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Anyone who has to deal with colder climates understand the plight of dry, scaly hands, tender cuticles and brittle nails. Our withered digits need extra love when the temperature drops, when the wind picks up and even the warm salvation of the indoors causes dehydration due to the heat.
As much we may feel our hands could use an extra trip (or 10) to the spa, let's face it: It's challenging to afford the time or money to get a professional manicure every week.
Luckily, there's no need to sacrifice self-care when it comes to hand and nail health. There are plenty of products that can come to rescue, without ever setting foot outside the bathroom.
Best products for hand and nail health
Give your nails some extra moisture with this overnight serum. It's made with a lightweight formula that contains black orchid, acai and algae extracts to hydrate and rejuvenate your nails. Brush it on like regular polish and, after it's dried clear, go to sleep and wake up with stronger-feeling nails and cuticles.
If you don't have time to get a full manicure but want to make sure your nails are getting the best treatment possible, try this Nails.Inc AHA-infused nail polish. AHAs are commonly seen in skin care, but this brand has taken it to the next level to hydrate your nails! The nude polish collection are all AHA-infused to smooth and hydrate your nails while providing a nicely-colored manicure.
This cuticle and nail oil pen is perfect for keeping in your purse or car so you can apply it on the go with a few quick brush swipes. It's made with jojoba oil, which has natural anti-fungal properties and can improve strength and promote healthy nail growth. This pen also comes in fragrance-free, vanilla- and pumpkin spice latte-scented options.
According to the Mayo Clinic, ointments with petroleum jelly like Aquaphor are ideal when dealing with very dry, cracked skin because they are more effective at reducing water loss from the skin. This healing ointment boasts an impressive 4.8-star average on Amazon and is a bestseller in hand creams and lotions.
If you have dry skin and have tried several different moisturizers but none seem to work, the Mayo Clinic also recommends opting for a moisturizer with lactic acid. Amlactin contains 12% lactic acid to hydrate, moisturize and smooth the skin.
A heavy-duty hand salve will do the trick when hands are looking cracked and dry. This affordable moisturizer is easy to apply after showering or all day when kept in your purse or car. The creamy formula makes it easy to dab on cuticles, knuckles or other spots that need some extra hydration.
Nourish cuticles with this convenient stick filled with rose oil. It only takes a few seconds to brush over each nail bed and cuticle and doesn't require sitting around, as it's a light oil that moisturizes without being too greasy. This Amazon top-seller is also chock-full of nourishing vitamin E oil to nourish cuticles and restore dry, brittle nails.
"This stuff works wonders," claimed one five-star reviewer. "I use it at night after putting on hand lotion; by morning, my cuticles still look freshly manicured & that improved appearance lasts for hours."
Research has shown that tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that are beneficial to the skin. Tea tree, in addition to having an enlivening minty scent, can help rehydrate skin when topically applied to nails and cuticles. Made with ingredients that don't include animal byproducts, sulfates, petrolatum or parabens, this nail strengthener prevents breakage and restores shine thanks to its main ingredient.
Sunscreen often falls to the wayside during the winter months, but dermatologists swear by its success in helping skin look healthier, younger and preventing skin cancer. A sunscreen routine is just as important in keeping hands smooth and healthy.
Goddess Garden Organics, a reef-safe sunscreen line created by mom Nova Covington after her daughter had a bad reaction to sunscreen, is affordable and ideal for daily wear. If you're not wearing gloves outside, lather up!
"For people that do shellac in the winter and find they get more dried out, Essie gel has a keratin technology base coat that will help them nourish and grow. Duri is a fantastic nail growth base coat made in Brooklyn," Beth Isoldi, a nail technician at Salon TG, told us.
Isoldi also advises customers to push back cuticles while in the shower. The water and steam prep skin for products penetrate the skin and nail beds deeper after drying off.
Apply this strengthening cream around your cuticles to keep your nails long, strong and healthy. Ingredients include calcium, vitamins A, C, D and E, beeswax and jojoba seed oil to condition your cuticles and nails. It's also a bestseller in cuticle care products on Amazon and has over 31,000 verified five-star ratings.
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