Who doesn't love having a great set of nails to show off? Going to the salon and getting the works is one thing, but what are the steps to caring for those gorgeous nails all week long?Paula Begoun tells us the dos and don'ts of nail care from her book, The Beauty Bible:
- Do coat the outside of the nails with polish or ridge fillers, which can help protect the nail and prevent breaking and splitting, at least while the manicure lasts.
- Do moisturize the cuticle area to prevent cracking and peeling, which can hurt the matrix.
- Do wear gloves to protect nails and cuticles from housework, gardening and washing dishes.
- Do be cautious when doing office work. Nails and cuticles take a beating filing, opening letters (use a letter opener), typing (use the flat of your finger pads on the keyboard instead of the tips of your nails) and handling papers.
- Do apply hand cream frequently, especially after you're done washing your hands, and pay attention to the cuticle area.
- Do wear a sunscreen during the day on your hands and cuticles to prevent sun damage, which can hurt your nails. Reapply every time you wash your hands.
- Do meticulously clean all nail implements and change nail files often. Bacteria and other microbes can get transferred by the nail tools you use, causing infection or harm to the matrix.
- Do disinfect any tears or cuts to the cuticle, and treat ingrown nails as soon as possible. Nail infections are not only unsightly, but also can cause long-lasting damage to the nail. Any drugstore antibacterial ointment will do.