Nail Tutorial: When Your Nails Need a Break

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Have you ever felt like your nails needed a break? Are your nails starting to dry out or even flake from all of the nail polish followed by nail polish remover followed by more nail polish? As women, our nails can look beautiful, but they can also take a lot of abuse from typing on a keyboard at work to trying to break apart legos or deboning a chicken at home. It is a fact of life that our nails are constantly “under attack.” So why not give them a little vacation from the chemicals with some moisture rich pampering? It’s simple and takes just a few minutes.

First, start with your nails… just as they are, fancy and pretty or chipped and worn like mine.

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The first thing you want to do is remove as much nail polish as possible with nail polish remover. Don’t feel like you need to run to the store and grab a specific brand or super expensive bottle of anything. I am a big believer in using what you have around the house. Just a warning, reds and dark colors (like mine in the picture) are harder to remove and can leave a bit of staining. That’s quite alright. This is only the first step.

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After removing as much polish as possible with the nail polish remover, head to the sink and cover your nails with soap. Hand soap or dish soap will work just fine. Now scrub your nails with some sort of brush. I don’t happen to have a scrub brush for nails so I used a clean dish brush. An old toothbrush will work really well also. The important thing is to scrub the corners of the nails and under the free-edge. Also, don’t feel like you need to scrub them until they bleed. This is just a first scrub. If there is still a little color left, don’t worry. We will get to that later.

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Next apply an oil or conditioner around the edges of your nails with a q-tip. I used a q-tip with a built in conditioner from a sample I received a few months back. Remember, this is all about using what you have on hand. Olive oil, baby oil, hair conditioner, or even spray Pam would work. Be creative! I am not a professional so don’t ask your nail lady to lather on olive oil the next time you are at the salon. These are just some little home remedies I have come up with in my effort to maximize the usefulness of everything already in my home.

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Once you have applied the oil of choice, let them sit for about a minute. After the minute is up, back to the sink. Wash your hands with soap again, but this time no scrubber. Rub around the edges of your nails gently with your thumbs like you’re working in the oil. Next scratch either palm with the nails of the opposite hand. This helps the soap to get under your nails and really get them clean. Rinse off all soap and check your nails. Are they clean? If there is still a bit of color, reapply soap and gently wash them again. Once clean they should look something like this…

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Ahh! Fresh clean nails. If you wish to file any bumps or chips in your nails, now is the time. Make sure to wash away any nail dust before the final step. Lather on your favorite moisturizer. Rub it all over your nails and hands, and you’re done! If you are relaxing in bed for the night, throw a couple socks over your hands to sleep to lock in that moisture! All that is left to do is enjoy your fresh clean natural nails.

Go ahead! Give it a try! Your nails will thank you!

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