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What Proper Nail Care Says About You!

Feb 11, 2008
Nail care can easily be overlooked, but it is a very important detail in personal hygiene and beauty care. The very basis of nail care is a healthy diet, but that applies to care of the entire body.

The first matter of business is cleanliness. Hands should be washed with a gentle soap, and one should use a nail brush to scrub under the nails. Not only does this enhance the appearance, but it keeps bacteria at bay. Using a basic hand lotion after washing will keep the hands soft, and is especially important in winter.

Before trimming your nails, your hands should be soaked in warm water for a few minutes (after having a bath is a convenient time) This softens the nails, and makes trimming safer, healthier, and less messy.

At this point, the cuticles are also soft and yielding. They should be gently pushed back with a cuticle stick. Don't cut your cuticles. Cuticles exist to keep bacteria out of the body, so cutting them can put your nails at a risk of infection. Keeping cuticles pushed back also avoids ragged cutting, and in the long term your cuticles will look much better pushed than they would cut.

If you have trouble with hangnails, chances are you aren't moisturizing your cuticles enough. A good hand lotion or cuticle cream should be applied as often as possible.

After you've trimmed your nails and pushed back your cuticles, allow your nails to dry. Once they are hard again, gently file the tips to remove rough corners or edges. File from the corner to the centre of your nail in one direction and a single motion.

Before applying polish, make sure your nails are free from oil, lotion, or any previous nail polish. Always use a base coat, allowing it to dry thoroughly. A base coat extends the life of polish on your nail, and prevents the nail from breaking.

Nail polish should be applied in two coats, allowing the first to dry completely before applying the second. Fast drying polish doesn't last as long as ordinary polish, and darker polishes require more time to dry. You should use about 3 strokes to apply polish, first on either side, and the final stroke in the centre of the nail.

Once the final coat of polish has dried entirely, a clear top coat should be put on. Applying a top coat daily will preserve the polish, and keep the nails fresh in appearance. Nail polish should be removed with a polish remover that includes hydrating oils.

When hands and nails are well maintained and cared for regularly, people will notice. It has been said that hands are the best indicator of a person. A person who cares for their hands cares for the rest of their body. Unkempt hands may be a signal that the person doesn't take good care of his or herself. So, remember to take good care of your hands!
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