How often can you get manicures without totally ruining your nails?
The key to softer hands is more than just a professional manicure.
We tend to focus so much on the face that we often forget that our hands should also be the objects of attention when it comes to our appearance. Be it waving out to someone or making simple gestures, the attention in inevitably drawn to them. Plus, healthy, groomed hands make you feel good about yourself too, right?
Now we might feel that we are doing our bit to maintain them by indulging in regular manicures, but this seemingly beneficial routine can actually backfire if done in excess or if done wrong.
But before we delve further into the details, you need to know the basics.
How Does a Manicure Help?
"A manicure is required to exfoliate the upper layer of the skin that undergoes wear and tear due to the external factors such as pollution and also the movements of the hands", explains Dr Apratim Goel, owner and medical director of Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai.
See, our skin is naturally tuned to repair itself. However, because of external factors that cause the wear and tear, this process slows down with time. Hence, we need professional help to keep the repair going. You don't want chipped, unhealthy, lacklustre nails and hands in life, after all. Exfoliation is the key here.
"Removing the damaged cells on the surface via an exfoliation routine results in speedy formation of new healthy skin by the cells present in the lower dermal layers. Also, if you don't exfoliate, the moisturizer will not penetrate through the dead skin cells', adds Goel.
Well, if all this sounds so beneficial for the skin, then what's the harm in getting a manicure done as often as you'd like? If you come to think of it, a manicure involves getting rid of the dead skin around the nails. This can cause removal of the cuticles such as hangnails and cuts along the cuticle line, thus exposing your nail bed and your skin to external fungal infections, causing infections such as onychomycosis (in the nails) and dermatitis(in the skin surrounding the nails).
Hence, Goel suggests applying a transparent nail polish post manicure as it can act as a protective layer and cut contact between the various infection causing fungi and your nail bed.
And How Often is Too Much?
"It all depends on your lifestyle and the abuse your hands withstand", says Goel.
However, if you are a working woman kicking ass in the office, she suggests going for a professional manicure once a month. Obviously, since there isn't enough exfoliation happening for all you office-slayers.
Also, you need to know that the panacea to those beautiful hands doesn't lie in just professional manicures. You need to take care of them yourself as well. Applying hand cream at night before going to bed, applying nail-hardeners on your nails once a week, and wearing gloves while carrying out household chores such as washing utensils helps a great deal according to Goel.
Follow these tips girls, and you'll get the soft, smooth hands you prince charming would simply refuse to leave.