Keeping your nails tidy and clean is one of the most important parts of self-care. Your hands, after all, experience a great deal of stress from everyday tasks and activities. And while it’s easy to visit a nail salon for a professional manicure, the health risks might not be worth those perfectly painted digits.
The prevalence of health issues amongst professional salon workers is no secret. From miscarriages to respiratory issues, common problems amongst employees have been reported in major publications. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also deemed many chemicals in salon products to be harmful. Needless to say, it is worth considering more natural nail care techniques.
If you must paint your nails, opt for “3-free” and non-toxic brands. Limit inhalation by applying polish in a well-ventilated area. When you need to fix them up, use natural techniques. This is where the list of healthy manicure hacks comes in.
Each budget-friendly method uses natural ingredients that can be found in your own kitchen. These hacks also eliminate your exposure to toxins. And while some methods may take longer than store-bought products, treating your body well will be worth it. Read on to learn how to give yourself a healthy, natural manicure at home.
Get That Manicure At Home With These 7 Tips
1. Remove Polish With Vinegar And Lemon
Regularly removing old nail polish is crucial in keeping your nails healthy. Fortunately, you don’t have to stick to harsh commercial removers from the store. These removers, often are made with acetone, contain a cocktail of strong chemicals that your body can soak up through inhalation and skin absorption. Don’t let “non-acetone” labels trick you, though; these removers often contain solvents that are just as toxic as acetone.
For a safer alternative, use vinegar and lemon. This dynamic duo can clean practically everything – including your nails. To try this hack, add equal parts vinegar and lemon to a small bowl. Dip a cotton bowl into the mixture. Press and hold onto your nail for up to 30 seconds and wipe the polish away. To speed up the process, soak your nails in warm water beforehand.
2. Lighten Stains With Lemon
Darker shades of polish are known for leaving behind an unpleasant stain. Instead of scrubbing your fingers with toxin-filled removers, try a gentler technique. Mix 5 tablespoons of lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Soak for 10 minutes. Give it an extra scrub with baking soda, if desired. Lemon is a natural bleaching agent that can lighten stains from polish, dye, and other substances. Plus, who can resist that sweet citrus scent?
3. Exfoliate With Sugar
Exfoliation is key for maintaining soft, supple skin. Instead of using scrubs with exfoliation beads that are harmful for the environment, opt for a sugar scrub. Combine 3 tablespoons of sugar or brown sugar with 2 tablespoons olive, almond, grape seed, or avocado oil. You can also use salt, oatmeal, or coffee grounds. If you like, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Scrub your hands and feet to remove dead skin cells and dirt.
4. Moisturize With Milk
After exfoliation, it’s vital to re-hydrate your skin. Soothe your fingers and hands by soaking them in warm milk for 10-15 minutes. The lactic acid in milk helps break down dead skin cells without the harmful chemicals. This hack is especially ideal for the ones who stress their hands out through computer work, art, exercise, etc.
5. Strengthen Nails With An Egg Soak
Weak, brittle nails are frustrating to deal with. Unfortunately, nail products that have natural strengthening ingredients are usually still laced with toxic chemicals. Instead, opt for a homemade egg soak. Your nails will adore the protein, biotin, and vitamin B from the eggs.
To make a strengthening egg soak, mix 2 egg yolks and 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons honey in a bowl. Soak fingers for 15-20 minutes and rinse off.
Bonus: Use the remaining mixture as a face mask. The high protein content of egg yolk will brighten and tighten your skin’s complexion.
6. Moisturize Cuticles With Vitamin E
Cuticle oil is one of the easiest things to make at home. This blend is useful for hydrating and nourishing the area around your nails. Mix 2 tablespoons oil of your choice with 1 tablespoon vitamin E skin oil. You can also break open 3-4 vitamin E capsules. Store in an empty nail polish bottle and massage onto your nails whenever they need a little TLC.
7. Massage Hands With Oil
One of the best parts of a professional manicure is getting a massage. However, it’s never easy to tell what oil they use in a salon massage oil. Luckily, you can do it yourself using all-natural ingredients. Just grab some coconut, olive, almond, grape seed, or avocado oil from your kitchen or bathroom. Gently warm it up over the stove and massage into your hands for a spa-like treat.
With these natural beauty hacks, you can give your nails the best treatment out there. Take time to incorporate these techniques into your regular beauty regime. Your body will thank you!