Crazy for Cuticles? Get a Mango Home Manicure from JR Watkins


Getting truly natural nails is a chore. Between the ingredients in nail polish and remover, we’re putting some serious chemicals on our cuticles. (Sure, we could just leave them alone, but what’s the fun in that?) And don’t even get us started on the dangers of manicure drying lamps and more. Suddenly, bare, short nails don’t seem so terrible.

But the green beauty market seems to have us covered with safer products. First, check out this list of nail polishes– aka ones that won’t mess with your progeny. These are lines of polish that do not contain the evil triumvirate of chemicals – toluene, formaldehyde and BDPs. (And yes, they still do contain some chemicals – this is a matter of “less toxic” versus “toxic”.)

However, does that mean that our cuticles get left out of the green parade? Strictly speaking, cuticles are the strips of dead skin cells that at the base and sides of our fingernails. And they still need our natural love. Recently, I checked out the Hand & Cuticle Salve from J.R. Watkins ($8.49). It is free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and sodium laurel sulfates.

Further, it is certified natural by the Natural Products Association. Formulated with natural beeswax, the base contains olive fruit oil, safflower oil, and in my sample, mango fruit. However, I did notice that it does contain fragrance and tocopheryl acetate, to which Skin Deep gives high hazard ratings.


And how does it work? It has a fantastic, fruity smell that puts the “oh man!” in mango. (Yes, that was bad. Sorry.) It did give my hands and nails a good moisturizing treatment. Does the salve absorb as easily as some of the hand oils I’ve used? No, it doesn’t. I found myself walking around as if I’d just painted my nails – afraid to really touch anything. But it’s much less messy and a nice alternative to throw into your handbag. And the next day my unpolished nails had a nice, shiny look to them.

Ultimately, strong nails are part hereditary, part healthy diet. Some urge that we eat dark, leafy greens and yogurt to strengthen our nails. And if you want a recipe for homemade cuticle care, check out this one courtesy of Narine Nikogosian’s “Return to Beauty.”

Bitter Butter Nail Soak:

Butter is the best hydrator, and apple cider vinegar builds nails!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Melt butter in the microwave or stove top. Making sure it is not too hot (very important!), mix in the vinegar. Soak your fingers in this warm (not hot) mixture for ten minutes.

FTC Compliant

Image: scragz

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.