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Tip-top care for hardworking hands and feet

Well-groomed hands and feet involve attention to more than just the nails. Our manis and pedis follow best practice. When we treat your hands and feet, we consider the long-term impact versus just the short-term goals. We want them to look beautiful beyond the nail colour. We want them to always be healthy and beautiful.

You should never let anyone soak your hands and feet … EVER! This is not only because of the extremely high possibility of bacterial infection and cross contamination. The other problem is that when cuticles are are soaked in water they swell, making them vulnerable and easy to tear. Swollen cuticles are also almost impossible to trim smoothly and evenly. Even worse, the body sees their state as an injury and responds by overproducing protective cells, causing the cuticles to become thicker and rougher. Best practice for cuticle care is to use an exfoliating cream containing enzymes that soften and dissolve the cuticle build-up. In turn, this minimises the amount of trimming required and prevents causing long-term thickening.

Nails are horn-like covers that protect the tips of the fingers and toes. They are our fingers’ and toes’ hard hats or protective wear. While they are small, our nails are significant and they deserve good care. It is the prevalence of keratin that hardens the nails. Keratin is a super-tough protein that naturally occurs in the skin, hair and nails. Our body’s supply of keratin weakens and lessens as we age or if we are injured. One of the most common injuries to nails is caused by using the wrong size of grit on a nail file. Too big a grit weakens the nail bed by causing it to vibrate and leaves the free edge of the nail scuffed. In the salon we use nail files with light-to-medium grit to suit natural nails. Be careful because some nail bars use nail files with the same grit on natural nails as they do on acrylics. For hygiene reasons we also give you the file (always handy for your desk or your handbag) or dispose of it so it can never be used on anyone else.

The cuticle is the area from which healthy nails grow—healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. When you use cuticle oils and hand creams it is important to rub the product into your actual cuticles. This allows it to get to where it is needed and the massaging action helps the cuticles to stay healthy.

Top tips for long-lasting manis/pedis and beautiful hands and feet:
• Ensure your nail-polish remover contains less than 20% acetone. Products containing 100% acetone are only needed to remove acrylics and non-OPI gels.
• Choose an OPI salon that follows OPI’s protocols—for example, using LED light to cure nail colour rather than skin-ageing UV light. If the lights are needed for longer than 45 seconds then you know that they are UV not LED.
• Never let anyone soak your nails.
• Always use disposable nail files.
• For fresh polish, the finer the application the longer it will wear.
• Once or twice a year give your nails a hardening and strengthening program. Use a nail hardener suitable for your nail type (i.e., soft and brittle etc.). Apply a coat of it every day for a week then remove it. Repeat the process for four weeks.
• Don’t use nail hardener continuously. It you do, your nails will become hard and not pliable, which means they are more likely to break.

Remember, good manis and pedis are so much more than just the paint job!

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