If you know me you will know that I am a bit of a cannibal. I just can’t stop chewing my nails and cuticles. Frankly, I’m surprised I actually have fingertips left after all these years! I think I’ve made huge strides this year in growing my nails on and off, so I have been spending a lot of time recently trying to keep them in good shape. A while ago I received quite a few Milk Solutions products from their natural range to review, and I’ve created a routine which I’m pretty pleased with.
Milk Solutions is a locally manufactured South African brand (yay carbon footprint!) with a website so colourful it makes you want to paint your nails right away…and possibly eat some sweets, but that could just be me. Designed for salon professionals, the products are available online so you can create an at-home routine for yourself.
The packaging is the affordable plastic type, yet quite quirky in some ways. The hand serum looks like an ordinary tub with a lid until you open it to discover a nifty pump mechanism inside. The products are lightly scented, so they smell nice without being overpowering at all.
For hand washing I have been using the orange and lime liquid hand wash (R159). I didn’t think I would ever get excited about a hand wash, but no matter how many times a day you wash your hands with this, your hands feel moisturised. Some liquid soaps dry out your hands and make you want to run for the nearest hand cream, but this hand wash is quite the opposite. I also try to remember to use the lettuce hand repair serum (R202) once a day. This is a hydrating serum which is very fast absorbing, light and non-sticky. *Fun fact: lettuce is 94.9% water and is packed with vitamin A!
Every time I remove my polish and sit down to re-paint my nails I first use the tomato and basil hand and body scrub (R283) to exfoliate my hands. This is the one product from the range which I don’t love, as it has quite a thick cream base which is difficult to rinse off, leaving white residue around my nails. On the flip side of the coin, there is no denying that it leaves my hands incredibly soft and moisturised, which is why I don’t skip this step.
My other favourite product is the marula cuticle hydrating oil (R100). I always apply it first to cuticles and bare nails and give it a good massage in. I really love the immediate improvement you get from cuticle oil and how nourishing it is. I’ve seen a big difference in my cuticles, which are usually dry and easy to nibble (that’s gross, I know). If they are smooth and moisturised all the time, chewing becomes less of an attraction or possibility. The only thing I would change about this is the spray nozzle, which means too much oil is dispensed at a time. I need to squirt some into my hand first before applying to each nail. A dropper would make it a lot easier to apply the correct amount per nail. *Fun fact: marula fruit isn’t just used to make tasty liqueur. It’s a favourite snack of elephants. and marula oil contains 28% protein.
Once I have finished painting my nails and my polish is dry, I then give my hands and cuticles a final moisturising with the marula cuticle repair cream (R147). It is really intended for cuticles but I use it on my hands as well as fingertips. You know those criss-cross crepe-like lines you get on the back of your hands? Well, a combination of the repair serum and cuticle repair cream seems to have ironed those out completely. The backs of my hands are really smooth. I also received a rooibos and honey hand & body moisturiser (R248), but I prefer to use that on my dry legs (it is amazing for really dry legs and absorbs easily without much effort) as it is an enormous tub, and use the cuticle repair cream on my hands.
Although I’m still battling my biting habit – so I can’t tell if the products are boosting nail growth – I have seen a big difference in my cuticles and hands. I have very red cuticles and the redness has calmed down a lot, while the flakiness has disappeared, which in turn means I haven’t been able to pick at my cuticles. In summer I can’t stand to have dry hands or feet, so these products are really going to help prevent the dryness I get from salt water, sand and chlorine.