GLOW BY HASHTAG
Our recommendations for nail care have been tried and tested, and will get you that ever bit closer to being the chameleon of varnishes for the rest of Summer 2020.
Some people are blessed with naturally long strong nails. Yet here you are reading this, so it is likely that you fall into the category of people who have seen more bad than good nail days.
Our nails can become weak and brittle leaving you with unwanted short stubs; splitting, cracking and peeling nails can be due to diet, cold weather, washing dishes without gloves or not giving nails enough TLC. The world has also become obsessed with acrylic talons, or at least bi-monthly gel addicts. The repetitive filing, soaking in acetone, lack of oxygen, will have an impact on the nail and cuticle.
The internet is flooded with products offering the solution to repairing, protecting, rebuilding to maintain strong nourished nails. Some products have made it on the list as sure winners in our eyes, but we’ve also include the natural and “free” recommendations.
Garlic has been used for centuries, and has plenty of health benefits. Advocates suggest that their nail growth comes from the selenium in garlic – a mineral that ensures our body does its job well! Garlic is an antioxidant, so it’s possible that by overpowering trace toxins garlic frees up your nails to grow more. Also, it has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, and can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve blood circulation.
Recommendation: Mince one clove of fresh garlic, add it to a carrier oil, such as olive, avocado, almond, or coconut oil, and apply a drop around each cuticle and massage over the nail. For best results do this before bedtime and wear some moisture gloves.
#2: BORAGE OIL
Using good quality and non-toxic nail and hair products on the outside is a must-do, but you’ll see the most improvement when you take a look at what’s happening on the inside. Splitting or brittle nails can often be a sign of poor diet, or malabsorption of nutrients from a good diet. Topically, borage oil is an anti-inflammatory known to ease eczema and psoriasis, and generally soothe, hydrate, heal and boost elasticity in the skin. GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) is a fatty acid that is difficult to obtain from food alone. Borage seed oil contains a high GLA content and can help with dry hair, split ends, and brittle, slow-growing nails. in borage oil is also a well-known nail strengthener Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Living Beauty Detox Program.
Recommendation: Add Borage Oil supplements to your daily routine, with at least 400 mg of GLA, or you can opt for topical borage oil and apply to your hands and nails. Its even great for a dry face!
#3: HAND & NAIL SCRUB
Nails are an extension of the epidermis, so its always good to give your hands some extra TLC. Think of it as due as that facial you’ve been meaning to book. If you want the best go for Deborah Lippmann Marshmallow Whipped Hand & Cuticle Scrub. Deborah Lippmann is the go-to celebrity manicurist and works closely with some of the biggest names among celebrities, editors, fashion designers and models. The scrub is a unique whipped marshmallow hand scrub that contains AHA & BHA fruit & plant acid. Its benefits include:
- Lifts dead skin cells and clears pores revealing brighter, glowing skin.
- The cooling & soothing properties of Marshmallow Root Extract helps calm irritated skin.
- Deeply moisturises skin.
- Hands & cuticles feel softer, smoother & younger-looking at first application.
Recommendation: Use whenever you feel your hands and nails need that extra TLC and glow!
#4: FORTIFYING NAIL CREAM
There’s hand creams galore, but there is only one nail cream worth investing in: DIOR Crème Abricot. This cream has been iconic to Dior since it was created in 1963! It is renowned for its nourishing and moisturising properties. Its highly rich formula fortifies nails and improves resistance with visible results in just one month.
Recommendation: Apply in the evening, gently massaging into the nail. Allow to penetrate overnight.
#5: CUTICLE SERUM
Formulated for women and men, this Margaret Dabbs nail and cuticle serum will moisturise and heal any puffy or dry cuticles. It contains tea tree oil, which repairs damage caused from nail and cuticle infections, and helps prevent them from re-occurring. Emu oil, a core anti-inflammatory ingredient in many Margaret Dabbs products, also treats damaged areas such as nails that need to be re-adhered and rehydrates so that nails and cuticles stay strong and polished. Key benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory emu oil heals damaged nails and helps them re-adhere
- Tea tree oil rehydrates and soothes
- Unisex moisturiser treats infections
- Compact size for travel
- Convenient pump design
#6: CUTICLE OIL
If you have a nail biting habit that has weakened your nails, or puffy cuticles then search no further. Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil contains various medicinal plant extracts to provide all-round care for your nails and cuticles. Neem oil has anti fungal properties. It fortifies and strengthens your nails, keeps your cuticles soft and prevents cracks. Your nails will feel instantly nourished from the first application. But the health-promoting powers of Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil last much longer than that, as it prevents the excessive cornification of the cuticle skin and thus helps the nail substance to grow healthily. It is also free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEG.
Recommendations: Massage 1-2 drops into clean nails and cuticles. Allow oil to be absorbed then wipe away excess. For badly damaged nails, repeat twice a day, morning and evening.
#7: PRO KERATIN HARDENER
If you suffer from soft nails that split and peel, then you would benefit from using a protein based hardener. This one from MAVALA is the best we’ve used in a long time. It is the original product from Mavala, and was revamped to include keratin for extra nourishment. MAVALA SCIENTIFIQUE K+ hardens the nail plate by improving the cohesion of keratin fibres in the nail to bond together. This penetrating aqueous solution, that is neither a base nor a nail polish, hardens soft nails and avoids them breaking or splitting.
Recommendation: Use it two to three times a week, and once dry you can follow on with a base coat and colour. And in case you are wondering, it doesn’t seem to make nails brittle like other brands
#8: TREATMENT CREAM
Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment Cream is the one for carrying in your bag for that instant treatment to your hand and nails. When you are out and about, or even at home, your skin can suddenly become dry and the cuticles feel rough. This hand treatment cream contains soothing Sesame Oil and fortifying Japanese Mulberry extract, and forms a protective ‘glove’ that shields hands and help keep skin smooth and silky while also minimising signs of ageing.
Recommendation: Use at least once a day, or whenever you feel your hands lack moisture.
The GLOW team at HASHTAG LIFE have visited many nail salons in recent years, and as a final nail car recommendation, here are our two favourite London venues worth saving in your phone book. Go pamper your hands!