The key to finding out if your nails pass the basic hygiene and well-groomed test is if women around you do not inwardly cringe when they catch sight of your hands. As rugged as you might think it is, chipped or grime-filled nails are no-no's under basic nail hygiene 101. But if you're clueless about nail care methods that you can utilise at home, here's a quick 4 step guide for you to follow through easily:

1. Proper washing

You might snort as you glance at the header, but proper washing of hands goes a long way, especially when you start to get dirt and grime stuck beneath your nails, risking a fungal infection and spreading of germs. The vital part about handwashing is to lather up the soap in between your fingers, nails, and scrub for at least 20 seconds—to ensure that you get rid of all the microbes on your hands.

4 steps to healthy and well-groomed nails

Try: Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash for its woody and earthy scent along with finely-milled pumice for gentle exfoliation

2. Get the grime out

Soak your hands in a bowl of warm soapy water for 7 minutes to ensure your nails are pliable. If your nails have got the above-mentioned grime underneath, clean it out carefully using a filer then wash your hands again when you're done. Dab a little cuticle oil on each nail and let it sit for a minute to ensure your cuticles are moisturised before pushing your nail bed gently with a cuticle pusher, where the nail meets the skin.

4 steps to healthy and well-groomed nails

Try: Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream for 12-hour conditioning for your cuticles and nails

3. Trim appropriately

Use a good-quality nail clipper to trim your nails according to the curve of your finger. It's best not to trim them excessively short as that will hurt your fingers until they grow out. A good reference point is to leave a very thin white strip on the end of your nail. File your nails with a separate or already-attached nail filer on your nail clipper in one direction so that your nail edges aren't jagged.

4. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise 

If this is new to you, a good tip is to apply a liberal amount of hand cream and rub it in between your fingers, palms, back of your hands and especially on and around your nails. An effective hand cream makes all the difference between rough, dry and well-hydrated palms. It is essential to reapply hand cream after you've washed your hands, as constant washing strips off natural oils from your skin and causes it to dry out and crack easily.

4 steps to healthy and well-groomed nails

Try: Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve that has a blend of botanical oils and natural wax to soothe your skin