially important to moisturize after manicures as nail polish remover is very drying. If I'm not re-painting my nails I apply moisturizer after removing the old polish. If I am re-painting, I wait till the new polish is completely dry then apply lotion.

I try not to paint my nails more often than two or three times a week max to minimize the use of polish remover and cut down on the drying effects it has as much as possible. I love changing up my nail polish frequently, but maintaining healthy nails is more important to me than numerous color changes through the week.

Every few weeks I give my nails a break from the nail polish completely. I remove whatever polish I had on and then let my nails go bare for at least one full week. I feel like it gives my nails a chance to "breathe" and recuperate from the perpetual nail polish and remover routine.

Soaks - Every two or three weeks (or more often if necessary) I get out my manicure bowls and give my nails a nice soak to help whiten and brighten them. I fill the bowls with very warm water, drop a denture cleaning tablet into each one and then let my nails soak for about 5-10 minutes until the water is cool. I rinse them with cool water and give them a gentle scrub with a nail brush then dry my hands and moisturize.

Buffing - Once a month I use a 4-sided buffer to gently buff my nails. You have to be careful not to over-do it with buffing as too much of it can actually be damaging to your nails so keep it to a minimum.

As for nail strengtheners, there are countless options available. One product that I absolutely love is Sally Hansen Complete Care 4-in-1 Treatment. It is a strengthener, growth treatment, smoothing base coat and shiny top coat all in one bottle. There is also a moisturizing formula available and both work equally well.

Revivanail Signature Nail Hardener is another favorite. You can use it alone or over nail polish which is always a plus. It works really well for me; you apply a thin coat every day for about a week and that's it. Really good for when you need some results in a hurry.

Haken Nail Magic is my final favorite product here. It also does a really good job of strengthening nails as well as stimulating growth. This can also be used alone or over nail polish. 

Now... none of those products are exactly cheap (depending on your budget of course) however given their effectiveness and the fact that generally speaking one bottle of any of them (especially the Revivanail) is going to last a good while, they're definitely worth it.

It's also important to make sure you are drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet to maintain nail health.

I hope that this has helped answer your questions, Amz! =)

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