Monday, August 8, 2011

Part time position available!

I'm going to preach for a second ... then a video ;)

One of the most important aspects of taking care of your nails is moisturizing the nail AND cuticle.  Moisturizing the nail beds is fairly self explanatory, but recently I realized there is some confusion as to why we must moisturize our cuticles.  Yes, part of the reason we moisturize our cuticles is because we don't want them to look to' up from the flo' up.  More importantly however, the root and matrix of the nail is located right below the cuticle, slightly under the (proximal fold) skin.  Lets review the nail.

My lovely husband volunteered his tremor hands as specimens in this earlier post.  Let's continue to mock him.

At the base of the nail is your "cuticle". As I have discussed already this cuticle is actually made of two parts, the 'true cuticle' and the 'eponychium'. Underneath the proximal nail fold is the root and matrix, i.e. the heart of your nail.

Because the nail root is near the cuticle, moisturizing the cuticle creates the moisturizing environment needed to keep the nail flexible from the very start of its growth cycle.  Eventually your nail will fully grow out from cuticle to tip having been moisturized the entire way up.  It takes about 6 months to grow out a nail fully from root to free edge.

Since many of us keep our nails painted at all times, it becomes even more important to moisturize the cuticle since moisturizers can not penetrate through polish to moisturize the nail bed.

Keeping the nail and cuticle area consistently and frequently moisturized will promote a healthy nail bed, which will allow you to grow healthy nails at any length. When a nail plate balances both hardness and flexibility peeling and breaking can be prevented.  I previously talked about the importance of moisturizing the nail and cuticle in this post and also an alternative here.

As I said in my first moisturizing post, there is no "right" moisture delivery system.  It's up to you to choose what is "right" for you.  The only real rule is to use them ... consistently and frequently.  Seriously, moisturize like it's your job!

The follow video goes into a few options, but it is in no way the end all be all, just random stuff I grabbed around the house.  I also go into what I prefer and how I do my thang!

If you are looking for a cuticle oil recipe head on over to For Me It Works.  This chica has such lovely nails because she too is a stickler for MOAR MOISTURE!

For you ladies that can't stand greasy fingers this may be a viable option.



    am awaiting your next post. GOODBYE MY GORGEOUS


  2. What can I do for the area around the nail bed that tends to get hard? Especially the corner areas where the nail grows out? Sorry! I don't know what it's called.

  3. I'm obsessed with moisturizing, I have probably as many jars as you do! :) I like the oil and wax combo myself. I don't have the most beautiful cuticles in the blogosphere, but I've worked it into my routine. :)

  4. Love the video your cat is so cute.

  5. Did you ever check out that product GoNails that I told you about? I would hate to be spending money on something that can't work due to the ingredient list! It seems to be really helping my nails!

  6. @The Student's Guide To Nail Polish - LOL, perfect! P.S. Your lips are very smoochable ;)

    @HauteBeautyBargain - I emailed you. :)

    @Nicole - Yay! We must start a club! Getting to to the habit is half the battle. BTW your cuticles look fantastically delicious!!

    @♥beauxs mom - Thanks, she's like Lucy, constantly wants to be in the show. :P

    @Fingers - I did check them out. I'll let you know more once I know more!

  7. Since I started moisturizing my cuticles in earnest, two things have happened. One, I have uniformly long nails, which I never had before (before they got long one or two would always break) and two, the winter splits are gone. I used to have cracks and bleeding when the weather was cold and this past winter, that didn't happen. I'm definitely committed to it!

  8. Every time I read your posts I feel like I'm back in cosmo . This just got me excited to go back to school in 9 days . You teach me a lot more than my own teacher . Thank you !

  9. thank you...Per our last email exchange, I have bottles of lotion at every sink, a pair of gloves at the kitchen sink, still really bad about using them, and have gotten into the habit of massaging cuticle area nightly....

  10. Very interesting post. Didn't know that about the way the nail grows!

  11. I noticed a weird thing about my nails, I can moisturize and they will grow healthy but once I push back the cuticle, all hell breaks loose. My nails start to peel. I moisturize with the poo poo oil, I mean Argan oil and it seems to work pretty well.

  12. I honestly learn so much stuff from you it's crazy. WHO KNEW that moisturizing was that important. (Excluding you...ha). I am going to check out that blog right now


  13. love your videos, i never knew all this stuff have a lot of making up to do my poor cuticles been torturing them for years lol.
    i was wondering would baby oil work just as well as olive oil?
    and i actually picked up something from palmers cocoa butter formula, its called "swivel stick" says for marks, blemishes, & rough dry cracked sikn. what im wondering is if i use this with some baby oil is it "waxy" enough to seal it in?

