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3 Tips to Help Heal Ragged Cuticles

I'm always digging in the dirt, brushing out horse hair, stacking bales of hay, and washing endless piles of dishes. So, if I'm not careful, my hands look really sad and ragged.

Which is a problem whenever I see a client and have to do a skin analysis. Who wants yucky-looking hands on their face?  I don't want them on my face, and they're my hands.

I'm really good about keeping them scrubbed clean (these little soap scrub cubes are a godsend for keeping hands soft and lovely). But my cuticles tend to be dry and raggedy. 

Lotions are OK for hands, but the cuticles need a more emollient treatment to keep them them soft and moisturized.  Here are three easy ideas to keep your cuticles looking nice:

1. Do a weekly olive oil soak.  
It helps to replenish the natural oils that are stripped from your nails by dish soap, shampoo, and hand sanitizer. Not only will this make your cuticles soft and lovely, but it will help strengthen your nails and make them less brittle.

Just put a few tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl (you can use the cheap stuff, it still works great), dip in your fingertips, and soak for for 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe the excess oil off of your nails with a soft cloth and massage in the rest. Don't wash off! This works super well right after a shower because your skin is still soft, or just before bed so the oil really has a long time to penetrate.
2.  Make a DIY cuticle cream.
For day-to-day treatment, I really like this DIY Lavender Coconut Cuticle Balm. It just takes a few minutes to make, lasts a long time, and smells amazing! Massage a small amount of this into your cuticles whenever you need. It will instantly make them softer and less ragged-looking. I like to keep a small container next to the sink, and use a bit after every hand washing.

Another easy DIY option is to use shea butter straight-up on the cuticles. If you're feeling frisky you could whip in an essential oil of your choice. Good options for nails include lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and ylang ylang.

3. Lip balm to the rescue. 
If you're not really into making your own cuticle cream, this is the next best thing. It's easy, inexpensive, and works wonders -- lip balm! Buy a unflavored, uncolored, unmedicated variety like basic Chapstick or the original Burt's Bees. Rub the balm directly onto your cuticles and massage in.

This is a perfect mess-less, on-the-go treatment to carry in your purse, that you can easily use it while you're out and about. Just make sure you buy a balm that is solely for your cuticles. Don't use the same tube on your lips too. The nails are little germ-magnets, and you definitely don't want to be transferring germs from your hands to your mouth.

Hope these tips work for you!

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