It can be a combination of cold weather and central heating that can wreak havoc with our hands and nails, not least because they are constantly exposed to these harsh conditions.

The result?

Dry skin and unconditioned nails that flake and break at the drop of an emery board. Hardly the look of the season, is it?

Remember that prevention is better than cure so it’s best to start your treatments now. There are however a few simple steps to take to combat dehydration. Firstly, always wear rubber gloves when doing household chores - not sexy, but hot water, poor drying and an absence of hand and nail cream is a fast route to dry, damaged hands and nails. Put a tube of Best Defence Hand & Nail Creamat the sink and one on your desk at work so there's no excuse to avoid massaging in a nourishing blob after every wash. Also my Intense Manicure Oil makes a fabulous night treatment, just pop it on before bed and let it work its magic throughout the night.

Keep nails in gorgeous condition by filing them using a Crystal Nail File tilted at an angle under the nail. Avoid using coarse emery boards or metal files as these can cause nails to split and peel. Also don't file nails when they are wet - this is when they are most vulnerable to damage, as the water works to separate the layers of the nail bed and can cause peeling.

When it comes to painting, use a good base coat to prevent staining from dark winter polish shades and don't forget to swipe the tips. Oh and make sure you use an acetone-free, essential oil based nail polish remover like my Essential Remover to prevent further dehydration. For a quick fix for dry nails and cuticles Slick Tips Nail & Cuticle Oil gives almost instant results, so apply at least three times a week to keep nails hydrated and in tip top condition. It also comes in a Handy Pen to you can condition-on-the-go! 

Most Common Autumn/Winter Nail Issues 

Peeling

This is caused by the dehydration in the nail plate; to avoid use rubber gloves when doing household chores. Seal the tips of the nails with a Crystal Nail File and to instantly re-hydrate the nails, start regularly using a nail oil such as Slick Tips and steer clear of acetone-based polish removers. Buffing the nails can help remove the dehydration, like exfoliating your skin, and it also stimulates nail growth. The best product for peeling nails is the Renovate Nail Cream with the Duplex Buffer

Breaking

To help prevent nail breakage moisturise frequently with a nail or hand and nail cream, especially one rich in panthenol like Best Defence which helps prevent brittleness, and always use a treatment regime for your nail type. 

Ridges

Ridges seem to deepen in the winter so use a ridge filling, conditioning base coat such as my Undercover teamed with the Trio Buffer. The first time you buff, do the whole nail with the number 1 side, thereafter, only buff new nail growth with number 1 side and don't buff too harshly - you can use number 2 and the miracle shine side more often, if needed. 

Who needs what?

Hydra-Flex Regime is for dry, brittle, and flaking nails. The nail can be stiff, has little flexibility and will probably be brittle. The surface can look dry, dull and the top layer may flake. It may have ridges. It may also crack and flake down the line of the ridge.

Bio-Build Regime is for soft, thin, weak, fragile nails. The nail is thin and weak. It bends and splits easily and may peel in thin layers at the tips. It has no 'body' and can't withstand stresses and strains.

Brilliance Regime is for dull, stained and yellow nails. The surface of the nail is dull and may look yellow. It needs a white tip contrast with a healthy pink nail bed to look cleaner and healthier. 

Two of the treatment regimes are now available in handy (excuse the pun) Travel Pens and all three of the regimes now come in the Remove & Go Pots so you can always have your favourite nail treat close by.  

Renovate Nail Repair Therapy is ideal for people who have a combination of flaking, ridged, peeling, weak and ageing nails, it's an intense and cosmetically therapeutic nail cream that protects, hydrates and helps to strengthen nails. It comes with the Duplex buffer that smoothes, shines and seals the nail surface to help further discourage nail flaking.  Renovate can also be used alternatively with one the Treatment Regimes. 

Okay... so now we've sorted any issues with your hands and nails, you've got no excuse to be sporting this season’s must-have shades from Leighton Denny Expert Nails.

So tell me…

1) In Autumn/Winter do you have issues and need to change your nail care routine?

2) Will you try a new nail shade from the new A/W collection, if so, which one?

Thanks for reading my blog and please leave your comments below!