This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift. Content is the same but may have been edited for clarity, flow, and with some thoughts from 2017.
In retrospect, this seems really obvious. Maybe it already occurred to you, but it only occurred to me recently.
Good Riddance to the Remnants
I was removing the remnants of my last DIY pedicure (China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard; a delightfully obnoxious shimmery lime green). I didn’t do a full pedicure with callus removal, but I did file the nails into a more respectable shape and length, gently bullied the cuticles back to where they ought to be, and cleaned up the errant bits of the eponychium.
Normally, at this point, I’d throw an AHA lotion on them (like Alpha Hydrox’s 10% lotion), some cotton socks, and go to bed.
2017 Update: I don’t bother with an AHA lotion for my feet anymore with my foot care routine. Instead, I just use any thick lotion I have lying around – right now, that’s this Hawaiian Tropic After Sun lotion. It smells like lime and coconuts and summer – which is great when October is in denial about what season it should be.
Cuticle Oil + Pedicure = No Brainer
This time, I skipped the lotion because (lazy moment) it wasn’t in arm’s reach. Instead, I slapped some of my Josie Maran Argan Oil Light on them, massaged it in, and went about my evening.
Once it absorbed and wasn’t shiny, my nails looked great! Even though I’ve been lax about keeping my nails coated lately, toes are always painted. Period. They actually looked decent and tidy bare. I’ve done this every other day since, and I’m impressed by what a difference it has made. I’ll still paint them when I have time to breathe (probably this weekend), but it isn’t as urgent for me now as it was. My skin looks better, my cuticles feel better, my nails look better. I’m kind of facepalming for not thinking of it sooner; they’re just nails, the care isn’t rocket science.
Also, I’m not convinced in this case that argan would be superior to any other skincare oil; any cuticle or facial oil you might already have would do fine. Avocado or almond would be good, too but I’d probably skip olive. (2017 Update: I’m still working through the bottle of Essie Apricot I bought in early 2016 and it is perfect for this, as one would expect.)
The Bottom Line
Since I wrote this, I haven’t executed a single pedicure without this step. My polish and pedicures have been much better for it, too!