When I first started blogging, I knew absolutely nothing about nail and cuticle care, and all I have learned comes from the master, Loodie. Seriously, she is my nail sensei and I do everything Loodie says.
Disclaimer: I am not a nail care professional. The following information is from my personal experience.
Through trial and error, I learned what products worked best for my nails and skin, and others that leave my cuticles looking like a ragged mess! I can't use any sort of balm for some reason, and most cuticle oils as well. Cuticle removers are the worst offenders! I guess I just have really sensitive skin. I stick with these three products and never ever stray.
My routine goes as follows, using O.P.I. Avo Juice hand cream, Jojoba Oil, and Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover.
Daily - Moisturize!!!! At least three times a day, and usually more, especially if I have a swatch day. I also apply lotion directly to my nail plate and along the cuticle lines and massage it in.
Weekly - Once a week, I use the Jojoba oil on my nails and work it in with lotion. If I use it more often, then my cuticles will start to peel. Weird, I know. I also use the cuticle oil after a long swatch day if I have used a ton of acetone.
Bi-weekly - I use the Nfu-Oh cuticle remover and an orange stick to remove any dead skin growth around my cuticles, side walls and underneath my nails. It is incredibly gentle, and contains lanolin (a yellow waxy substance secreted by woolly animals) which is awesome for skin. I never ever clip my cuticles. Ever. I use nippers, but only for hang nails. I follow up with Jojoba oil and Avo Juice lotion and usually wear moisture gloves. (I will be posting a review of the Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover soon!)
When I slack or forget to follow my routine, I can always see a difference. My skin feels tight, and I start to see dry nail beds. I am also more prone to breaks with dry nail plates.
While my routine may not work for you, I encourage you all to find some good products and a routine that fits your needs. Your nails will thank you!
O.P.I. Avojuice hand cream can be purchased from most places that carry O.P.I. products. Now Organic All Natural Jojoba Oil can be found in the vitamin and supplement section of most stores. Nfu Oh products can be found on line. Nfu Oh Cuticle remover retails for $11.50 a piece