Pro advice for reviving parched nails and skin at home

How to give your hands some much-needed TLC

Pro advice for reviving parched nails and skin at home

Illustration by Brian Paul Nelson

Suffering from frayed cuticles, hangnails, or dry, chapped skin after more than a year of diligent pandemic hand hygiene? You’re not alone.

According to Linda Vo, who recently opened an outpost of her Best of Atlanta–winning Les Mains Nail Bar at the Works, “Many people have not had a manicure in over a year, and I’m seeing more issues like hangnails from people picking at hands due to anxiety and loss of moisture from frequent hand-washing.” Here are some of her favorite at-home fixes:

Care for cuticles
Repair tattered and torn cuticles with argan oil, Vaseline, or a similar ointment. Vo suggests applying a thin layer with a cotton swab just before bed to seal in moisture overnight.

Layer on lotion
“Moisturize your hands constantly, especially since antibacterial soap or sanitizer will dry them out,” she says. “Keep lotion in your bag and squeeze a little on your hands every time you wash them.” She likes Beautycounter’s citrus mimosa hand cream, but a drugstore brand like CeraVe works as well.

Wrap it up
Her spa sells $6 Voesh collagen gloves, but you can DIY by layering a heavy moisturizer containing occlusive ingredients like petrolatum or ceramide on old towels or mittens, heating them in a microwave, and then wrapping them around your hands. Vo recommends slipping them on for 10 to 15 minutes, maybe right before bed, for maximum overnight hydration.

This article appears in our July 2021 issue.