Dry Cuticle Chronicles – Qtica to the rescue

Dry hands suck

Dry Canadian winters can wreak havoc on your skin.  If you’re like me and frequently forget to wear gloves, then your hands take it especially hard.  A few years ago, while sitting in traffic, I happened to glance down at my nails and got roped into the compulsion to pick at my enticingly dry cuticles until they bled.   I was totally disgusted with myself for my lack of self control AND because it’s very inconvenient to bleed in your nicely appointed car while driving.    As I staunched the flow of  blood with a Trident gum wrapper I vowed to make a change.   Enough was enough!   Time to kick this annoying nail ravaging habit in the but.

What I did was quite simply really.  I checked a book out from the library – Rescue Your Nails by Ji Baek and absorbed a wealth of info on home manicures and nail care products.

There was a great section aimed at helping nail chewers and I found the information applicable to my own cuticle picking situation.  I zipped on over to Sally’s and Shoppers Drug Mart, picked up a few beauty tools and away I went!

Thanks to Ji Baek I learned how to care for my dry cuticles so that they became moisturized and looked well groomed.    When there was nothing compelling to pick at, I stopped attacking my fingers.

Over the past year I began experimenting with various nail care products to add to my arsenal and one has emerged ahead of the pack.  Nothing works for my cuticles like this does.

Behold, and bask in it’s glory:

Intense Cuticle Repair Balm - QTICA

I use this Qtica product by Zoya each and every night before bed.  It’s thick, tacky and looks cloudy in the jar but melts into a thick nourishing liquid when it warms up with body heat.   It temporarily dulls the splendor of your nail polish until it sinks into the surrounding tissue, so I wouldn’t advise applying this in the AM or before a photo-shoot.

I like to keep this beside my bed and before I go to sleep rub a liberal amount of balm around each cuticle, following up with a moisturizing hand cream.  The results are incredible.  My hands started to transform themselves almost overnight.  Yes, I do weekly manicures for maintenance, but this totally banishes dryness and the horrible cracking skin around my nails.   It seems to lock in moisture for most off the day (depending on how often I need to wash my hands) and I find my nail polish stays on longer as a result.  It’s my little miracle product.  I’ve already gone through one whole jar and am on my second – very rare occurrence for me  as I’m always testing out new things.

Here are the  ingredients (yawn):

Water/aqua, Cyclomethicone, Stearic Acid, Rice Bran Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Lanolin, Dimethicone, cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Tristearate, Aloe Vera Gel, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acate, Pathenol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethlhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Carbomer, BHA

I wish I had some “before” pictures to show you, but my cuticles were so dry and sore I never thought to preserve the memories.  Here they are now though.  I just washed my hands and took this pictures (I’m wearing Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish in Stormy):

My new healthy nails!

I get a tonne of  compliments now on my nail polish and it’s mostly because my hands and nails look healthy so they frame the product nicely.

This balm costs me about $24.00 here in Canada (I’m sure it’s cheaper in the U.S.) and a jar lasts for about 4-5 months.  I think it’s totally worth the investment as it has been instrumental in changing the look of my nails.

So people, what do you think?  Have you tried this product before?  Has it worked mini miracles on your hands?  Do you know of any cheaper alternatives?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.



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