Keeping Your Nails Strong and Cuticles Healthy During the Winter

Keeping Your Nails Strong and Cuticles Healthy During the Winter

Winter can be harsh on our skin, hair, and especially our nails and cuticles. The cold weather, dry air, and frequent hand washing (thank you cold and flu season) can leave our hands feeling dry and brittle. But with a few simple steps and some thoughtful care, you can maintain strong nails and healthy cuticles throughout the colder months. Here’s how:

1. Hydration is Key

Just as our skin needs moisture, so do our nails and cuticles. During winter, the air is much drier, and this can lead to dehydration. Drinking plenty of water is the first step in ensuring your nails and cuticles remain hydrated from the inside out.

2. Moisturise Frequently

Regularly moisturising your hands is essential. You can use a dedicated hand cream, or a body moisturiser or oil that you already have. The most important thing is to ensure that it is super nourishing, creating a barrier against the elements. Apply it after washing your hands and before going to bed to keep your skin, nails, and cuticles soft and supple.

3. Use Body Oil for Cuticle Care

Instead of purchasing a separate cuticle oil, consider using a multi-purpose body oil that you may already have. Oils like jojoba, hempheart, or sweet almond are excellent for hydrating and protecting your cuticles (I use my HempLavish Body Oil which I already have). Not only is this a sustainable option, but it also simplifies your routine.

How to Use Body Oil for Cuticles:

  • Warm a few drops of oil between your fingers.
  • Massage the oil into your cuticles and nails.
  • Do this daily, or as needed, to keep them nourished and protected.

4. Protect Your Hands

When you go outside (especially if it's a particularly harsh day), wear gloves to shield your hands from the cold wind and low temperatures. This simple step can prevent your nails from becoming brittle and your cuticles from cracking.

5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Exposure to harsh chemicals in cleaning products and nail polish removers can further dry out your nails and cuticles. Use gentle, non-acetone nail polish removers and consider wearing gloves when cleaning and doing dishes.

6. Maintain a Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports nail health. Foods high in biotin, such as eggs, nuts, and whole grains, as well as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, can help keep your nails strong.

7. Regular Trimming and Filing

Keep your nails at a manageable length to prevent breakage - this length will vary depending on your lifestyle and physical activity choices etc. Regularly trim and file your nails, always filing in one direction to avoid splitting. PSA: a crystal nail file is also a great option to help minimise splitting when filing your nails and these can be found at most chemists.

8. Avoid Over-Washing

While it's important to keep your hands clean, over-washing can strip your skin and nails of their natural oils. Use lukewarm water instead of hot, and opt for a moisturising hand wash. 

9. Weekly Nail Soaks

Give your nails and cuticles a hydrating treat with a weekly soak. Mix warm water with a few drops of your favourite body oil and soak your nails for 10-15 minutes. This can help restore moisture and keep your cuticles soft.

10. Nighttime Treatment

If you're needing a bit of an extra hydration boost, you can do an intensive nighttime treatment. Simply apply a thick layer of hand cream or body oil to your hands and cuticles, then wear cotton gloves to bed. This helps lock in moisture and repair any damage while you sleep.

Let's Sum Up

With a little extra care and attention, you can keep your nails strong and cuticles healthy even during the harsh winter months. By staying hydrated, moisturising regularly, and protecting your hands, you can ensure your hands remain soft and healthy. Embrace these simple steps, and your nails and cuticles will thank you!

To read a little more on how to take care of your skin during the winter, check out our suggestions on the ultimate body care routine for cold weather!