You moisturize your skin and condition your hair, but you may not realize that fingernails and cuticles need hydration, too. Your cuticles will turn rough and ragged if they're dry, but applying cuticle softener usually sorts this out. If you're wary of using a chemical cuticle softener, try all-natural sweet almond oil instead. Sweet almond oil is full of healthy fatty acids, antioxidants and proteins -- just a few drops will smooth out your cuticles and lend nails a glossy shine. You can buy sweet almond oil at a health-food shop, drugstore or grocery store near you.
Rub a drop or two of sweet almond oil into each fingernail and cuticle. Massage some oil into the skin around your nails, if desired.
Fill a dish with warm water. Soak your fingertips and nails in the water for three minutes. Shake off any excess water.
Wrap a cotton ball around the end of an orange manicure stick. Press back on each cuticle with the cotton ball.
Wash your hands with warm, soapy water. After washing, drape a towel over one hand. Using the thumb on your other hand, press back on each cuticle through the towel. Repeat with the other hand.
Wash your hands a second time. While they're still wet, use a nailbrush or toothbrush to remove dirt or debris from underneath your nails.
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- To make your nails shine, dab each one with a dot of almond oil. Use a nail buffer or chamois cloth to buff the oil into your nails.
- Try rubbing some almond oil into your hair or on your face. You'll get soft skin and smoother tresses.
- Look for sweet almond oil in the cosmetics section of the store.
- When you go to the store to buy almond oil, you may notice some products labeled "sweet almond oil," "bitter almond oil" or simply "almond oil." Almond oil and sweet almond oil are the same thing, and they have the same uses. Bitter almond oil, though, is an essential oil that is not used for skin care. Never use it for your skin or nails.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.