To help us navigate the sometimes confusing world of natural nail care I chatted to Kirstie Sherriff from the professional range Pinks Boutique, with years of experience in the industry and as founder of both the Pinks Training academy and Pinks Boutique, Kirstie knows how to keep nails in the best possible condition. Pinks Boutique is a natural professional range, certified organic by the Soil Association which proves organic doesn't mean a compromise on performance.
Summer is a season when we all like to use bright nail colours and skin is on show, Kirstie tells us how to make the most out of our manicure for beautiful results the natural way:
What is the best way to protect our hands and nails from the elements?
First and most logical is to keep them out of them! We always tell our clients after Pinks Boutique manicure and pedicure treatments to wear gloves outside in the cold, when washing up and cleaning etc. If this is unrealistic then we need some help from a nourishing product such as Pinks Boutique hand balm. It was formulated for just this, to protect and be super nourishing against the elements using shea balm as the base. You must be aware of many mainstream synthetic hand creams- if they are based on mineral oils or parrafinium liquidum then they themselves will start to dry your hands out. They are a barrier agent but they are not doing much good actually solving the issue.
What treatments should we be doing to our hands and nails everyday/week/month etc?
Every day you should apply cuticle oil to the nails- keep it by your bedside table and do it last thing at night. Professionally we would advise a full manicure every 2 weeks and a pedicure every 4 weeks to keep your pinkies looking perfect. It is amazing the difference in nail condition if you have a manicure every two weeks- it isn’t just a therapist sales ploy!
What is the best treatment for our cuticles?
Cuticle oil, the Pinks Boutique cuticle oil uses rosa mosqueta with essential omega fatty acids and carrot and apricot oil to nourish. When you apply this you should massage and gently push back. The massage will bring oxygenated blood to your fingertips, feeding your cells and improving nail and cuticle condition. When teaching manicurists we now advise caution with cutting cuticles. They are there for a reason, they are a crucial barrier against infection and when you cut them they tend to form like scar tissue and grow back thicker.
How do I stop my nails flaking?
Cuticle oil again, I have been teaching manicure and nail technology for over 15 years and it is still the answer to most nail conditions- peeling, flaking, brittle nails breaking. We put moisturizer on our face and hair but not nail plates yet they have a very very similar make up to the skin and hair, based on the protein Keratin.
When is the best time to moisturise?
In our opinion as often as you can, if you can particularly after being in the cold or having wet hands this is good but ultimately as frequently as possible I believe
Is nail varnish damaging to nails? Should we give our nails a break from varnish?
It is not ideal, they would be happier without it! In a professional manicure everything you do until the varnish is to improve the condition of the nail and provide nourishment however the varnish section is the total opposite as to stay well you have to strip all oils. It is advisable to have breaks, especially if you are suffering with peeling, flaking nails as the varnish may be part of the cause.
Are there any good, natural nail varnishes?
Within our role guiding our spa clients we deal with this question every day. If a manufacturer takes too much out of a varnish then it will not stay on and in a salon environment a water based varnish which takes a long time to dry is not an option. This is why we have not made one. We would advise that you also check the ingredients of the varnishes selling themselves hard as natural as often they are not different to mainstream varnish manufacturers who have also gone ‘3 free’. There is a growing market now of 3/4/5/6 free varnishes and if you are going to wear it or let your children then these are the best options. Just be clear they are not organic, they are as good as you can get in the nail varnish world currently!
Is UV Polish good for your nails or bad- some say they are vitamin infused and help nail health or allow your nails to breathe?
I am very clear on this one. Your nails absolutely would prefer not to wear gel, acrylics, uv polish and nail varnish. Whatever the brands say they are a combination of very harsh chemicals which in the very best scenario are very drying to the nail plate and in the worse- well who knows, time will tell on this one.
Your nail plate is dead, it doesn’t have a set of lungs to breath with. You just want to keep those fully keratinized cells as supple and moisturized as you can to avoid peeling, breaking and splitting, just the same as your hair and skin.
Should I buff my natural nails?
Yes, we would suggest once a week but you have to make sure you are using a natural nail buffer which will be 240 grit or higher.
Grit on nail files works like it does in DIY – the higher the number of grains per square cm the softer it is. Think of it like a sandy beach versus a pebble beach.
Use a super shiner buffer- like our miracle buffer and ideally you need to buff vertically downwards, down with the ridges in the nail not across them as everyone does as this can overtime cause them to split.
Should I apply cuticle oil and then buff or buff then oil?
If you apply cuticle oil and then buff there is some belief that this helps trap the oil into the nail however many buffers will be ruined quickly if they continually get oil on them.
In a nail salon and spa the majority of us will tend to buff and then apply the cuticle oil.
Do you have a kit that people can buy to care for their hands at home?
Pinks Boutique Try me manicure and pedicure sets are the best starter including cuticle oil, our soak, massage oil, balm and matching aroma elixir.
Thank you so much to Kirstie for the fantastic advice, the Pinks Boutique cuticle oil is a personal favourite of mine and I am delighted that they are offering my readers a chance to win one of five cuticle oils. This gorgeous oil is made with a blend of organic Rosa Mosqueta, apricot and carrot oils to deeply nourish hands and nails. Please find the terms and conditions below and complete the Rafflecopter entries for a chance to win!
Find Pinks Boutique at www.pinksboutique.com.
**Terms and conditions** Open to over 18's only. Competition will finish on the date stated on the Rafflecopter. The winners will be displayed on the rafflecopter and notified via email. Entries will be verified. No cash alternative given. Giveaway sponsored by Pinks Boutique.