This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy for details.
Image by: Toshijuki imai
By Reaghan Belfor
The cold has left your nails weak, your cuticles dry, and your hands chapped. The damage has been done. Now to restore them for Spring Break and all of those great summer trips you have planned!
But how? For many of us, the first thing we think to do is to go out and buy expensive moisturizers and nail products to help us get our nails back to their original glow. Others may think to run out to the salon and have a professional take care of it for us.
Not this year, ladies! Don’t break your bank on expensive cuticle creams and wallet draining moisturizers. Instead, try these three at-home quick fixes to moisturize and repair your nails after the long, dry, harsh winter.
#1) Buff Your Nail Beds
Your nails have dried out over the winter months. No matter how much moisturizer you used, they just seemed to get more and more dry. You’ve noticed grooves and ridges on the surface of your nails.
Yikes! Well, first thing is first, ladies! Smooth and polish your nails with a buffer to help the natural shine come through. Getting rid of the dry, dead skin of your cuticle will help you focus more on the healthy parts of your nails.
According to Sallybeauty.com, “try buffing natural nails for a healthy shine that won’t chip off! Use a four-way buffer to shape nails, remove ridges, smooth the nail surface and give nails a super shine without polish.”
This buffing is over half of the battle when it comes to getting your nails looking great after the harsh winter.
However, it is important that you are careful with your nails. Sallybeauty.com goes on to warn: “DON’T over-buff. Too much buffing can cause friction, build up heat and weaken nails. Always use a super-fine-grit nail buffer to lightly smooth ridges. Buff in an X pattern, lifting the buffer between strokes.”
Keep your nails healthy by buffing them at least once a week.
#2) No Need to Moisturize! You Already Have Everything You Need
Nearly every woman has what she needs to moisturize her nail beds and cuticles at home. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I went out and purchased a $16 bottle of cuticle oil. Just walk straight to your pantry or cooking (or baking) cabinet, and grab some olive oil.
Yep, that’s all it takes. Every night, before bed, dab a few drops of olive oil on each finger nail and rub it into the cuticle. I like to rub the oil around my entire finger and nail. When enough is soaked in, I rub the rest of the oil into my hands.
Another great at-home product to use in replacement of cuticle oil is coconut oil. Coconut oil has a thicker consistency (almost like a lotion), and it can sit on your nails longer to allow the nail to absorb all of the oil over longer periods of time.
Both of these oils are great ways to replenish your nail beds and smooth all of the skin around your nails. I like to use the oil after I buff my nailbeds and cuticles.
To pack in extra moisture, after you put the oil on your fingers and nails, put on a pair of gloves for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. This will really help you get your nails soaking in all of the great moisture from the oil.
#3) For Really Bad Fingers
Winter is always very hard on my nails. It is even worse on my cuticles and the skin around my fingernails. I get a lot of chapping, peeling, and even splitting in the skin around my nails. I have tried everything under the sun to avoid this from happening.
Still, nothing seemed to work. Until one day when I was sick of the skin around my nails not healing properly. I put Neosporin on every one of my nails, with special emphasis on the fingers that were cracking.
Here is the trick: dab Neosporin (approximately two dollars per tube) or any other triple antibiotic ointment (can be as low as one dollar per tube) on your nails, cuticles, and all of the skin around your nails. Let it sit for about three minutes before you massage it into your skin and nails.
Feel the areas around your nails as you rub. If the skin has absorbed all of the ointment, apply a little bit more. Do not wash your hands. You basically want a nice sheen over your skin and nails (I don’t recommend gobs and gobs of it, just enough to soak into your skin and nails, and then lightly coat the surfaces).
If you feel more comfortable with gloves covering your hands, feel free to put them on, but the air will help your nails and skin heal, so it is better to not have the gloves on in this situation.
When you wake up, you will not believe the difference. I am telling you, this is the miracle of all nail miracles. While olive oil or coconut oil will definitely moisturize, the triple antibiotic ointment will quite literally change the appearance of your hands overnight.
Use the ointment for a few nights in a row. As your nails and skin heal, use it every second night. Eventually, your nails will get to the point where you only need to use the ointment once a month.
The Process I use for my nails over the winter months and into spring is to first buff my nails. Next I rub in a little bit of coconut oil. Before bed three nights a week, I dab Neosporin over all of my nails and the skin surrounding them. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars trying to restore your nails. Many of you have the products needed for your nails right at home. What are some at-home products you use for your nails? Share with us in the comments below!