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7 Ways to Protect Your Hands and Nails This Winter

Keep your hands happy this winter by giving them some TLC with these tips from a pro that prevent dryness and chapping.

Cold weather can cause harm to your skin, hair and of course nails. Keeping fingertips healthy and strong proves to be a challenge throughout the chilly winter as that kind of weather can cause dry, brittle nails, which are easily prone to breakage and infection.

Drink Water
Caring for the body starts from within and it’s important to drink plenty of water to ensure all-around healthiness. “Every healthy diet and beauty tip starts with eight full glasses of water a day. Water is a magical liquid that can help purify the skin and help hydrate organs and make your bones and nails strong,” dermatologist Dr Sawsan Abdullah said. “When the skin and nails become dehydrated, they become weak so you want to avoid that by drinking enough water throughout the day."

Moisturise Well
During winter, your hands and face are the only body parts that get exposed. This causes the skin and nails to become dry, cracked and rough, so make sure you take care of them by applying rich moisturiser. “Caring for your hands and nails should be a daily habit in all seasons. You should moisturise more than once a day to keep the hands hydrated. This will help save the skin and keep your nails protected with the nourishment they need to stay strong and healthy,” Abdullah said. She added hand moisturisers should be rich in vitamins and butter. She also said it is important to include your cuticles and nails beds in the daily routine to insure hydration.

Massage It In
Massage is not just a luxury; it is an essential habit you should adopt, especially during winter to help the blood flow. “While applying your moisturiser, pamper yourself by massaging your face, neck and hands for at least five minutes twice a day,” Abdullah said. “Don’t forget your nails in this daily ritual and make sure you apply cuticle oil, which will help strengthen your nails and prevent from further damage.” She said Vaseline can be used instead of oil and rubbing it in right after applying it is a major help.

Go Easy On the Nail Polish
Winter is one of the best seasons for fashion; it’s when we can play with darker, attractive make-up and nail polish colours. “I would recommend you use nail polish only when needed to give your nails a break and let them breathe. This will help heal and prevent them from cracking,” the dermatologist said. She went on to explain that some nail polishes contain chemicals, acetone and formaldehyde that can destroy the layer of natural protein that is there to protect nails. She added it’s best to try and avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone as well because they are too harsh on nails.

Glove It
Gloves are not only fashionable; they are also beneficial at keeping your hands and nails in good shape and protected from the chilly weather. “Thanks to fashion and style, you will always look good in a pair of warm gloves when you are out in the streets, so make sure you take advantage of this by wearing them everywhere you go. You will look good, feel warm and protect your hands from becoming dry,” Abdullah said. Another tip from the dermatologist is to always do the dishes with washing up gloves. “Washing up liquid contains a high amount of alcohol and this will instantly suck the moisture out of your hands and nails,” she explained.

Salon Suggestions
Going to the nail salon has its pros and cons. You should know all about hygiene and make sure the salon staff is doing things the right way. “Make sure your salon is sanitary and everything they are using is sterilised. I always ask people to take their own nail kit with them to avoid any infection,” Abdullah said. “Ask your nail specialist to file your nails one direction and not go back and forth, for it might cause a handful of problems, not to mention the pain you might go through until they grow back.” Another piece of advice from the expert is to always make sure the cuticles are pushed back, rather than cutting them, as that can lead to infection and damage the nail’s health.

Keep Nails Short, Clean and Dry
Abdullah said washing your feet and cutting your nails short during winter is also important. “Your feet are usually covered in socks and boots, so you should make sure to wash your feet and dry them properly before wearing your socks because a closed, moist space can create fungus,” she said. “Cut your toe nails short to avoid any bacterial damage inside the nail while wearing closed shoes and moisturise all the way even if no one can see them.”

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