If you had to use acetone to remove gel or acrylic nails during lockdown or are now using harsh soaps and sanitisers on a regular basis you may have experienced nail damage and dried out hands leading to nail splitting and cracked and painful skin..
To get your hands and nails back into tip top condition apply nail oil or balm to nails and cuticles several times a day, If your nails are very brittle and splitting, protect them with a brush on treatment until they become strong enough. Strong healthy nails are flexible without breaking or splitting and grow at a steady rate,
To condition your hands, apply a non-greasy hand cream as often as you like and after you wash your hands. I carry a small one with me to apply whenever I am out and about, I find hand creams are very light and a good for day use, but don’t penetrate the skin deeply, so at home, and especially if I have developed skin cracks in colder weather, after gardening or when my skin is dried out and irritated, I use my heavier Hand Balm (which does contain bees wax so is not vegan) to get a deeper conditioning. It does take a little longer to soak in but I find that it quickly calms and dries out any weeping eczema or irritation due to the vitamin E, calendula oil and oat powder in the balm. Heavier balms are great for overnight treatments and help heal skin quicker.
Look for creams and treatments containing vitamin E, which is usually Tocopherol in ingredients listings or oils like hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, wheatgerm oil, almond oil and green tea oil which also contain high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and prevents skin damage from environmental factors like sunlight and pollution. For nail treatments, products containing keratin for brush on products and nails oils or balms containing lecithin, and oils high in vitamin E are best for your nails.
I have seen essential oils like lavender and lemon listed as good for your nails but I have not tried these. Remember to never use essential oils neat but dilute them in a carrier oil like almond oil at 10 drops essential oil to 100 ml carrier oil if you use them.