I’ve been battling problems with extremely dry, cracking skin around my nails ever since I stopped going to get my nails done regularly back in 2009. Even if I took proper care of my cuticles (hah!), my fingertips were still chapped like a lumberjacks or mechanics, or…well..name any career that would eat up your hands..you get my drift – they were rough and, frankly, painful.
I stopped getting my nails done because I was a little bit tired of it, wanted them to recover form having had acrylics on them for 20 years, and also needed to save that money so that I could go to regular cross fit sessions. Seemed a better use of my time and money to get in shape – and it was!
However, my hands were a mess so when I came into some money this summer I thought I could treat myself again to getting regular manicures, and that would solve the problem. After three months of visits, my nails were prettier – I was getting the gels this time instead of acrylics because I erroneously thought that would be easier on my nail beds – but my skin was still dry, cracked & bleeding (sorry about that imagery) as much as ever. After my last visit I had the shellac/gel removed & just had a regular manicure done with nothing put on them but regular polish. It seemed my idea of getting them done didn’t work so why waste the time & money. Back to the drawing board 😦
That was about two weeks before Christmas.
Then I went shopping at Bath & Body Works to get the hand soap that my mom likes for one of her gifts and I remembered the True Blue hand lotion that I had loved before.
Oh, I should mention that on my own I looked up some things to do like soak my fingers in olive oil, or use other lotions to apply every night & then wear gloves. All sorts of things, but no one thing seemed to work for any amount of time. Winter, of course is the worst even in mild San Diego as the air gets drier & colder. My other “problem” which isn’t really one is that I wash my hands a lot which successfully keeps away most every cold/flu bug, but is obviously sucking moisture away from the spots I need it most.
So, back to Bath & Body works – I spied in the Spa lotion section the C.O. Bigelow chapped hands remedy lotion and the True Blue manicure hand scrub. Since they were having their usual pre-holiday sale I got all three items below for $10. Then I bought some good old Sally Hansen nail treatment. For the past three weeks I have been using all four items diligently. I bought a second regular True Blue lotion to have at work, and I make sure to apply it after every hand washing. I use the chapped hands lotion morning and night and any time a new cracked spot might pop up. Those have all now healed and nothing new has developed in the last two weeks. I use the manicure scrub about every other time in the shower. I have also started buffing that dry skin away just as you would buff/file away at callouses on your feet. Because let’s be real, that’s what these patches of dry skin were – finger callouses. Of course I am more gentle in those spots, but a quick buff, then a spot of the chapped hands lotion and they are all gradually smoothing away. Meanwhile, my nails are also slowly recovering from the shellac abuse.
All in all, this was a much cheaper option and more importantly – it works! The chapped hands lotion is completely grease free – I can go right back to swiping on my tablet or phone without leaving a smudge. The True Blue lotion is a little more greasy, but still so much less than most other lotions.
One of those annoying little things that I’ve been irritated by for years now is finally solved with $25 (total with the Sally Hansen) and just a few minutes of attention every day. I call that a WIN!