Beautiful hands with French manicure

Nails are to hands as eyebrows are to the face — they accentuate your hands’ best features. Well-manicured nails can make your hands look 100 times better, not to mention emphasize your style. This is why a good nail care regimen is essential to keeping your hands from looking rough and unkempt. 

Much like the neck and knees, the hands are usually the first to give away your real age. They are frequently exposed to the elements, such as water, wind, UV rays, as well as chemicals, cleaning agents, and other drying substances. In most cases, they go unprotected unless under extreme conditions, and these mini exposures accrue into one big payload of fine lines, age spots, and dry skin. 

Therefore, hand and nail care go hand in hand. Here’s a basic regimen that you can follow to keep your hands soft and smooth, and your nails pretty.

Give Your Hands a Gentle Scrub

Take a small amount of   and massage it in circular motions onto damp hands. Be gentle on the back of the hands, which can be thin and sensitive. Focus on the fingers, making sure to carefully massage the scrub on your knuckles and joints, which are prone to darkening or thickening. Doing this will brighten, smoothen, and soften your hands.

Moisturize and Lock Moisture In

After scrubbing, apply Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion on your hands while they’re still damp. This has extract and pure Vaseline Jelly that nourish the skin as well as soothe irritation. You can also use Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Lotion Flawless Glow for a more lightweight option.

Once a week, you can give your hands a reparative mask using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, which is triple purified to lock in moisture for healing and .

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it can also rehydrate the nails and is especially beneficial to those who get frequent manicures. AAD recommends applying on the nails and cuticles between polishes to minimize brittleness and chipping.

Practice Good Nail Hygiene

Good nail care starts with basic hygiene. Try to keep your nails dry and clean to prevent the growth of bacteria underneath your nails. Harvard Health notes that nail ridging, brittleness, or changes in thickness can be common signs of aging. However, working with your hands a lot (especially if water is involved), can speed up this process. Try wearing protective gloves when washing the dishes or handling harsh cleaning chemicals to avoid problems.

Watch How You Cut

Always use clean and sharp nail tools when doing your nails. You must cut the nail straight across to prevent ingrown nails and infection. Don’t cut too deep into the sides. If you want a different nail shape, the AAD recommends using a nail file to round the corners or create a more slanted shape. Avoid cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. If you’re not careful, you could get a nail infection, so it’s best to leave this to the pros. Moisturize with lotion after trimming your nails to keep them flexible.

Protect and Polish

Never skip the base coat when applying nail polish. It nourishes the nails and keeps polish from staining them. Darker shades like purple, blue, black, and even bright ones like orange can turn your nails yellow if you don’t apply a base coat. Next, protect your polish with a topcoat. It keeps it looking shiny and delays chipping.

By the way, if you’re wearing nail polish, try not to soak your nails too much. Moisture makes the coat swell and accelerates chipping. If you are your household’s designated dishwasher, wear gloves.

Don’t Forget SPF!

Do you drive? Ride a bike? Does your work desk face a window? Do you have skin? Is the sun the center of the solar system? If you answered yes to these questions, then you must always wear SPF on your hands. Prevent premature skin aging by and reapply throughout the day as needed.  

Ready for healthier hands and nails? Follow this nail care regimen and you’ll see an improvement in as short as a week.