Your honey went to all the trouble of choosing an absolutely gorgeous rock for you to flash on your third finger, but if your cuticles are thrashed, your nail polish is chipped, and you’ve neglected to use lotion for the past week (leaving your hands drier than the Sahara desert) you may not be too keen to show of your hands or your band. So if you’re just dying to waggle that finger in the face of anyone interested enough to look, here are just a few good ways to treat your manual woes and get your hands in presentable condition.
1. Dry skin. Even if you’re rushed in the morning, take a minute to apply some moisturizer to your hands. Immediately after a shower is the best time since your pores are open and ready to absorb moisture and lock it in. Look for a thick, creamy lotion (like Jergen’s Shea Butter Lotion) that will leave your skin soft and smooth.
2. Yucky nails. Even if you’re not a nail-biter you can end up with some pretty mangled claws if you don’t pay attention. You should be trimming and filing once a week and if you work with your hands you should scrub under your nails with a small brush daily. Also, clip hang-nails ASAP; not only are they unsightly, but if they tear you could get an infection.
3. Untamed cuticles. Gross and gross! Don’t leave it to the ladies at the nail salon to keep your cuticles under control. Get the tools you need to tame them at home. A cuticle pusher will allow you to push softened (with warm water) cuticles back off the nail bed, while special trimmers let you clip away the excess skin. One caveat; be conservative when trimming or you’ll end up bleeding.
4. Chipped polish. If you just can’t find the time for touchups during the week, then preempt the problem by sticking to clear polish (which won’t show chips as much). You may also want to try new products like Sally Hansen’s Nail Polish strips. They go on like stickers, you file down the edges, and they supposedly last up to two weeks. Plus, there are a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, so you can have a different manicure every week! Use nail polish remover to take them off.
5. Puffiness. We’ve all had those days where getting a ring on and off is practically impossible. It could be due to a number of factors, most of which are treatable. Heat and exertion can both cause swelling, so try running your hands under cool water first. Also common is dehydration. Believe it or not, when you don’t get enough water, you can begin to swell. This is because your body retains water when it senses drought conditions. So by drinking plenty of fluids (and adding electrolytes that help to hydrate cells) you can actually shed some water weight, reduce swelling, and have that ring looking like it belongs on your finger (rather than someone a size smaller).