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5 Steps to a perfect manicure

Maintaining a youthful appearance has become very important for many people in our society.  While most people focus on facial care, it’s also important to remember that your hands can show your age too!  And whether your goal is to keep your hands looking young, or to project a groomed and professional image, an at-home manicure is the fastest, easiest way to see dramatic results.

Step 1:  Prepare your hands.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.  Use a nail brush to clean under and around your nails and remove any stubborn dirt or grime.  If your skin is particularly rough or callused, you can also lightly rub the skin with an exfoliating product, such as our Denco Naturals Foot Scrub.  Even though this is a foot scrub, it works just as well on your hands.  After cleansing and exfoliating, soak your hands in warm water for 5 minutes to soften your nails and cuticles.  Remove your hands from the water and dry thoroughly.

Step 2:  Tame your cuticles.

Cuticle care is the trickiest part of a manicure because it requires caution and some decision making.  The area of the cuticle that you need to focus on is the growth on your nail plate.  This is not the live, tender skin that surrounds your nail… it is the thin, dead skin that seems to have crept onto your nail.  For the cleanest look, and if you plan to wear nail polish, I’d recommend pushing the cuticles back gently with a cuticle pusher.  This is much easier when your cuticles are soft from soaking.  Be sure that you don’t aggressively push the cuticles back into your live skin.  Once you’ve done this, you can decide to trim any excess using a cuticle nipper or cuticle scissors, or simply leave the excess pushed back.

Step 3:  Shape your nails.

Cut your nails to the desired length and general shape.  Depending on your nail thickness and your preference, you could choose a nail clipper, nail scissors or a nail nipper. After trimming your nails to the general length and shape you want, you’ll need to file them.  Filing smoothes out any rough edges and perfects your shape.  Choose a nail file to suit your preference and file each nail with smooth strokes.  Try to avoid a back and forth, see-saw action.  Instead, try to file gently from the edge of the nail to the tip.

Step 4:  Buff or polish.

If you’d like a little shine on your nails, but don’t want to deal with choosing the right polish, applying it and letting it dry, give your nails a buff with a 3-step nail buffer.  Simply “file” your nail surface with the pink grit, then the white, then the gray.  This is also a great alternative for men who want to have smooth, ridge-free nails without any shine.  For those who prefer polish, now is the time to paint it on.  Let it dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step.

Step 5:  Moisturize

Besides being itchy and uncomfortable, dry hands also look older and unhealthy.  To keep hands looking supple and youthful, make sure to moisturize at least once per day.  The best time is after your hands have been soaked.  Choose a lotion or cream that adds moisture and absorbs quickly, without leaving a heavy, greasy feeling on the skin.  Be sure to massage the lotion into the tops and bottoms of your hands, as well as into each cuticle.  Our Denco Naturals Hand & Cuticle Repair Cream works double-duty because it replenishes the skin’s moisture and also hydrates the cuticle.