The daily grind can leave us with very little time to ourselves. And, although we’d like to pamper ourselves, most of us don’t have the time to catch up on our sleep, let alone head to the spa.
One popular way of pampering yourself is to get a manicure. But, you don’t have to visit a professional to get pretty nails. Spend a little time every other weekend giving yourself a manicure instead. It’s fun, all-natural, and limits any complications that you might face at a salon.
Risks Associated With Manicures At Salons
Commercial salons need to follow a strict set of rules to avoid cross-contamination and infections. For instance, they might forget to clean and sterilize their tools. Additionally, they might not have single-use towels or wear disposable gloves.
Salons also might not pay attention to cross-contamination of creams and use the same applicator more than once. While most places do follow these procedures, it’s easy to overlook them sometimes.1 Additionally, experts are concerned about chemicals used in nail salon products which can lead to the following health conditions.
- Irritation of skin and eyes
- Respiratory disorders
Besides these, chemicals in these products could cause long-term skin sensitization and cancer along with reproductive, developmental, central nervous system complications. Although the research around these concerns is still new at the moment, the available research is reason enough to consider at-home treatments.2
How To Manicure Your Nails At Home
At-home manicures might seem messy and complicated, but they’re quite simple. And, if you’re a beginner, it might be fun to try it with your friends or family.
- Nail trimmer
- A large bowl of warm whole milk
- Angle-tipped nail stick
- Nail file
- Buffing block
- 3 teaspoons warm almond oil
- Nail paint remover
- Antibacterial soap
- Nail paint
- Remove your old nail paint and trim your nails to the size you want them to be. Do clean up any raggedy skin aroud the nail.
- Soak your hands in the bowl of warm whole milk for a few minutes.
- Wash your hands with warm water and an antibacterial soap.
- Using the angle-tipped nail stick, gently push your cuticles back toward the base of the nail.
- Using the nail file, give shape to your nails. Rounded shapes are believed to make your nails resistant to cracks.
- Buff your nails with the buffing block using a side-to-side motion.
- Finally, rub your nails with warm oil, especially around the nail and cuticle areas.
- Apply a nail paint of your choice.
Using milk helps the lactic acid soften your cuticles and the skin around your nails. It also naturally moisturizes them.3 Warm oil treatment, meanwhile, is believed to improve dry and flaky nails. It also prevents brittle nails and dry cuticles. Almond oil, here, smoothens and rejuvenates skin.4
Additionally, warm oil penetrates the epidermis easily. If you’d like to further moisturize your skin, massage the nails with warm oil for a few minutes.5 Although doing a manicure at home is easy, there is room for a few mistakes, that you should avoid.
To Avoid During A Manicure
Appropriate hand hygiene is important to avoid infections. And, it’s just as important to follow hygiene protocols at home as it is in a salon. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re doing a manicure.
- Keep your nails trimmed short to avoid infections.
- Don’t forget to scrub the underside of your nails with soap and warm water.
- Clean all your nail grooming tools with an antibacterial wash.
- Avoid cutting cuticles as they act as barriers to prevent infections.
- Avoid ripping or biting a hangnail. Instead, clip them with a trimmer.
Besides, these tips, be sure to trim your nails often. Longer fingernails could harbor more dirt and bacteria than short nails, hence potentially contributing to the spread of infection. Although nails aren’t often considered as an important part of overall health, they contribute significantly to it.6
Give yourself a manicure regularly to maintain nail health. However, be sure to avoid biting or chewing your nails which can damage them and cause them to get brittle. Opt for all-natural products when you’re doing a manicure at home, to ensure that your nails get the best quality treatment.
|↑1||Nail treatment (manicures and pedicures) – hygiene standards. The New South Wales Ministry of Health.|
|↑2||Review of Chemicals Used in Nail Salon. Department Of Health, New York State.|
|↑3||Smith, Walter P. “Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 35, no. 3 (1996): 388-391.|
|↑4||Ahmad, Zeeshan. “The uses and properties of almond oil.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 16, no. 1 (2010): 10-12.|
|↑5||Almond, Elaine. Manicure, pedicure and advanced nail techniques. Cengage Learning EMEA, 1994.|