When it comes to moisturizing any part of the body, you always want to start with a clean slate. That means thoroughly washing your hands and nails with soap, and even giving them a proper scrub with a nail brush. You also want to exfoliate your nails.
“Your nails have layers of dead nail cells — aka onychocytes — that become dehydrated and damaged from environmental exposures such as water, temperature changes, as well as chemicals from products, polish remover being the biggest culprit,” board-certified dermatologist and nail specialist Dana Stern, MD told Well + Good. “As a result, the onychocytes lift and separate, which causes peeling — this is analogous to dry, rough, scaly skin.” When you scrub away all those layers, you’re basically inviting whatever moisturizer you apply to be fully absorbed. And since that’s the point of slugging, that’s exactly what you want.
Although you can use any type of exfoliant you might already have or purchase one at the store, if you want to save a few dollars, you can easily make your own. When it comes to making a perfect exfoliant scrub, all you need are sugar, oil, and a scent of your choice. Mix them all together until it’s a consistency that’s best for you, and voilà! Now get to exfoliating.