  14. ::wild Bellatrix-Lestrage-esque laughter:: I fail at ALL OF THIS! I try, and fail, and try and succeed for 10 mins or so, then someone calls and says, "They're restructuring the company AGAIN!" and I fail again, because - urk.

    I think my nails grow well not because of me, but in spite of me. And my cuticles, well.

    ::cue more Bellatrix insanity::

  15. Hey,

    thanks for the blog! It's awesome. Finally something more tanglible than all the old-wive's-tale-based nonsense we can read almost everywhere. I really like to take in all you write greedily and then show off to other people how smart i am ;)

    and yeah, to be at least a little constructive, I have a question, mr female Dexter ;) i heard that lemon juice can harden nails... do you happen to know if it is true? and if yes - how does it work (do trick us into learning something:) )

    oh, n btw, i know you've heard that million times probalby - cosmic eyes! i used to know a girl whose eyes were also of two different colours


  16. OMG where have you been all my life (ok, my blogging life)? I have always wondered if what I was doing to keep my cuticles, etc. was effective.

    I use cuticle oil a lot more than balms. However, I have Lemony Flutter (I don't understand everyone's fascination with this stuff. I much prefer Burt's Bees Lemon Butter), but I feel like it just dissolves into a weird-smelling pool of goo and doesn't do much for me. I'm trying to burn through this tub before it goes bad. Is it effective as the waxy coating or would I be better suited using the Lemon Butter?

  17. @Shieldmaiden96 - That brings happiness to my ears!!

    @Toyomi - Awww, you are so sweet! Do well in school! I'm rooting for you!

    @Carrie - woot woot!

    @Kyouya - LOL, OMG I don't know if I can part with it ... at least all of it. Will a snippet work?

    @VijiiS - Thanks! Yepparooo :D now go moisturize :P

    @Olivia - hmm, interesting, do you beat your cuticles between pushing them? :P Definitely skip that step then. POO POO, Josie is the queen of POOO!

    @Christina - oh yea, you yourself have great DIY so you'll love it!

    @BubblyFairy - Thank you mrs. fairy! Baby oil is mainly Mineral Oil and is not that great at actually moisturizing, but rather better at sealing moisture in. I know weird because it's an oil, but it has to do with the size of the molecule and how it can't penetrate skin blah blah.

    I love that stick I have it as well and every time it runs out I "fill" it with more from the big tub that I buy. I have used the palmers stuff alone and it works well.

    @Janissa11 - Wait before you start cackling did you mess your hair real good ... okay now go ... LOL

    why do cuticle have so much spite ... bitches

    @Jowinia - haha, old wives tales don't satisfy my curiosity.

    Lemon : I see this a lot on YouTube mainly from people who are showing whitening strategies. This I understand because lemon = acid, so essentially you are gently etching the nail plate and getting rid of surface stains, but actually hardening? I don't think so, but I would have to look into this further.

    LOL ooo you noticed! brownie points :D

    @Lisa - haha, I hide in a really big hole on most days.

    I tried Lemony flutter ONCE, went to a lush store and grabbed a huge hunk and started to slather. Got it all in my hair, holy shiz, what a mess. It was good, but greasy. I would definitely use it again, but like with the burts bee one I would still seal it in with a more waxy product. I just feel that is what my particular skin needs. I guess I view them both the same ... oily/greasy but not enough wax in there for me. Does that help, or am I rambling?

  18. LOL you're fine. I'd send you my pot of LF, but it's probably got cat hairs in it :\ :D

  19. oh I love cat hair, I probably have some in mouth right now LOL.

  20. Wow this was so informative. I need to stop being lazy and stop staring at my full bottle of cuticle oil wondering what it does. Btw you're super gorg!

  21. @heartNAT - lol, yea, stop staring and start massaging! Either way your nails are gorgeous, you lucky gal you! Thank you for the sweet comment!!

  22. I have the same question as HauteBeautyBargain. I've had that tough skin for as long as I can remember.

    1. First a few questions ...
      1. What is your moisture routine like? What do you use, how often, and how long have you been doing this?

      2. Do you wash dishes? If you do, do you wear gloves? What other chores do you do. Are your hands exposed to water for long periods of time or very often?

      3. Do you pick at the tough skin or try to remove it somehow?

    2. I know this blog is not active anymore. But I get the tough skin too, moisturize religiously every time I wash my hands, and always wear gloves. I think it's genetic; my Dad has it too. What helps is exfoliation; I use alpha hydroxy acid product, and a foot file on those spots in the shower.

