Manicures; all you need to know about nail & cuticle care

Our hands reveal more about ourselves than we realise. While we’re using our hands to talk, eat, drink, point, work or play, they’re showing the world how well we take care of ourselves. Nails chewed to the quick reveal a stressed lifestyle, chipped nail varnish may mean a lack of me-time in a busy day and dirty fingernails could either indicate that you’re either an avid gardener or simply unhygienic.

For personal wellness sake – peppered with a dash of self-love – it’s important to maintain healthy nails manicured to perfection.

What is a manicure?
A manicure is a treatment performed on the natural nail. It involves removing existing nail varnish, cleaning and trimming the cuticles and shaping and buffing the nail. Moisturising hand cream is applied, followed by a fresh lick of varnish and then finished off with cuticle oil. A luxury manicure at Langaro would include a treatment masque and a relaxing hand and arm massage.

Examples of nail abnormalities
Healthy nails have an even colour and smooth surface. Anything hampering the natural growth of a nail may cause an abnormality. Vertical ridges or thickening of the nail may be due to aging or an injury.  Discolouration, split nail plates, peeling or spots may be caused by medication, too many gel or acrylic manicures or an infection. Skin conditions, like psoriasis, have also resulted in nail psoriasis which cannot be treated in a salon. Conditions like bleeding around the cuticle, painful nail beds, swelling, redness, thickening or thinning nails or a change in shape all require medical diagnosis and possible treatment. Fortunately,  most abnormalities are treatable either medically or cosmetically in a salon.

How to prevent nail problems.
Avoid biting, chewing or tearing nails as you will risk the risk of also tearing your skin. Avoid trimming nails immediately after a bath or shower when they are at their most soft and saturated. Use only clean, sharp nail clippers and manicure scissors. Do not use your nails as tools to open cans or remove staples. Keep nails clean and dry, moisturise your hands often and push cuticles back gently. Only visit a certified salon or spa who employ qualified therapists and nail technicians. Caution wins every time.

How to repair damaged nails.
For discoloured, weak or peeling nails and dry cuticles, we offer the IBX nail care system which comprises of two formulae. IBX Strengthen is an intense treatment used to encourage nail growth by using essential oils and heat to penetrate into and fuse the layers in the upper portion of the nail plate. IBX Repair is a spot treatment applied to specific areas to treat peeling, splits, flaking, ridges, paper thin nails. These treatments are offered as an add-on to any of our manicure services or as a standalone service.

Benefits of cuticle care.
The cuticle is a transparent layer of skin located along the bottom edge of your finger or toe. This area is known as the nail bed. The cuticle function is to protect new nails from bacteria when they grow out from the nail root. Dry, torn cuticles will hamper healthy nail growth, causing an infection or spotted, ridged nails.

Apply a drop of cuticle oil to each nail bed after a bath a shower. Push cuticles back gently with either a cuticle stick or the ball of your fingers. Finish off with a generous helping of hand moisturiser for smooth, luxurious skin. In fact, practise cuticle care in the middle of the day after washing your hands, or even while watching TV. Your hands will love you.

How often should you have a manicure?
You’ll need to visit once a week for pristine looking polish on medium to long talons. Shorter nails, acrylic tips and Gelish manicures require a professional appointment every two weeks.

Beautiful hands with a manicured set of nails will do wonders for your self-confidence and show that you care about yourself and your body.