The perfect hair, gorgeous skin, beautiful smile…you have made sure of everything for your D-day. But most brides we speak to, tend to ignore and leave this till the last minute, in the whole madness of wedding planning – caring for their hands and nails. Remember throughout your wedding, your hands will be the focus of attention to both the guests and the photographer. People will want to see the gorgeous ring or the beautiful mehendi or shake hands to congratulate. The photographer will zoom in on the ring (and hence, the nails), get a close-up shot of your hands as you’re applying your mehendi or holding your husband’s hand!
So you can’t afford to have dry, flaky hands and chipped nails for your wedding. And just like everything else, you need to start prepping your hands way before the big day. Worry not, we’ve rounded up the best bridal hand and nail care tips to give you impeccably beautiful, picture-perfect hands on your wedding day!
i. Limit exposure to hot water
Did you know, hot water is responsible for drying up your skin and making it look wrinkled and aged! It also causes your nail polish to chip. To keep your hands soft and supple, ditch hot water and wash your hands with lukewarm, if not cold water.
Brides-to-be, (especially working women), listen up! For the next few months leading up to your wedding, hand cream is one of your best friends. Hands are one of the most used body parts leading to dry, chapped skin and cracked areas around your nails. Opt for creams with ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and plant oils as these are specially designed to treat dry skin on hands.
Avoid creams with a lot of acids &/or fragrances in their ingredients as they will further dry out your hands, leaving them sore and patched. These days, most hand creams come in easy-to-carry tubes so make sure to have one in your bag all the time. If you’re using any harsh chemicals like household cleaning products, always use rubber gloves to protect your hands
Remember these two things:
Always massage the cream liberally into your hands as well as the areas around your nails
Always apply hand cream after washing your hands as soaps can cause your skin to feel dehydrated and irritated
Just like your face, dead cells on your hands can age them. We highly recommend using a hand scrub to exfoliate the palm, the back of the hand and the cuticles, 2-3 times a week to get soft, youthful hands. You can use a storebought hand scrub or a DIY homemade one. Here’s an easy, DIY hand scrub that you can try:
Mix 2 tsps of honey, lemon juice and white/brown sugar & stir for a minute
Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil and mix well for 2 minutes
Store in an airtight jar and use it 2-3 times a week
Moisturize Your Cuticles
Did you know, healthy cuticles = healthy, beautiful nails! Just like your hands, you need to moisturize your nails using cuticle oils. Apply a drop of cuticle oil (look for those with Vitamin E in the ingredients) or almond/olive/coconut/jojoba oil to the base of each nail and massage well into the skin. Cuticle oils can penetrate deeper into your skin than hand creams and hydrate your nails, preventing dry, brittle nails.
Push Back, Don’t Trim
Always use a metallic cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles every 2-3 days. Avoid trimming your cuticles as they are extremely useful in protecting your nails from infections. On the other hand, you must always trim hangnails (a piece of torn skin near the root of a nail) or else you might end up chewing/picking at them when bored or anxious!
No one needs an excuse to pamper themselves with a little mani-pedi sesh, but if you need one, here’s it – regular manicures keep your nails beautiful and healthy. Go for bi-weekly, if not weekly manicures, manicure sessions; have your nails properly trimmed, filed, buffed and shaped to keep them smooth. But remember, if you’re going for a manicure right before your wedding, schedule no more than two days before the D-day. (Pro-tip: Avoid using nail polish removers with toluene and acetone to prevent drying your hands)
Sun damage can age the back of your hands where the skin is thin. To avoid ugly patches and visibly dark veins through the skin layer, apply sunscreen to your hands too or best, use a hand cream with SPF.
Here’s the thing – your hands are a part of your body and like the rest of your body you need to perform certain exercises to keep them healthy and flexible. Avoid stiff, rigid fingers by performing exercises like stretches, balling your fingers into a fist, making a strong grip etc.