  23. lisaxlove (on 8, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    1. I use lotion after I wash my hands, or anytime my hands are exposed to water. I've been doing this for YEARS! And 3+ times a day I use cuticle oil then follow that with some cuticle butter or my Qtica cuticle cream. This is a slightly new habit. About a year and a half old. Give or take some months.

    2. Yes, I do dishes, and ALWAYS gloves. I only do cooking, laundry, and cleaning up after the baby. The fiance and I go back and forth on the dishes. I'm never exposed to water too long, at least I don't think so.

    3. I used to pick at them when I was in middle school. That didn't last long. A couple months, if that. When I use my oils, creams or lotions I always make sure to concentrate on those spots as well as my cuticle.

  24. Okay. If a decent moisture routine for long periods of time is not working (as much as you would like it to) I would look into trying products with different ingredients. Oils/butters/lotions are great, but now look for something with allantoin and/or lanolin. They are special. :D

    More questions:

    What is the weather like in your area? Protect your hands from wind and cold with gloves as well.

    Acetone ... is yours moisturizing?

    Have you ever dabbled with chemical cuticle removing products? They can help soften the hard skin.

  25. I have always been a moisturizer, although not several times a day, more like once a day. Since I found this blog, I have upped that to 3-4 times a day. I use a lactic acid lotion (just because it's there, and I do use it on my legs)and like to rub that all over my hands, and around my cuticles, as it has exfoliating properties. I do that usually once a day. After reading this blog, I looked in a drawer and found an old jar of Surgeon's Secret. It's ingredients are beeswax, light mineral oil & lanolin. I bought it probably 10 yrs ago on QVC. It's still good. It doesn't seem to have 'turned' or 'gone bad,' as it still smells the same. I have thrown that in my lunch bag and use it several times a day now. I keep a small cuticle oil bottle in my nail polish case and keep refilled with almond oil, and do use that when watching TV with my Hub. I have noticed that the almond oil will start to go bad after a while. (I bought it to make a raspberry vinegarette dressing because of it's light flavor.) I have used olive oil also, as that's always plentiful in my house, and INEXPENSIVE! I like that!! I LOVE this blog, and am learning soooo much! Thank you Loodie!! You're the BEST!

  26. @Luvmynails - Ooo Surgeon's Secret, sounds lovely. Lanolin is fantastic. I have it in a few of my products and my thumbs absolutely love it!

  27. Have to let you know, after telling my Hub forever that he needs to moisturize his hands better, I caught him this morning rubbing hand lotion around his cuticles! How about that!

  28. Hey Loodie!
    I wanted to ask you something regarding cuticle moisturizers....I was in the States recently and I bought Burt´s Bees cuticle cream, was super excited about it, but it turns out that it makes my cuticles and the the surrounding skin PEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I normally use Sally Hansen´s apricot cuticle cream and it works wonders for me, I wonder why Burt´s Bees´ doesn´t. And I´m not kidding, it only takes one time, one time rubbing that cream in my cuticles and the next day they´re a disaster! Have you ever heard of anyone having this problem before?
    I´m currently waiting for a Lush package, I bought two tubs of Lemony Flutter, I´m worried it will have the same effect on me as the Burt´s Bees cream, since they´re both lemony, maybe the lemon oil or whatever lemony thing it has is what´s causing my cuticles to peel............any advice?
    Thank you! I love your blog! :)

  29. @Luvmynails - LOLOLOL, nice!

    @Sollie - It could be completely possible you are allergic to one of Burt's Bees ingredients. Compare the ingredients of Lush and Burt carefully. Also look up the ingredients of the Sally Hansen one. See which ingredient Sally does not contain which Burt's does. From here on out I will call you Sollie the detective! :P

  30. So, I compared the ingredients of both the Sally Hansen cuticle cream and the Burt´s Bees one, but since the SH is full of weird technical names I couldn´t figure out what the biggest difference between the two is. I got my Lush order and I have been using Lemony Flutter for a couple of days now and YAY! No peeling whatsoever! So no Burt´s Bees for´s a trial and error thing with all the products that are available for our nails out there!
    Thank you for your help Loodie!

  31. What are your thoughts on cuticle oils that already contain some sort of moisture sealant? I have Golden Rose Regenerating and Hydrating Oil in mind. It says that it contains paraffinum liquidum, simmondsia chinensis oil, prunus amygdaluls dulcus oil, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, citrus medica limonum oil, tocopheryl acetate, limonene, citral and CI:47000 (yellow 11) colouring. I guess all these oils are great, but I don't know whether the parafine would seal them in the skin or prevent them from penetrating the skin. Would love to hear what you think about it.