I'm a nail biter. Hate it, but it's true. I have been for years. I do it when I'm anxious, mostly, or distracted. Well, I say I'm a nail biter. I prefer to think of myself as a partially reformed nail biter. I stop and start. Right now my left hand is bitten, and my right hand looks great.
I abuse the hell out of my hands with all the lancing. Seven plus fingerpricks a day adds up quickly, and I don't like the way that my fingers look these days. They're rough and calloused, and still quite tender most of the time (any guitarists out there got any tips? Hurts like hell to play for long!), so most of the time, I like to do what I can to take care of my hands.
A big no-no that I learned fairly early on, both through advice, and through own experience, is using hand cream during the day. Messes with readings on my meter no end, if it turns out I have even the tiniest bit left on my hands. Last thing at night, however, I personally make a point of it. Best time of day to do it, in my opinion, as you're not busy doing things when you're asleep, so it gives the hand cream plenty of time to soak in.
Now there are lots of really great hand creams on the market. There are also overnight 'masks' and similar intensive treatments which I plan to look into. But for general day to day use, I have two particular ones that I would recommend. First up is the one I use the most, which is Almond Daily Hand & Nail Cream from The Body Shop. Smells amazing, helps strengthen your nails, and leaves them really smooth and soft. Second tip is Helping Hands from Lush. Not as nice smelling, to be honest, and it doesn't feel as great when you put it on, but you definitely feel that it's giving your hands all the right stuff.
Speaking of Lush products, which I'm a big fan of, it's good to hear that other people have been having success with a product I recommended back in March called 'You Snap The Whip'. It's honesty time here, I lost my own bar of this, but have managed to find it again, and plan to give it another try. But as I say, I've been hearing that others who've tried it have been having good results.
But my biggest tip for making your hands feel great? Manicure. Now, I don't care if you're a guy or a girl, having well cared for nails is a real ego boost. It makes me feel smart and a bit glamorous, which is a very nice feeling. It makes me feel that I'm looking after the part of my anatomy that gets the most pounding.
It's all about controlling what you can. So the sides of my fingertips might be covered in dots where I've drawn blood (oh, changing lancets frequently is also good!), but if I can make them look smart, tidy and well presented in all the ways that I can, then I know it makes me feel better.
What about the rest of you out there? What are your top tips?