I am obsessive about moisturizing my hands. Wait, let me take that back. I’m obsessive about washing my hands, and therefore obsessive about moisturizing them after I’ve washed them 8000 times.
All this washing, and then the cold weather we get in these parts, and then the blistering hot weather we get in these parts, and then of course the cooking, the cleaning, and the DISHES (even WITH gloves, it’s still DISHES). Well, let’s just say that without my obsession with moisturizing, my hands could compete with an elephant’s foot for most wrinkles.
I’ve always been a fan of cuticle oil, or at least a fan ever since I had a manicure once in San Francisco and the tech kept admonishing me that I wasn’t moisturizing my cuticles enough and I needed oil, oil, oil. So, even before my recent mani obsession I always had a couple of bottles of cuticle oil laying around the house and office.
But with all the oiling and the moisturizing I was doing, I felt like my cuticles should look better. Like they should be non-existent. Like they should like as they do on so many of the photos of amazing nail bloggers I see all over. But they don’t. I have big, honkin’, tough-azz cuticles. And still dry patches of skin around my very-short thumbnails. And that didn’t seem right.
So internet research later, and I found out that a lot of cuticle oil (read: the cheapy stuff you can pick up at Walgreens or Target which is the stuff I was using) often has petroleum-based oil in it, and petroleum-based oil can actually DRY OUT your skin (!) not moisturize it. The solution, of course, is using plant-based oils, which include argan oil, almond oil, coconut oil and olive oil, to name a few.
These plant-based oil cuticle oils, however, are EXPENSIVE. And believe it or not, notwithstanding my obsession with Chanel polish, I’m kindof a cheapskate. Meaning I don’t like to waste money or spend it unnecessarily (note, Chanel polish is NOT unnecessary, in fact, it is QUITE necessary to my happiness!). So rather than shell out megabucks for fancy cuticle oils, I did the Midwest cheapskate thing and started filling up my empty and near-empty bottles of store-bought cuticle oil with extra virgin olive oil. From my kitchen. That I cook with. And do you know what? That stuff is AMAZING! I’ve noticed a huge difference in just the few weeks I’ve made the switch, and now find I only have to do massive cuticle removal once per week instead of with every mani.
Sometimes though you need more than oil, so in those instances (or to “seal in” my oil) I turn to LUSH’s Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. This is pricey (US $14.95 for a 1.5oz tub), but a small amount seems to go very far and boy is it buttery. It moisturizes like nobody’s business, smells fresh (duh, lemony), and really seems to take my moisture odyssey to the next level.
Extra virgin olive oil can be purchased at your local grocery store (prices vary). LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter is US $14.95 and available at LUSH counters and Lush.com. And my $0.02, well that’s absolutely free!