Out of all the nervous habits you could have, picking at your nails and cuticles might be the only really physically ugly one. And as we get closer to winter, cold temperatures only make the condition worse by drying and cracking sensitive skin. All habits can be broken, so if you’re a biter or picker, why not start recovering now? After the jump, tips and tricks that will leave you looking very hand-some.
- People have probably encouraged you to just get manicures regularly. Aside from the cost, most cuticle biters dread getting their nails done because a manicurist will usually scold you or even seem distressed by the state of your fingers. Polish can also encourage picking. You might think it would help if have something harmless to hack away at, but when it’s gone, you may find yourself mindlessly clawing. You can, however, keep up a mini-manicure routine yourself. Start off with dry hands and file away any hangnails with an emery board. If you’ve damaged the skin below your cuticles, you can also use a file or buff to even things out, as well as wear down any dry ends you might find yourself pulling at. If you have some time, moisturize with some Neosporin, which disinfects and helps heal wounds. It’s oily, however, so you won’t want to touch things right after.
- During the day, resist temptation by coating your fingers with New Skin, a liquid “bandage” which forms a tough, protective cover over your skin. [$7.29, Walgreens]
- Moisturize your hands in the morning and at night. If you’re the type who washes her hands frequently, one trick is to pour some lotion into plastic gloves and let your hands sit in them before bedtime for about a half hour (some people wear moisturizing gloves to sleep, but it could feel weird to you). Surgeon-type gloves work, or you can pick some up at Sephora. [$8, Sephora]
- Be prepared—keep a portable product like Ellen Sirot’s Hand Perfection Nail And Cuticle Treatment in your purse. Every time you feel yourself biting or picking, make applying the product your response, which will hopefully catch on to replace your obsessive behavior.