In the world of self-care, your nails play a leading role, reflecting personal refinement and well-being. And luckily, looking after your nails doesn’t have to be a salon job! You can give your nails the attention they need right at your own home, with the help of some basic tools.

This guide shares the secrets of natural nail care at home, enabling you to cultivate salon-worthy nails through simple yet sophisticated techniques. From the foundational aspects of moisturisation to the fine art of shaping and protection, we’ll guide you through each step with precision.

If this sparks your interest in the professional side of nail care, let it be a stepping stone to mastering the art with our Nail Technician Diploma Course.

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How to Look After Your Nails: Your 7-Step Weekly Nail Care Routine

With a proper weekly routine, you can ensure your nails are in perfect health. Follow our seven-step regime at home to keep your nails looking their absolute best.

Woman cleaning nails, at home natural nail care

1.Clean: Prep Your Palette

Begin your nail care routine by thoroughly washing your hands with a gentle soap to remove any impurities. This step ensures that your nails are ready for pampering. After drying your hands, reach for a gentle, acetone-free nail polish remover to wipe away any residual polish. This kind of remover is less harsh on your nails and cuticles, preserving their natural oils and preventing drying or damage.

2. File Carefully: Sculpt Your Nails

The shape of your nails is key for enhancing their natural beauty. Using a high-quality nail file, shape your nails with care, gliding the file from the side to the centre in smooth, even strokes. Be sure to file in one direction to prevent splitting, which can occur if you see-saw the file back and forth. The goal here is not just aesthetics but also preventing snags and tears by maintaining strong nail edges.

3. Soak: Indulge in a Mini Spa

Create a serene spa-like atmosphere at home with a warm water soak for your fingers. This softens the skin and cuticles, making them easier to work with and more receptive to moisturising treatments. Elevate this step by adding a drop of your favourite essential oil; lavender for relaxation or lemon for an invigorating zest. Soak for a few minutes, allowing the warmth to release tension and soften the nails.

4. Scrub: Exfoliate Your Hands and Nails

Exfoliation is a transformative step for your hands and nails. Create a homemade scrub by mixing ground oatmeal, honey, and a dash of flaxseed oil to nourish as it exfoliates. The optional drop of lavender oil not only adds a calming fragrance but also contributes to the healing process of the skin. 

Gently massage the scrub over your hands and nails, focusing on any rough areas. Rinse away the scrub to reveal smoother skin that’s eager to absorb the moisturising benefits of your hand cream.

5. Care for Cuticles: The Root of Nail Beauty

Your cuticles are the guardians of your nail's growth, so treat them with the utmost respect. Post-soak, gently pat your hands dry and apply a small amount of nourishing flaxseed oil to each cuticle to promote strength and growth. Gently push back the cuticles with a cotton bud or a cuticle pusher, but never cut them. Cutting can lead to infections and damage the nail bed.

6. Massage: Enhance Circulation and Hydration

Indulge in a therapeutic hand massage using a replenishing hand cream. Massaging improves circulation, which in turn encourages healthy nail growth. As you massage, pay particular attention to the nails and the surrounding skin. This not only aids in the absorption of the cream, making the hands soft and supple but also spreads the earlier applied flaxseed oil, doubling the benefits for your cuticles and nails.

7. Polish: The Final Artistry

If you're opting to paint your nails, ensure they're free from any oils or cream residues which could prevent polish adhesion. Swipe each nail with nail polish remover before starting with your base coat. The base coat protects your nails from staining and helps the colour adhere better. When applying colour, opt for two thin coats rather than one thick one, allowing drying time in between. Finish with a top coat to seal in the colour, adding a glossy finish and reducing the chances of chipping.

Remember, nail care is more than just a means to an end of beautiful nails; it's a ritual of self-care that nurtures both body and soul. By incorporating these steps into your regular beauty routine, you can achieve salon-quality results in the tranquillity of your own home.

Safety First

Remember to be careful with essential oils, especially if you have certain health issues or if you’re pregnant. And if you have allergies, especially to nuts, be careful with what oils you use.

Homemade hand scrub exfoliator

Natural Nail Care Dos and Don’ts

Wondering how to keep your nails healthy? Follow these dos and don’ts while practicing nail care at home.

Do: Protect Your Nails

Nails can get damaged during daily tasks like washing up. Before you start, rub some hand cream on, then put on your gloves. The warm water from the dishes will help the cream soak in, making your hands super soft.

Do: Moisturise Often

Moisturising your nails is key for their overall health. A little bit of oil, like flaxseed or coconut, can make a big difference. It’s full of good stuff that helps strengthen your nails. Try mixing 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil with a drop of frankincense and myrrh oils. This smells lovely and is also great for your nails and cuticles.

Wondering how to moisturise your nails? Simply take your favourite moisturiser or homemade oil mix and massage into your skin and nails, starting from the base and working up. See step 6 (above) for more nail massage tips.

Do: Keep Nails Clean and Dry

Consistently maintain clean and dry nails to prevent bacteria from taking up residence under your nail bed. After washing hands or doing tasks involving water, dry your nails thoroughly.

Do: Trim Regularly

Just like the hair on your head, nails benefit from regular trims. Clip your nails every two weeks, adjusting the timing based on how quickly your nails grow. Regular trims prevent snags and encourage even, healthy growth.

Do: Apply a Nail Strengthener

Consider using a nail strengthener if you have particularly weak or brittle nails. These formulas contain nutrients and strengtheners that can fortify the nail plate, leading to less breakage and healthier nails.

Do: Eat a Balanced Diet

A lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to weak, brittle nails. Ensure you're eating a balanced diet rich in biotin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins to promote strong and healthy nail growth.

Woman painting nails pink

Don't: Use Your Nails as Tools

Using your nails to open cans or scratch off labels puts them under unnecessary stress and can cause chipping or breaking. Always use the appropriate tool for the job and treat your nails gently to keep them strong and intact.

Don't: Cut Your Cuticles

Cutting your cuticles can cause infections and affect nail growth. Instead of cutting, gently push back the cuticle after softening them with oil or a cuticle remover. This will keep the nail bed healthy and reduce the risk of irritation or infection.

Don't: Skip Base Coats and Top Coats

Avoiding base and top coats when applying nail polish is a common mistake. A base coat protects your nails from staining, while a top coat seals in colour and provides a glossy finish. They extend the life of your manicure and keep your nails looking professional.

Don't: File Nails in a Back-and-Forth Motion

Filing your nails back and forth can create tiny fractures that lead to weakness and splits. Always file in one direction, from the side to the centre, to maintain the strength of the nail and avoid unnecessary damage.

From Home Care to Professional Flair

If you’ve enjoyed learning about nail care, why not consider making it your profession? Our Nail Technician Diploma Course can set you on the right path, or why not enhance your skills with our Nail Art Business Diploma Course? Unlock expert knowledge now for only £29 — enrol in our courses today and take the first step towards mastery!

Whether you’re looking to improve your nail care game or start a new venture, Centre of Excellence is here with a range of courses to help you succeed. Explore our fantastic selection of courses to learn more and take the first step towards becoming a nail care expert.

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