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Skin Science: MANI MASTERCLASS

PUBLISHED ON
May 23, 2024
TAGS

Nails should never be left in the hands of an amateur, and cared for properly a beautiful set can be enjoyed any time of year. To give you the skills to be an at-home expert, industry pro, award- winning nail technician and educator Jessica Ellison shares the 411 on nail care, answering some burning questions like why waterless pedicures win and cuticle cutting is a dealbreaker.

 

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING WE SHOULD ALL BE DOING TO CARE FOR OUR NAILS?

 

“A nail conditioner in an oil format will make your nails more resilient by keeping the keratin cells flexible and tough. It also offers the immediate look of healthy hydration and supple skin. Look for conditioners that contain jojoba oil, which has a molecular size that is so macro it is touted as the most effective carrier oil. The ideal ingredients for conditioning the nail plates, along with the surrounding protective skin folds, are fruit-extracted oils like mango seed and coconut, along with nut oils such as walnut and sweet almond oil.”

 

WHAT DO YOU WISH EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT NAIL CARE?

 

“That nail care should be simple and painless. The nail plate is composed of non-living hard keratin. Condition that keratin daily and have professional
care in the form of a manicure and pedicure every three weeks at minimum. Golden rule: Don’t let anyone give your eponychium, or cuticles, a haircut! The eponychium acts like the seal around your refrigerator door, keeping pathogens out. When you cut this seal off, it can
be extremely painful and you’re giving harmful bacteria a direct portal to your bloodstream.”

 

HOW SHOULD WE CARE FOR OUR NAILS AT HOME?

 

“Like your facial skincare routine, serums should ideally be applied before creams to allow them to be pushed deeper into the skin and to prevent trans- epidermal water loss. With nail care, using a cream alone just won’t cut it. The thinnest to thickest rule works wonders! Cuticle oil first, followed by hand cream.”

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON NAIL-CARE FAUX PAS?

 

“The worst faux pas is thinking your nails need to breathe. There isn’t a tiny set of lungs in your nails! Quite often, we think our nails need this breather to recover from damage inflicted by unscrupulous or miseducated nail professionals. Products don’t damage nails, but people do! Nails damaged from abusive filing, electric nail drills or improper removal of gel enamel or enhancement products need a protective them while the damaged cells grow out toward the free edge. Always seek out an ethical professional who offers integrity- based treatments.”

 

WHY SHOULD YOU OPT FOR A WATERLESS PEDICURE?

 

“Waterless treatments allow a nail professional to see the condition of the skin on hands or feet without water clarifying the skin tissue. Water is a universal solvent and soaking in it may cause further dehydration to the skin. Furthermore, nail plates are like tiny hard sponges that soak up water and expand. It can take over five hours for that water to evaporate, meaning that the nail enamel applied during the expansion stage is now large for the nail plate that has contracted. This causes premature chipping and de- lamination of enamel applied to the nail. Waterless is the way to go.”

 

WHY DON’T BARE NAILS ALWAYS LOOK AS GOOD AS WE IMAGINE?

 

“Bare nails can be truly gorgeous. However, naked nail plates do act up from time
to time. When we keep the nails naked, we are prone to staining, breakage
and misshapen nails. To enjoy the look of bare nails that are protected, opt for a clear enamel manicure that consists of a base coat along with two coats of your favourite long-wear matte or shiny topcoat to give the illusion of a beautiful, bare, minimalistic mani.”

 

HOW DO THE GENETICS OF OUR NAILS PLAY INTO THEIR OVERALL APPEARANCE?

 

“If you find yourself at the shallow end of the nail gene pool, it’s due to the shape of your phalanges, the bones in the finger. These shape your nail beds and genetics play a big role in their size. If either of your parents has long, slender, piano-playing fingers and perfectly curved nail beds, you likely will too — you got them from your mama (or papa).”

 

 

Jessica’s Product Recommendations

 

BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE EMULSION RENOVATRICE MAINS (75 ML), $82

 

“This lipid-rich restorative hand cream is dreamy and best kept in your handbag for quick access to a non-greasy, dry-skin saviour.”

 

MANUCURIST GREEN OIL (15 ML), $20

 

“This light, fast-acting, nourishing staple should be used daily at
a minimum. It combines a blend of power-packing oils like sweet almond, walnut, coconut and passionfruit to provide effective hydration in a flash.”

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