Why Nails Hate Winter
Two words: moisture loss. “Healthy nails contain 18 percent water on average,” says Erin Gilbert, a New York City dermatologist. “In winter, you’re constantly moving between the hot, dry air indoors and the freezing temperatures outdoors. These extremes can reduce the moisture level in your nails, leaving them dehydrated.” Dried-out nails are more likely to break, split, and chip. Compounding the harsh climate conditions are stressors such as hot showers (water draws moisture from nails as it evaporates from skin) and drying products, like polish removers with acetone, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and dishwashing liquid. “Washing dishes is just about the worst activity for nails,” says Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann. Time to break out the rubber gloves.
The Protection Plan
Intense hydration is the name of the game, says Shari Gottesman, the founder of Perfect Formula, a nail-care and color brand in New York City. Nails are made up of flattened dead cells containing keratin, but moisturizers can make them flexible, supple, and less likely to split and break. So when you reach for that rich winter hand cream (which you should apply after every hand washing), get in the habit of slathering your nails, too. If you have polish on, just massage the cream into the cuticles to help stimulate healthy nail growth, says Baumann. Look for lotions that contain urea—a humectant that helps hold moisture in the skin, says Gilbert. At night, rub on cuticle oil (in a pinch, olive oil also works). And once a week, step things up with an intensive treatment. Gilbert recommends soaking nails in lukewarm water for no more than 10 minutes, then coating them with cuticle oil and slipping on cotton gloves for at least an hour.
I’m back! I enjoyed a brief vacation away from the winter cold of Colorado, and traveled to sunny Southern California to visit my family as well as Andy’s family. I’m now about 20 pounds heavier after indulging in the luxuries of real Mexican food, and I’m eager to get back to blogging!
I’ll start things off slow, with a sneak peek of a guest post I did for Leslie at Work Play Polish!
She asked some of her (and my) favorite bloggers to participate in a series of guest posts geared around the holidays.
Additionally, and more importantly, she had us do these for a good cause, Polished Girlz. This organization travels to hospitals around the country, where girls of all ages and various levels of health are treated to a manicure in their hospital rooms. The importance of hygienic manicures is taught to these girls, by other girls, and I’m thrilled to have been a small part of it!
Visit Work Play Polish for the full guest post and mani, but here’s a blurry sneak peek to tantalize you.