Have you ever stopped thinking about the importance of your hands in your everyday life and style?
Hands are the parts of the body that are always exposed and clearly visible (even more than the face at the moment). If you look down at the keyboard, the first thing you see is your hands; whenever you grab something, your hands are there in front of your eyes; during an online meeting you move your hands and people can still see them; when you meet someone (not now maybe but it’ll happen soon again) your hands are the first point of contact between you and someone else – and that’s also why some people define them as the very first business card. Besides, well-groomed nails have always been considered synonymous with beauty.
At a personal level, having beautiful hands makes us feel presentable and “right”. Whilst when we have old, half chipped nail polish, bitten nails, or cracked hands, we just don’t feel comfortable. Not by chance is hand-beauty a million-pound industry, which sees lots of people (not only women) investing into it every year.
And yet, I find that many people still overlook their hands and their nails, and over the last months, the constant use of hand sanitizers and aggressive detergents has surely not helped people in taking good care of their hands.
This is why I thought to interview a true expert: Sabena Malik founder of Nails Haute Couture, who has helped countless numbers of clients look after their own nails.
Here are a few questions that I asked Sabena to help us have beautiful and tidy-looking hands and nails, without too much fuss.
Q: What can we do to take care of our hands and nails on a daily basis? Especially now that we are using hand sanitizers all the time.
A: Luckily there are hand sanitizers available for sensitive skin, some with Aloe Vera so you can find one that suits your skin best.
Using natural hand cream without mineral oil or alcohol maybe before bedtime is a great way to help your hands and nails recover from the stresses of hand sanitizing. Shea Butter is super absorbent and coconut or olive oil is hydrating for the nails and cuticles. If your hands are exceptionally dry, wearing cotton gloves during the night can really help lock in the moisture and condition the skin. Organic Aloe Vera Gel is very soothing and healing too. We keep ours in the fridge and apply under our hand cream for extra hydration.
Q: How important are our hands in our general style and presence?
A: Tony Robbins once told his story about how his nail biting cost him a very valuable business relationship because the person saw his blood-covered fingers from biting his nails and she said she couldn’t work with someone who doesn’t have the discipline and self-respect for himself!
Nail biting is a sign of insecurity and basically a bad habit. If you’re in business, everything from shiny shoes, clean teeth and manicured hands can be an indication of the level of your self-respect and confidence.
Q: Do you have some quick and easy tips on how to have good looking hands, even if we have no time to have a manicure?
A: Just bringing your nails into shape and giving your hands and fingers a little massage with a good hand cream at the end of the day in front of the TV can do wonders. Our hands do work hard for us and deserve this little treat at least!
Q: Which products would you suggest to use to keep hands hydrated and help nails grow strong and look nice, even without nail polish?
Alcohol and mineral oil ingredients in skin care products will block the pores and will just sit on top of your skin without being absorbed. Any good skin care product will not have these ingredients so watch out for them. I love anything with shea butter and aloe vera.
I also drink a collagen-boosting supplement every day which is great for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Q: Is cutting your cuticles bad for the skin?
A: Cuticles are designed to protect your nails from bacteria and cutting them makes your nails vulnerable. If they are cut so much that they are red or bleed, open or irritated skin can contract all kinds of bacteria and can lead to nail fungi and skin infections.
The best way to treat your cuticles is to just leave them. When they are soft from a shower or bath, gently push them back and using a cuticle nipper just nip off any loose skin.
Hydrating with a good cuticle oil is great to keep them conditioned.
This article is not intended as medical or scientific advice. If you have any concerns, please consult a GP or skin specialist.
If you liked Sabena’s tips and would like to get in touch with her, her details are below:
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