Keep nail beds hydrated
“Moisturizing your cuticles is the most important aspect of any cuticle care regimen,” says Jin Soon Choi, founder of Jin Soon Hand & Foot Spa in New York City. To keep your nails hydrated, rub a small amount of petroleum jelly into your cuticle and the skin surrounding your nails every evening before you go to bed or whenever your nails feel dry. Keep a jar in your purse, desk drawer, car—anywhere you might need it. Not a fan of petroleum jelly? Substitute castor oil. It’s thick and contains vitamin E, which is great for your cuticles. Or head to your kitchen cupboard and grab the olive oil—it also works to moisturize your nails. Eat these foods for prettier nails.
Protect nails from wear and tear
Wear rubber gloves whenever you do housework or wash dishes, Choi advises. Most household chores, from gardening to scrubbing the bathroom to washing dishes, are murderous on healthy nails. For extra hand softness, apply hand cream before you put on the rubber gloves. Slipping on some gloves will also protect your manicure.