How to Give Yourself a Simple Five-Step Manicure Using Natural Ingredients
Giving yourself a manicure at home is a great way to enjoy a little self-care—this is especially true if you're using good-for-you ingredients. But so many skincare products and nail polishes are loaded with chemicals that can dry out your skin. While traditional exfoliants, moisturizers, and polish removers all serve a purpose, sometimes you just want a natural, chemical-free manicure to get your hands feeling soft, supple, and cared for.
If you're wondering where to begin with your au natural spa treatment, there are only five simple steps to consider, according to Chrissy Cabrera, founder of Naturally London. "There are five basic steps to a natural manicure: prep, soak, maintenance, exfoliate, and moisturize," she says. Ahead, our experts share exactly how to give yourself a natural manicure at home, and some of the best DIY exfoliants and moisturizing ideas to nurture your hands.
Before you get started, be sure to gather your materials. You'll need nail scissors or clippers, a glass nail file ($9.95, amazon.com), warm water, a small bowl, cuticle softener or oil, an orangewood stick ($5.99 for 50, amazon.com), and a four-way buffing block ($4, ulta.com).
Trim and File
The first step in your natural manicure is to trim your nails to your desired length. "You will first trim by using the nail clipper and then file to a shape of your liking," explains Syreeta Aaron, LeChat nails educator. Cabrera iterates the importance of trimming and filing your nails before getting into the rest of your manicure. "You want to do this while your nails are still dry," she says. "I recommend filing your nails in one direction using a glass nail file. This will leave your nails well-shaped with smoother and healthier nails. Plus, you can easily sanitize a glass nail file," she points out.
Care for Cuticles
Soak your nails and hands in warm water with a few drops of oil to hydrate, soften and nourish your hands, says Cabrera. "You can use common household oils such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil. I recommend using two to three drops of Naturally London's Revitalizing Oil ($32, naturallylondon.com)," she says. "Soak your hands for at least 10 minutes." Once your cuticles have soaked, Mabelyn Martin, Paintbox creative director, says to apply a chemical-free cuticle softener or oil to each nail and gently push back your cuticles with a metal pusher or an orangewood stick.
Next, Aaron says to dry off hands and nails and use the four-way buffer block as its packaging instructs. Specifically, with a low grit buffer, Martin says to buff around the cuticle area and under the free edge to get rid of any debris left from filing. Lightly buff your nails to create an even surface.
Lastly, Aaron says to apply a cuticle oil that's packed with moisture-rich ingredients such as argan, jojoba, avocado, and vitamin C, to keep nails and cuticles hydrated and supple. She recommends LeChat CBD Cuticle Oil ($30, lechatnails.com). "Afterwards you should be left with soft hands and shiny natural nails," she says.
If you want to create your own exfoliant you can use a mixture of raw sugar and honey, "to create a smooth paste works as a great exfoliate for your hands," says Martin. "Rub a little on your lips also for a sweet lip treatment. Marula oil is also great for keeping your skin supple and moisturized." Finish up with a light re-application of a hydrating cuticle oil if needed, says Cabrera. "Remember to show your hands some extra TLC by really massaging them when applying your moisturizer."