Keeping your Nails Clean and Healthy

Monday, June 17, 2013

As many of you know, I have a weak spot for pretty nails. Back in college - which wasn't so long ago - I used to paint my nails with very intricate and quirky designs. From plain solid colors to designs with small gems and stickers - I could not go a day without nail polish on. This went on for so long that my nails started to have a permanent yellow or blueish tint. No matter how many times I clean my hands and nails, the stain would not go away. Now, applying nail polish is completely safe*, but sometimes we need to give our nails time to breathe. The more layers of polish and colors we put on our nails, the more chemicals accumulate, causing more yellowing.

So how do we solve this problem of yellowing?

You can take a break from applying nail polish for a while and just let your nails grow until you can trim the yellow part off. I tried to do that, but the sight of the stained nails bothers me. I just end up applying polish to cover it. If you absolutely must apply nail polish (like me, lol), remember to use a base coat to protect your nails from absorbing any pigments from regular polish. I use OPI Original Nail Envy - it keeps my nails strong and healthy. 

OPI Original Nail Envy

Another way to remove the yellow stains is to use a nail buffer.

I bought this Orogold Cosmetics Hyacinth Exquisite Manicure Set when I was in Shangri-La mall the other day -- the kit included a 3-Step nail buffer, nail file, tea tree oil for the cuticles, and a hand & body lotion. It was overpriced for a nail kit in my opinion, but the salesperson was so friendly and convincing that I ended up buying it impulsively. Really. Excellent. Sales talk. The whole kit is regularly priced at PhP 2,550.00, but I got a discount and bought it at half the price + got a few nail buffer refills for free.

Orogold Manicure Set
What made me buy this expensive nail kit was the nail buffer. I tested it on my thumb nail and it worked like magic. It made my nails smooth and really shiny in less than five minutes, without the use of base coat or a clear gel coat! Okay. I know you can probably get a similar product at a muuuuuch lower price, but this thing claims to have Colloidal gold or something in it. I'm not sure if I should believe it and I don't know if it's significantly better than other nail buffers, but it worked great for me. I just don't like the squeaky sound it makes when I rub it against my nails.

To use the nail kit, first remove your nail polish (if any) with a polish remover. Then file your nails in one direction until you get your desired shape and length. Filing in both directions would weaken your nails and cause them to break easily! The provided Orogold nail file is said to be for "gentle, non-abrasive shaping." It does the job like any normal nail file, in my opinion.

Then, use the 3-Step Buffer (my nail buffer has four steps, but I think the sides with Steps 3 and 4 are the same): Step 1, the roughest edge, removes the ridges and unhealthy/dry outer layer of your nails. It takes off the surface ridges as well as any stains from polish. Step 2 smooths out the roughness / marks made by the first buffer. The buffing movement also stimulates blood circulation. The 3rd step, my favorite part, adds a finishing shine to the nails by transmitting the natural oils and moisture of our nails through the surface. Do take note that you can only do steps 1 and 2 ONCE a month. Excessive buffing can be unhealthy because it would make the layers of your nails thin and brittle.

Next, apply drop of cuticle oil or the tea tree oil over your bare nails, cuticle, and under-nail tip. Massage it until it's completely absorbed. Do this several times a week to keep your nails moisturized and healthy.

Lastly, use the 24K Body Lotion to nourish and soothe your skin.

Ingredients (as seen on the box):

The Hand & Body Lotion contains Aqua, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoaraffin, Laureth-7, Ceteareth-25, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Fragrance, Gold, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

The Cuticle Oil contains Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Propylparaben, BHT, D & C Yellow No. 11, D & C Red No. 17.

After a month of trying the product, I can say that I am still quite impressed by nail buffer - my nails are still glossy and healthy-looking even though I haven't been retouching them with the 3rd-step buffer. And I don't have to buy any other nail buffers because I was given refills that would probably last me for more than two years (since I can only use them once a month). My nails look healthy and are stain-free. It's also easier for me to apply polish now because the surface is really smooth.

As for the lotion, it's non-greasy and scented like Hyacinth. It's hypoallergenic and great for dry skin. The gold ingredient in it is said to have anti-aging benefits - prevents wrinkles and reduces dark spots. I asked the salesperson if it has SPF, and she said yes. It doesn't say on the label though. Does it really? She mentioned a bunch of other skincare benefits (that I couldn't remember because they sounded like medical jargons), so I hope it would be worth the investment. I don't think it has SPF and there are better anti-aging products in the market, but I bought it anyway as it comes in the set. I also don't really feel the 24K gold in the product, but then again, I'm don't know how gold should really feel on my skin.

Despite the nice smell and feel of my pampered nails, I thought that my purchase was not really worth it because I seldom use the nail kit. I only buffer my nails once a month at most, and I currently have other hand lotions that I could use. There's definitely one lesson learned for me, and I'm telling you guys: Be a smart consumer! Don't get carried away with all the sales talk, especially if it's ridiculously expensive. Don't get me wrong though - as someone who works at a luxury brand for cosmetics and perfumes, I do believe that our skin deserves the very best products and care, but it helps to do your research first before buying anything new. 

* unless they have harmful chemicals like Toluene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl phthalate!

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