Since it’s my regular day to update my nails, and my Nail Art category on this blog, I thought that I’d take you guys through my cuticle care routine.
Before moving to South Korea the 2nd time, I have no real routine for cuticle care. But after becoming obsessed with manicures and all things nail related, I have found that I need to have the cuticle care as part of my regular routine. My nail beds look healthier, longer, and my nails don’t tear or break as often as they used to. I’m not saying that this is because of this process only but probably has a little bit to do with it. Regular upkeep is required to keep my nails looking as nice as they do. I have really weak nails so it takes a lot.
Just as a little bit of an outside, I do take supplements for my nails. Since it’s winter and I live in the Northern Hemisphere, and am covered from head to toe most days, I make sure that I take Vitamin D every day. I take 1000IU each day (the daily amount suggested by a pharmacist). I also take Biotin. I take them both at breakfast. I was taking Magnesium since I heard that it helps with nails but have stopped. I might start up again with a calmag combo but I’m not sure yet.
The other thing I do outside of my cuticle care routine is to use a cuticle oil. I just picked up one from my local drug store. It’s Sally Hansen, and is a Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil. I put it on every night before bed. It helps to keep my cuticles and nail beds healthy and strong against the harsh chemicals I use with this gel polish.
Ok – now onto my cuticle care routine. I wouldn’t suggest doing this every week. Your cuticles need some time to grow back out. I do this every three weeks when I put on new nail polish.
First of all my tools:
In these pictures:
- “Repair Nails” cuticle remover: I bought it in Korea at The Face Shop, but these stores have now made their way over to the US and Canada. I love their products!
- Cuticle Pusher: I like to use metal tools for my nails. You can use an orange stick as well but with metal, I can clean them with alcohol or boiling water and know that they are clean. I don’t suggest sharing your nail tools with anyone – sanitation is very important!
- Cuticle Clippers: Again metal. I bought both the pusher and the clippers at Aritaum. Again both in Korea, but Aritaum has stores in the US and can ship products there.
- A box file: This you can buy at any drug store or makeup supply store. This one came in one of my packages from Amazon when I was building my own nail product collection.
First I start by removing all polish from the nails. Today I started with clean nails so I will do another post on how I take off my polish.
Once I have taken off the polish, I set up my workspace. Today I was working on my laptop table which is a Hello Kitty face, and is very old so please ignore the rough shape it’s in!
So I have my cuticle remover, the pusher, rubbing alcohol and some paper towels. I have a large sheet to cover the table to catch all the gross cuticles (and again it’s a clean surface), and then a few smaller pieces for cleaning up. I will first clean my pusher with the alcohol to make sure I’m being clean and safe with my nails.
Then, I take the cuticle remover and apply it to all the nails on one hand (I do one hand at a time. That’s just easier for me.)
Once you get done applying it to all 5 nail beds, it will have softened up the first one enough to start using the pusher. Starting from the outside corner and working into the middle, push the skin and cuticle away from the nail gently. You don’t want to damage the nail bed. I also like to just do a soft little scrape down the nail itself just in case there is any polish left on the actual nail.
I push all the nails before moving onto the clippers. After sanitising the clippers, I very carefully take them and clip away all the gross cuticles that the remover has lifted. Be very careful at this stage because cutting too much will result in you feeling pain and bleeding. The clippers are very sharp, but your cuticles are also very sensitive. I find if I just try to close them very slowly, I will feel the pain before I actually cut myself – saving myself from bandaids.
Once I am done, I do the other hand. Then, I take my alcohol and clean off all my nails. This is for three reasons:
- It removes any leftover cuticle remover from the nails,
- provides a clean surface for polishing, and
- alerts me to any cuts I may have created while cutting my cuticles. Alcohol stings peeps!
Next, I take my files and shape my nails.
If I have a lot to file down, I will use an emery board and then use the box file to take care of the end of the nail. I had already shaped my nails yesterday with my emery board, so today was just a quick swipe with the box file to catch any rough ridges/edges.
Followed closely by the other two sides of the box file, to smooth and shine the nail.
At this point, your nails are ready to be left dry or for some polish! If you take the time to shine your nail up really nice, all you need is a nice clear coat and off ya go! This picture is a little blurry but look at those nails shine!