Ask the Experts: How Do I Get Rid of Hangnails?
There is pretty much nothing worse than sitting at your desk at 10 AM, looking down at your hands, and finding a hangnail (except maybe if this happens at 9 AM). How in the world are you supposed to let that distracting, and yet all-too-familiar, foe just hang out there all day? If you happen to be in an environment where antibacterial soap, olive oil, cuticle scissors and liquid bandages are readily available, you can skip the next few sentences. If not, summon every ounce of patience and self-restraint you can muster, because we received these strict orders from celebrity fashion manicurist Nia Cooper: DO NOT pull it out or bite it. Yes, we preserved her use of all caps for dramatic effect. Put a bandage on the little devil, so you won’t be tempted to touch it throughout the rest of the day. Once you get home, follow Cooper’s four-step instructions for how to get rid of a hangnail:
- Thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water.
- Soak your nail in warm olive oil for 10 minutes to soften the hangnail.
- Dip the points of your cuticle scissors in rubbing alcohol. Then cut the hangnail at the base.
- After it has been removed, apply a liquid bandage product over the area. They provide an antibiotic and protective seal all in one. Keeping the area covered while it’s healing will prevent infection.
Now that the pesky hangnail is gone, make good use of Cooper’s prevention tips to keep it from coming back:
- Do not bite your nails.
- Drink lots of water to prevent dry nails.
- Exfoliate your hands every other night, paying close attention to the cuticles, to remove dead skin.
- Keep your hands and nails moisturized at all times. (Looking for a new hand cream? We love Lancôme Absolute Hand Treatment during the day because it has SPF 15. At night, we’ve been turning to The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Butter. Remember: keeping your hands moisturized is also important for keeping them looking young.)
Other than hangnails, what’s your number one beauty annoyance? Tell us below.