7 Secrets of Women with Pretty Hands

Ever been embarrassed to get a manicure because your nails are almost too far gone? Or are you constantly afraid of handshakes because your palms feel a little like sandpaper? Not to worry. Just take a cue from other ladies—you know, the ones with always-impeccable fingers. Sure, they may have genetics on their side, but they also incorporate these seven tips into their daily lives.

How to Keep Your Nails Looking Nice Without a Manicure

wash hands list
People Images/Getty Images

They Limit Exposure to Hot Water
Rule number one to keeping your hands supple (and your manis intact): Ease up on the hot water. It dries out your skin and causes polish to lift. Savvy ladies switch to lukewarm and cool water when they can.

They Keep Lotion Everywhere
By the kitchen sink, by the bathroom sink, on the get the point. This way they always remember to apply (and reapply) throughout the day and night. Sounds a tad obsessive, but constant moisture is the key to smooth skin now and aging skin later. 

skincare on hands list

They Use Their Skin-Care Products on Their Hands
Exfoliating your face? Use the rest to scrub away dead skin around your cuticles and on the backs of your hands. Slathering on face cream? Rub the remainder on your mitts. Every little bit helps.

They Take Care of Their Cuticles
Repeat after us: Healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. Massage a drop of oil (coconut, almond, olive or, you know, actual cuticle oil) into the base of each nail whenever you can. There’s really no overdoing it with this stuff—especially as you get older and your skin starts to lose moisture.

They Push Back, but Never Trim
Speaking of cuticles, push them back gently with a metal tool every couple days, but don’t trim them. They’re there for a reason and that’s to protect your nails from infection. Hangnails, on the other hand, should be trimmed immediately so you don’t end up snagging them on something (or more realistically, picking at them while you’re bored in a meeting).

apply spf on hands list
Iprogressman/Getty Images

They Apply SPF Religiously
The skin on the backs of your hands is very thin and therefore shows signs of aging first. (Think pronounced veins and dark spots.) Your best line of defense is to keep a tube of sunscreen in your purse and use it like you would your hand cream—obsessively. 

They Get (Somewhat) Regular Manicures
It certainly doesn’t have to be a weekly or even bi-weekly thing (unless you want to, of course). Even if it’s just once a month, go into the salon to get your nails properly trimmed, filed, shaped and buffed to keep them in good shape. It's like getting your hair trimmed, a little pro maintenance goes a long way (especially for your non-dominant hand). 

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...