By Akisha 2
Are you a frequent patron of nail salons? Do you work in industries that require you to wear gloves or wash your hands frequently? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above then you know that it’s important to moisturize.
As a frequent patron of nail parlours, you may have heard estheticians say “moisturize frequently”. Or if you work in the healthcare and food preparation industries they always have sanitizers and mild foamy soaps at every corner; to help remind you to wash your hands frequently and moisturize at the same time.
But what is the first or only thing that comes to mind when they say ‘moisturize frequently’? The answer is hand lotion. Everyone carries a mini hand lotion companion in their purse or car and has one at their desk. The other option is cuticle oil, but most people don’t know how to use it if they do consider it.
Hand creams and lotions are great for moisturizing your skin, but they don’t seal in moisture the way cuticle oil does. That’s right seal in moisture. Cuticle oil’s purpose is to seal in moisture. It’s a big misconception that cuticle oil moisturizes.
What Is Cuticle Oil?
Cuticle oil is an oil based product that is promoted in the beauty industry and sold in beauty stores, drugstores and supermarkets for example, The Beauty Store, Shopper’s Drug Mart and Walmart. You will find cuticle oil in the cosmetic sections near the nail polishes and makeup.
Because of the type of skin you have on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, oil does not penetrate the skin to moisturize it. The oil is actually a protective barrier and as a result sits on top of the skin; preventing the loss of moisture which causes dry and sometimes irritated skin. Hangnails and peeling skin are familiar signs of dry skin.
Cuticle oil is put on the fingertips along the nail fold (the sides of the nail bed) and eponychium (the door to your matrix and where the nail grows from). And then gently massaged into the nail plate and surrounding areas. It seals in moisture and nourishes the matrix with keratin; the protein that strengthens and is found in your nails and hair follicles. The secret to its success is to not stop using it. Just like your organs and other parts of your body, your matrix needs nourishment too. It’s like drinking eight glasses of water to get clear younger looking skin.
You Should Have 2 Bottles
In a workday use it at least twice a day. The first time on your lunch break and the second time before bed while watching your favourite TV show or before you pick up that interesting book to read. In the winter and if you travel via public transportation, you might consider giving your nails a boost just after entering work and before starting your day.
This means you should have 2 bottles of cuticle oil. One for work that never leaves your workstation or purse and one at home beside your night stand.
The process for moisturizing your hands and feet are as follows: use cuticle oil after hydrating the skin with soap and water, and after moisturizing your hands and feet with hand creams and lotions, in order to lock in moisture.
Wash with soap and water → moisturize with lotion → seal in moisture with cuticle oil
And if you’re a frequent patron of the beauty parlour you will notice that this is also the process they use. So the next time you go to your local Shopper’s Drug Mart to buy hand cream, make sure to pick up a bottle of cuticle oil too.