Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vertical Nail Ridges and Review

A couple of months ago I started noticing vertical ridges on my fingernails. Thanks to Google, I didn't have to freak out for very long...I was reassured, after reading two or three sites, that this is a normal phenomena that occurs with age...but wait, I'm not that old! Since when are the mid-twenties what is implied when one says "with age"?? With a little more nosing around the net, I found out that vertical ridges can be caused by a variety of reasons, including: malnutrition, disease, and lack of moisture. 

I'm a single gal, full-time student and part-time consultant, so unfortunately, I am not the healthiest eater. I started taking some multivitamins, not as a substitute for my poor eating habits, but to supplement my newfound desire to eat healthier. Mom touting the virtues of fruits and veggies just doesn't have the same effect as the prospect of a flawed manicure! 

I received a clean bill of health at my most recent physical, so that leaves the lack of moisture issue. I had always browsed the cuticle oils and treatments in the drugstore nail polish aisle, but never really understood the hype. Enter internet wisdom: The job of our cuticles is to protect the area between the skin and nail from infection. If the cuticle is dry or cracked, it is unable to properly do its job! Damaged cuticles can lead to issues like vertical nail ridges and infection. While I am a nut about moisturizing my body, I oftentimes neglect my hands. I mean, sure, I keep a mini bottle of hand lotion in my bag for those days when I'm feeling super dry...but that's about it...and my cuticles are not something I really notice unless I'm getting them tended to at a salon. I decided to buy two cuticle care products and give them a go. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Check out my reviews below!

Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil

Vitamin E is beneficial in repairing cracked cuticles and that was my main criteria for purchasing this product. The bottle comes with a convenient in-lid brush (nail polish style) that makes application very easy. I just brush the unscented oil onto my cuticles and gently massage it in afterwards. The great thing about this product is that it really gets sucked up by my skin and cuticles, not leaving me with an oily feeling for too long afterwards. This positive point may also be my only real issue with the oil, it doesn't last very long! There is immediate moisture-delivery to my cuticles, but it is not the long-lasting type of moisture. This isn't an issue when I am performing an at-home manicure and am using the oil to aid in grooming my cuticles, but when I want to deep moisturize my cuticles, I like to pair this oil with Burt's Bees cuticle cream.

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

This is a very thick, emollient cream which really gives my cuticles the moisture they are lacking! The ingredients include sweet almond oil, lemon peel oil, cocoa seed butter, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax, of course. It has a very strong lemon scent, which I really love! Be sure to warm the product up with your fingers before massaging onto your cuticles, otherwise not a lot comes out...I literally created a mini-dent in the cream and then was able to dole the product out in the amount I wanted. Unlike the Sally Hansen Oil, this product really lingers. Best to use it at night! 

Will I repurchase? Yes!
The Sally Hansen oil + Burt's Bees cream combo has really made a difference in my fingernail/hand health ;) The ridges aren't completely gone, but now, after a couple months of TLC, they are limited to my thumbnails. Here's hoping my nightly moisturizing ritual and healthy eating will keep the ridges away for good!

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