"Use cuticle oil daily," advises Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, vice president and artistic director for OPI. "Apply it before you take a shower. Let cuticles soften in the hot water and steam, then push them back after you towel off." Try Carol's Daughter Lemon and Jojoba Cuticle Oil ($10, carolsdaughter.com), which contains essential oils and leaves a light citrus scent. But, Weiss-Fischmann warns, never cut your cuticles! "Only cut hangnails, otherwise you'll play with them until they're red and infected," she says. "But if you use cuticle oil twice a day to moisturize, you'll avoid getting the dryness that leads to hangnails."
For a soothing treatment, add 2 teaspoons of Jessana Crystal Ionized Nail Soak ($13, jessicacosmetics.com) to warm water. Soak your nails for two to three minutes in the sea salt crystals to cleanse and moisturize. Afterward, apply cuticle oil and moisturize with a succulent cream, such as antioxidant-packed Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Skin Smoothing Hand Cream ($13, burtsbees.com). We also like Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream ($25, jurlique.com) with ingredients such as lavender, calendula and viola. For silky skin, slather on a hand cream, slip on cotton gloves (or white cotton socks in a pinch) and sleep on it. Want faster results? For a 20-minute treatment, try Bliss Glamour Gloves ($48, blissworld.com), which contains vitamin E and grapeseed, jojoba and olive oils.
Now that your hands are moisturized you can focus on the fun part--your nails. To wear summer's bright corals, pinks and teals, keep nails short and square with rounded corners. "File your nails in one direction only--don't saw back and forth--to avoid breaking nail growth and causing dents and snags," Weiss-Fischmann says. Always use a base coat, two coats of color and a top coat, such as OPI Top Coat ($8, salons). "Reapply the top coat every two to three days to keep your color longer," she says. "And most importantly, moisturize! Get into the habit of using cuticle oil, hand moisturizer and foot cream to have great nails for life."
TLC for Athletic Feet
Weiss-Fischmann also offers some foot-care advice: "Make sure your toenails are cut short. Don't leave them long because the impact of your toes hitting the front of your shoes can cause nails to separate, which allows fungus to grow," she says. If you have calluses, use a foot cream to soften them, such as Sally Hansen Salon Intensive Callus Remover ($8, drugstores), which is enriched with Dead Sea minerals. Then jump in the shower and file down the callus. After you dry off, apply a lotion like Dionis Grounded
in Nature Natural Body Care Soothing Foot Butter ($6, dionissoap.com) to your feet. Treat your feet to All About Feet Peppermint Warming Foot Scrub ($13, amazon.com), with natural peppermint oil, shea butter, tea tree oil and vitamin E.
Leave It to the Pros
It may be tempting to save money by trying an at-home laser or light facial treatments, but be wary, says Malik. "The few devices I'm familiar with are expensive yet have minimal, if any, effect. Lasers and light devices can also cause retinal damage if you don't have adequate eye protection." If you're interested in a laser or light treatment, visit your dermatologist.