Oils are great moisturizers that bring hydration and life back to everything from your hair and nails to your face and body. While there are plenty of luxurious options on the market, there are just as nourishing finds that won't break the bank. Click on to discover our favorite beautifying oils that don't go over $10.
It's an oldie, but a goodie: Sally Hansen Problem Cuticle Remover ($4). Unlike other formulas, such as overly harsh gels, this aloe-scented cream gently softens rigid skin. The result is a more polished look (read: no more sitting on your hands to hide unsightly rough patches). To use, massage into the cuticles, let sit for about five minutes, and push cuticles back with a manicure stick. Be sure you rinse the product away with soapy water once your handiwork is done. Just add a couple coats of polish to your nails, and you've got yourself a 10-minute DIY manicure.
Well-polished fingers can enhance your hands, but the removal process (whether it's with an acetone or acetone-free formula) can quickly dry out your nails and cuticles. The easiest way to lessen the damage is to coat your fingertips with cuticle oil before you even open a bottle of polish remover. Yes, before.
Apply Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($8) all over your cuticles to seal in moisture with cotton seed and soybean oils, and then take your polish off. Once you've cleaned up your nails with polish remover, add another dose of cuticle oil to your nails and skin. If you're planning on doing a fresh coat of polish, then just use nail polish remover or alcohol to swipe the nail clean before applying your base coat. And once your polish is in place, give your nails one more shot of cuticle oil for the ultimate in dry-nail prevention.
Method one: First, to get just the right amount of product onto the brush and distribute it evenly, lightly sweep the polish's brush against the side of the bottle as you remove it, allowing the hairs to fan out along the lip. Next, in lieu of beginning your painting at the cuticle, just place the brush on the nail a tiny bit away from the cuticle. Give the brush a slight nudge forward and swipe it back up toward the nail bed to complete the stroke. This action takes some practice, but it should allow you to avoid your nail bed's skin altogether while accurately painting the entire nail.
Method two: Follow the same brush removal technique as above, but this time, when applying your nail polish, start around the center of the nail, polishing up to the tip. Then, carefully dab polish onto the base of the nail to blend.
And if you still get polish on the cuticles: If you're not in a hurry, allow the polish to dry completely. Then, simply rub off the superfluous polish with an emery board or soft towel. If you're rushed, wrap a small amount of cotton around the end of an orange wood stick so that it resembles a Q-tip. Apply nail polish remover to the cotton and simply "erase" the excess polish with precision.
Source: Flickr User Lidal-K.
Embarrassed by my raggedy-looking cuticles, I've been wearing gloves in an attempt to hide their dry, crackly presence. Just as you probably don't have tons of extra time to give yourself a flow-blown manicure or even spend time pushing your cuticles back, I don't either. So I went out on a hunt for the best-rated cuticle creams and lotions to soften wintry hands in a flash.To find out more about each, just
- A true multitasker: Josie Maran's Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick ($6 to $22) is a multipurpose balm to repair and hydrate tired skin. Use from everywhere to your lips, hair, itchy skin, and cuticles for some much-needed relief.
- Fresh and natural: Do you like lemon? Burt's Bees' Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($6) might just be the answer. More of a wax than a cream, this 94.9 percent natural cuticle softener includes lemon oil to strengthen and soften, along with vitamin E, sweet almond oil, and beeswax to heal and moisturize. "This works wonders on keeping hangnails and dry, cracked cuticles at bay," says reader Yogaforlife, who even uses it in her hair to prevent flyaways.
- For both hands and cuticles: At just over $4, Curel's Targeted Therapy Fast-Absorbing Hand & Cuticle Cream is a true bargain. With a pleasant smell and nongreasy finish, it's also praised for its ability to last through several hand washings.
- Intense cuticle treatment: Bliss Manicure's Best Friend ($18), which contains an exfoliating ingredient, antioxidants, shea butter, and jojoba oil, is recommended by reader bearhugs65, who said, "A little goes a long way, I bought after I saw my nails turn to poop during a storm recently, is gentle and makes fingerbeds look amazing." Enough said.
- An exfoliating treat: So long, scaly hands and nails. Philosophy's Time on Your Hands Exfoliating Hand and Cuticle Cream ($18.50) helps to smooth raggedy cuticles while conditioning skin. If you like rich, thick creams, you might want to check this one out.
Cuticle biting may be one of your bad beauty habits, and I have to admit I have a sick fascination with cuticle remover. After running out of my supply recently, I tried using a body oil to push away my overgrown cuticles, but it just wasn't cutting it. I needed the good stuff. This got me to thinking about how my "fix" works.
Sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide are two common ingredients contained in many cuticle removers. With a pH of over 12, these substances work to soften and break down dead skin around the nail bed. Since these exfoliating ingredients are so aggressive, it's essential to wash thoroughly after use. If you're looking for a less harsh approach, try Cuccio Natural Apple Cuticle Remover, ($8) which uses fruit alpha hydroxy acids to gently break down skin around the nails. Happy nipping.
I have previously determined that the majority of you claim pimple picking as your worst beauty habit. While I'm uncertain of how many of you actually bite your nails, I've never explored the topic of biting your cuticles and/or skin around the nails. So, now it's time.
While having my iPhone checked out at the Apple store the other day, I noticed that the friendly gal who helped me out was guilty of a little cuticle nibbling. I thought, "I have been there myself, sister." It's a bad habit that's hard to break. Now it's your turn to dish. Do your cuticles not get the love they deserve?
Cuticles — we've all got 'em, but why? Cuticles are the dead layers of skin cells that surround the base and sides of fingernails. Glamorous image? No. Necessary for preventing infections? Yes. Cuticles help keep ward off germs that may otherwise enter through a gap between nail and skin. Scientifically known as eponychia, these little strips of skin need to be cared for to maintain nail health and appearance.
Here are some tips for keeping this hardened layer soft and jagged-free:
- Moisturize your cuticles with an oil or cream like Green by Nature Lemon Verbena Cuticle Cream ($4.99) to loosen the skin.
- Lightly push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher to improve appearance of the nail bed.
- With a super-gentle touch, trim any rough skin or loose edges with a cuticle nipper.
- Finish with a hydrating lotion, like Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Crème ($15) to keep hands and nails looking pretty.