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Top tips for keeping nails and hands cared for in the cold winter months

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Just like the delicate skin on your face, nails and hands are the most exposed parts to the elements over winter.

Nails are formed just like skin in the way that they are made up from essential oils, keratin and water. So the effects of winter are exactly the same- put simply nails and hands tend to dehydrate in this climate. There are ways to prevent the weather from taking its toll! Read our top tips to help protect and repair nails and hands in the winter months.

Keep away from harsh chemicals

Nails are delicate and although appear to be a hardened barrier, are actually made up of 7-12% water. Consequently, the exposure of harsh chemicals can penetrate the nail and go through to the skin, which is why wearing gloves when cleaning is incredibly important.

Also, if you regularly change up your nail varnish style you can protect your nails by using ‘nail friendly’ varnish removers. Instead of using a chemically strong remover use one without acetone as this is less likely to strip the nails of its natural oils which may cause brittleness.

Winter no-no’s!

Although a nice way to warm up, try not to wash hands in excessively hot water. Warm water is better, as going from the heat to sudden cold dehydrates them causing breakages in nails and cracks in the skin. A good habit to adopt is moisturising your hands after every wash, this will keep them looking lovely and smooth, they will smell great too!

We recommend using elemis British Botanical Hand and Nail Butter that utilises pure and natural essential oils to feed both nails and hands.

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Over washing (sans moisturising), together with the use of alcohol sanitizers, is very dehydrating for hands and nails. Understandably we take every precaution to protect against winter germs but do avoid using sanitizers as much as possible because it could be the reason why your hands are dehydrated.

Protect hands from the cold

Hands become dry and cracked over winter which can be sore and uncomfortable, a simple way to prevent this is by wearing gloves to keep hands away from the harsh elements.

Another trick to keeping nails looking healthy is to soak them in warm water for five minutes and then apply essential oils to the softened nails and cuticles. The best oils to use are those that have natural fats such as Shea nut, Jojoba and even good quality olive oil. These replace the oils lost and prevent thinning which causes breaking.

Nutrition and supplements

Nutrition is equally as important for the strength of nails lacking vitamin D, A and C as well as protein means that nails can be more brittle. Improve this by having a varied diet also the use of multi-vitamins over winter can provide a multitude of benefits over these months.

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