If you paint your nails often, you remove your polish often, too. Acetone and other removers dry your skin out so it is important to put back what it takes out. I've got an arsenal of moisturizers so I am going to share with you my favorites.
1. Lush Lemony Flutter - This stuff really is all it's cracked up to be. It is super hydrating and has staying power; it doesn't absorb instantly. It has a pleasant (to me) lemon scent. The little 1.5oz tub was around $15 but I've had it since September and haven't even made a dent in it yet. It does have an expiration date on it however, which I'm not too crazy about but overall I think it is worth it. If you have a nail buddy you could go halfsies on it and decant half.
When I first bought it, the name led me to believe it would have the consistency of whipped butter or something, but it doesn't. It is dense and waxy almost, not waxy like Burt's Bees Cuticle Creme (which I no longer use because I prefer Lemony Flutter by a landslide) Some may find it a little bit greasy, but if you don't want that you could use any type of lotion which will absorb much quicker.
2. China Glaze Cuticle Oil - I suppose this could be a fill-in-the-blank for any type of cuticle oil, I just think it's important to own at least one. I use it for taking pictures as opposed to regular application. I wash it off before photographing (of course) and it gives my cuticles a little bit more life and moisture instantly. I always make sure to let it sit a little before washing it off, too. I know some people use it regularly but I find the extra step of washing it off a bit of a pain. As far as the China Glaze Oil goes, they're scented (one peppermint, the other 'holiday berry') I don't mind the scents, they're subtle.
3. Lotion - For me, the brand isn't that important. Using any type of moisturizing lotion is helpful. The Walgreens one is cheap at 99 cents while I think the Aveeno may have been a couple of bucks more. Both affordable and effective. Lotion is important especially in the winter. I wash my hands constantly and soap dries them out. Having cracked skin can lead to infections just as any other open wounds can.
4. Hand Sanitizer - If you're using this, the lotion is again important. I use it to cut the grease that Lemony Flutter sometimes leaves behind. I carry these as well as lotion in my purse to make sure my hands don't dry out but stay clean at the same time.
I realize that I don't have the best routine or skin but what I do works for me. My normal regime for swatching goes as follows (this is after my nails are painted and I'm ready to photograph):
1. Lemony Flutter
2. Cuticle Oil, I rub it in and let it sit for a few minutes.
3. I wash my hands with Dawn to cut the oil.
4. Some more Lemony Flutter.
5. Hand Sanitizer
When I'm not taking pictures, I use Lemony Flutter + Hand Sanitizer + Lotion, sometimes just the Lemony Flutter. If you maintain a moisturizing regime, then it's easier to manage and feels like less of a "chore".
Stay hydrated! (=