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    Protect Your Cuticles from Winter

    Old Man Winter is not kind on skin. The cold dry air outside and the dry conditioned air in heated buildings pulls moisture from your skin, often leaving red, itchy and/or hypersensitive patches of skin behind. When the skin around your nails gets dry, you set yourself up for unsightly nails and possibly even infection. But Hale Cosmeceuticals has tips to help you protect your cuticles from the effects of Jack Frost.


    Be Gentle

    Your skin is your body’s first line of defense from the outside environment. It’s like multi-layer body armor that effectively keeps out dirt, bacteria and other pathogenic microbes. Still, your skin is very delicate, and it needs to be treated accordingly.


    While cuticles can get unsightly if left untended, you should not aggressively push your cuticles away from the nail or cut your cuticles. Rough handling is likely to inflame cuticles, and nicks and tears from cutting cuticles creates sites for infection.


    To gently manage your cuticles:


    Soften them. There are a number of ways to prepare your cuticles for manipulation:


    • Soak them for a few minutes in warm water.
    • Massage them with cuticle oil, hair conditioner or olive oil.


    Push them into place. Use an orange stick to gently nudge the cuticle skin toward the matrix of the nail.


    If you are entrusting your cuticle care to a professional manicurist, make sure they apply the same gentle touch you would.


    Moisturize…and Then Moisturize Some More

    The importance of moisturizing your skin during dry winter months cannot be understated, and it applies to your cuticles as much as it applies to any other patch of skin.


    Of course you may massage cuticle oil into your cuticles to keep them supple, but there are a number of non-nail-specific products that also do the trick, including:


    • Hand and body lotion
    • Face and body cream
    • Hair conditioner
    • Olive (or other food-grade) oil


    Creams and ointments provide the most moisturizing potential, but sometimes they can leave your hands feeling greasy. These treatments may best be applied at night before bed. Wearing soft cotton gloves can help keep the cream or ointment application in place, and the extra warmth can aid in absorption by your cuticles.


    While some skin care professionals may suggest petroleum jelly as an inexpensive cuticle moisturizer, we think it’s best to avoid it. Petroleum-based products create a barrier between your skin and the air. That may sound good, but it really keeps your skin from breathing. Toxins that are normally excreted through sweat or other secretions are trapped in your skin.


    An Ounce of Prevention

    Replenishing moisture to your cuticles is essential to winter cuticle care. However, you can limit the amount of natural moisture that is lost by preventing over-drying of your cuticles and nails by:


    • Using acetone-free nail polish remover
    • Wearing gloves when washing dishes or handwashing laundry


    At Hale Cosmeceuticals, we would never advocate compromising your hygiene and health for the look of your cuticles, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer is very drying. You can effectively reduce your exposure to germs and be gentler to your cuticles by washing your hands with soap and warm water, patting dry, and following-up with a light layer of hand lotion instead.


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