Considering I spend at least 50% of my day typing, I look at my hands rather often. When they’re there right in front of you, it’s hard not to cringe when you see flaking nails and so many bits of dry skin around your cuticles that you want to weep. My hands have always been one of my favourite parts of my body (random I know, but I’ve always had elegant fingers and long nail beds!) so I take great pride in their appearance. When they’re looking a little worse for wear I feel embarrassed and ashamed, preferring to cover up my digits by holding something or popping them in my pockets; it’s odd how we can find insecurity in the smallest of things. Over the last couple of months my hands went from bad to worse: maybe it was stress, maybe it was the weather, maybe it was my body’s way of telling me to look after myself properly, but either way it left me with splitting nails and so much flaky skin that I was awoken mid-slumber with soreness. Alas, it was time for some serious nail work to fix the problem – and these are the three gems that undoubtedly helped me on my way.
Dr Lewinn Renunail Nail Strengthener (£21.00)
I’ve used this stuff a few times before and it never lets me down. You apply a coat to bare nails every day for a week, then remove and start the process all over again; when repeated a couple of times the unique formula helps to repair nails and ensure they grow as healthy as possible even when you stop using it. Fortified with calcium gel, it eliminates peeling, flaking and chipping to leave nails instantly stronger – the result is nails that can grow more effectively over time. For an intense treatment I apply this daily, but for general care I also use it as a base coat; when paired with the Renunail cuticle oil and hand cream the results are unparalleled – within a few weeks my hands look as good as new. Although it’s pricey, it’s absolutely worth it. Plus, the bottle is so big it will last you until the dawn of time.
Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion (£27.50)
A firm favourite of mine for banishing ‘chicken skin’ on the tops of arms during the summer months, I was recommended this to treat extremely dry and peeling skin around the nail bed. The lightweight and easily absorbed formula contains the optimum level of lactic acid (a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid derived from milk or sugar cane,) which is a highly effective skin exfoliant and hydrator. Lactic acid encourages the natural shedding process of the skin by breaking the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells together; this enables hydration and shedding to take place simultaneously, ridding the surface of stuff you don’t want and encouraging healthy skin beneath. From the first application this made my hands look and feel healthier, but with continual use over a week there’s barely any dryness left at all. Not only is this a pleasure to use, but the results were so quick that I’ll be stocking up to keep me going until the winter!
Orly Breathable Nail Lacquer (£11.95)
When nails are looking a bit dodgy you don’t always want to leave them bare; a touch of polish can conceal imperfections and provide a much more universal finish, but many can further dry out or damage nails if the formula is prone to chipping. This innovative ‘breathable’ polish features Argan Oil,
Pro-vitamin B5 and Vitamin C to help improve hydration, stimulate nail
growth and help heal damaged nails, alongside their ‘Advanced Oxygen
Technology’ which essentially allows air to get to the nail even through
the polish. An all-in-one formula, it contains the benefits of a
treatment, base coat, colour and topcoat all in one application – so
minimal faffing and maximum result. Thankfully Orly’s polish has helped to keep my nails in
check when they were at their weakest, while simultaneously enabling
them to grow stronger and longer. I really liked the colour result and the evenness it provided, as well as the longevity and added strength to the surface. Must buy more colours!
Have you been struggling with keeping your nails in check this spring? Do you have any other top tips or product recommendations that have helped you in the past?
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