Summer isn't going to give your cuticles a pass--the sun and dry air can wreak just as much damage on nails and cuticles as winter's harshest weather, leaving them ragged and susceptible to tears. There is something though--beyond hand lotion--that can help. Cuticle oil.
If you don't use a cuticle oil, or have never tried one, Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil is worth a try. While there are a number of cuticle oils (and creams) out there--and most claim they'll rescue your manicure, soften cuticles and help keep nails from breaking--not all cuticle oils are the same. Some look and feel great when you first use them, but they never quite absorb into skin.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil is, as it says, an oil. And many women find anything that puts "oil" anywhere near anything referring to beauty something to steer clear of--except maybe when it's an aromatherapy massage. After all, oils are greasy, slick, and oil is one of acne-prone skin's worst enemies. No thank you. Essie's version, however, is not as slick as traditional cuticle oil--it absorbs into skin nicely. And, t's hardly even noticeable a few minutes after application.
Cottonseed and soybean oils combine in a lightweight formula that softens and nourishes cuticles. There's almost an instant difference in how smooth and conditioned nails appear. So Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil can be used to supplement hand lotion to keep nail beds and cuticles moisturized throughout the day.
But the real benefit of Essie's cuticle oil comes from using it to prep nails for a manicure. Some of the harshest treatment nails (and cuticles) receive happens during a manicure. Pre-treating cuticles with cuticle oil helps soften cuticles so they're more receptive to being pushed back--or even trimmed if need be. Essie cuticle oil also helps condition cuticles and provide a protective barrier as nails are being prepped with nail enamel remover for polishing.
If you're not using a cuticle oil--and even if you don't want to use a cuticle oil for daily conditioning--Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil will help keep nails nourished and conditioned for manicures. And it's worth getting for that alone.
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($8) is available at Target and Ulta, both in Clifton, NJ.