In this most unusual time, you might find yourself having to do things you had long handed over to others, like doing your hair, taking care of your nails, cleaning your own home, spring cleaning your garden, and the list goes on.
I recently realized I had made some decisions earlier in the year that are making my self-care practices all-the-easier. One of them was to stop wearing gel on my nails. I loved how long, lovely, and beautiful my nails looked with gel, and the way the polish never chipped, but I felt guilty about having my nail beds covered for weeks at a time.
Something in me believed that wearing gel on my nails wasn’t the healthiest choice. Based on the science, I do not doubt that someday down the road, there will be repercussions for smothering our nail beds for months on end, such as arthritis or some forms of cancer.
Wearing acrylic and gel coverings over our nails is a relatively new invention, and it may take many years before industries that create these products will come to understand and reveal the truth about their impact on the health and wellbeing of their customers.
The research is out there with findings that prove caustic (cancerous) poisons are found in women’s internal organs from wearing un-natural nail polish, information to which most women have had little to no exposure. Why is this the case? It could be because the same publications which could share this information, are receiving advertising dollars for the very products that are potentially poisoning us.
If you currently have your nails covered with gel or acrylic, it may be many weeks before you can have them professionally removed. Now is the time to take steps to soak-off these coverings yourself.
Here are my step-by-step recommendations:
- Cut Your Nails Short
First, cut the nails short, just above the nail bed before soaking off the gel or acrylic. More than likely, your nails will be a little weakened from removing the covering, and it’s also likely your nails will break after the covering is removed, so cut them first before they break. Cutting them will also mean less time spent removing gel from nails that will be cut anyway.
- Soaking Off the Gel or Acrylic
We are all aware that the alcohol in most nail polish removers which soaks off the gel is extremely drying, which is another reason the nails break. Don’t rush the soaking-off process. Allow the time it takes so you can have as much of the gel dissolve, without damaging your nails. There is also the option of allowing the gel to naturally loosen and fall off.
- Replenish Your Nails by Soaking Them in Oil
After removing the gel and buffing whatever residue is left lightly with an emery board, soak your nails in one of the richest oils you have at your disposal. If possible, warm the oil just a little. The natural and lush Body Oils or Hair Oils by Anu Essentials would be perfect for this step. If you don’t have any Anu Essentials Oils, use olive oil, coconut oil, or any natural oil from your kitchen. Replenish your nails by soaking them in oil for at least half an hour.
- Use A Natural Nail Polish System
Shape your nails with a good emery board after the oil soak. If you would like to polish your nails, I would recommend using a natural nail polish system like Zoya that includes bottom coat, color, and topcoat.
This form of self-care can be practiced at your leisure. Even if you’re working from home these days, you may have extra time now that you no longer have to travel back and forth. You can care for your nails while listening to beautiful music, or binge-watching your favorite series.
Learning the art of caring for your own nails will be a nice challenge and an artistic endeavor. With practice, you may come to really enjoy caring for your own nails and appreciate your own artistic ability.
In actuality, if your nails are covered in gel or acrylic, you were already spending a lot of time having them done in a salon. Now you have the time to practice perfecting this craft in a more natural way.
As we grow older, I believe most of us will want to have the independence that healthy, beautiful hands and nails will afford us. So take the plunge and become your own nail tech. You will be able to add nail care to your list of new skills learned in the era of COVID-19!