All About Nails
My nails – fingers and toes – have never been a part of my body that I’ve put much thought and/or effort into. In fact, they’re a mess. For one, I’m a chronic nail biter who is also plagued by peeling cuticles, a brutal combination that means my fingernails are often frighteningly short, dangerously jagged, and occasionally bleeding. If this monster-as-a-woman visual hasn’t already scared you enough, my toenails are another gruesome story. Given my compulsions, I’d probably bite them if I could (I don’t). But no, the problem with my toenails is that I’m excessively cruel to them.
I jam my feet into my too-tight ski boots every winter, causing my big toenails to fall off each spring. (It’s almost like a seasonal rite of passage – come the warmer weather, I shed my big toenails.) I also participate in rigorous activities like cycling, running, and XTREME power-walking that are technically good for me but result in bruised, mangled, black falcon-esque toenails. Compounding this whole I-have-terrible-nails problem is that I don’t like going to the nail salon*. Getting my nails done is boring, plus I feel judged for being Frankenstein. Do you feel my pain? I hope you do, because the purpose of this post wasn’t to gross you out, it was to detail out some amazing DIY nail treatments you can do at home. While I can’t promise these will prevent your toenails from falling off if you abuse them like I do, they will help to improve your nails’ strength, heal tattered cuticles, and remedy roughed-up feet. Read on!
*Unless I’m getting my “ten minutes in heaven” chair massage.
LEMON LAVENDER NAIL SOAK
ABOUT THIS DIY: Whether you use our Makeup Remover (which is a blend of three nourishing oils) or just straight-up EVOO, you are imparting your nails with vitamin E-rich hydration. This is noteworthy because moisturizing your nails is critical to strengthening them – good news if you’re a pathetically juvenile 30-year-old nail biter like me. The lavender essential oil also helps to strengthen nails and soothe cuticles; lemon juice has antibacterial properties, plus it will brighten up yellowing nails.
INGREDIENTS & METHOD:
- 1 tablespoon S.W. Basics Makeup Remover or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 drops S.W. Basics Lavender Essential Oil
- The juice of a quarter of a lemon
Combine ingredients together in a small bowl. Dip fingertips in the bowl for up to 20 minutes.
WARM HONEY SHEA TREATMENT
ABOUT THIS DIY: This is the ultimate treatment for hands and feet, helping to cure peeling cuticles and dried, cracked feet. Shea butter is probably the most amazing moisturizer on earth, while honey is hydrating and antiseptic. Applying the combination while hot is crucial, as it helps to open up pores to really deeply penetrate. (Note: Do not eat this yummy-smelling combination, as tempting as that might be.)
INGREDIENTS & METHOD:
- 2 tablespoons S.W. Basics Shea Butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
Heat up Shea Butter stovetop or in the microwave until it has reached a semi-liquid consistency, then adding in the honey until the entire mixture is liquid. Let it cool down so the mixture is not dangerously hot, but still warm. Apply to hands and/or feet. Leave on for up to 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
DO-IT-ALL FOOT SCRUB
ABOUT THIS DIY: Do you have cracked, calloused, warty feet? Don’t be embarrassed, dear one, because I have been there, warts and all. While some women love to go to their local nail salon and have a stranger use a cheese grater to remedy such issues, I prefer to go a more sanitary and less violent route. Hence: this DIY scrub. Our Exfoliant has physical and chemical exfoliators in the form of ground almonds and oats (physical) and fine grain sea salt (chemical), which will slough away dead skin. The Tea Tree Oil has anti-fungal properties and YES it can treat warts (my husband recently used it to get rid of one). The olive oil is nourishing and antibacterial, plus allows the whole combination to go on much more smoothly.
INGREDIENTS & METHOD:
- 2 tablespoons S.W. Basics Exfoliant
- 4 drops S.W. Basics Tea Tree Oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Splash of water
Combine ingredients together in a bowl, ensuring everything is fully integrated. Use as a scrub on feet, concentrating areas with rough skin. Rinse off thoroughly.
BUT WAIT, you crazy hippie, you say: What about nail polish? Well, here’s the deal: Conventional nail polishes are unfortunately some of the nastiest beauty products out there. In fact, a recent study lead by researchers at Duke University found that the same ingredient found in fire retardants – TPHP – is present in 49% percent of nail polishes available on the market. This ingredient can be absorbed into the body; in fact, it’s a known endocrine disruptor and can cause developmental and reproductive irregularities. This all isn’t to scare you, it’s merely to arm you with information when purchasing your polishes.
Our pick? We like Priti NYC for their range of colors, ready availability, and non-toxic formulas. And, lucky you, their entire range is now 15% off for you when you enter in the code swbasics at check out on pritinyc.com. Happy shopping!