How to get strong and healthy nails. Whether you are someone who regularly paints their nails or someone who’s constantly picking and biting at their cuticles, we all want healthy and strong nails.
Here are some easy and simple tips to help you take the best care of your nails.
Keep your hands clean
Before you do anything else, it’s important to keep your nails and skin around them clean. Remove all traces of your last color with an acetone-free remover. Apply soap to a toothbrush, then gently scrub your nails and skin. This will remove dirt and exfoliate and dead skin without the need of harsh chemicals.
Be gentle on your nails
Your nails are delicate and scrubbing them too much can expose you to infection. Try not to use metal tools under the nail as this can cause your nail plate to separate from the skin.
Clip your nails regularly
Long nails look beautiful, but if you suffer from breakage, keep them short. A short style with round edges is easy to manage and looks neat so you can focus on building strength.
Always have a nail file handy
To smooth away any rough edges, have a nail file on hand. Work in one direction with the grain of your nail for a smoother finish. Try using a glass nail file. This will create an even edge and can be used on the weakest of nails.
Take care of your nail tools
Like with your makeup brushes, cleaning your nail tools is important. Wash your tools with hot, soapy water and then wipe them with rubbing alcohol. Replace disposable tools like emery boards.
Leave your cuticles alone
Your cuticle serves a very important purpose. It seals the area at the base of your nail. When you cut it, it can leave you open to bacteria and the possibility of infection.
Taking care of your cuticles also helps to minimise those hangnails. If you want to mess around with your cuticles, push them back once a week with a wooden stick after getting out of the shower. Finish with messaging them with a cuticle oil or moisturiser.
Use a base coat
There’s no excuse for not using a base coat. Not only will it protect the nail from being stained by the polish but will help keep the color opaque and look more saturated. Add a coat of clear polish between each layer to add extra shine and protection.
Steer clear of toxic nail polish
Just with your makeup and skincare, not all nail polish brands are created equal. Steer clear from polishes that have toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene as these can contribute to splitting and cracking.
Give your nails a break
We all love to get our acrylic and gel manicures, but they are very hard on the nail. If you are keen on getting them done, there are some things you can do to minimise the damage.
The issue with gel manicures is the exposure to UV light in the drying process, which can damage the skin below and around the nail. To help reduce the risk, apply sunscreen before the procedure to help block the damage. You can try using special gloves that expose only the nails themselves, shielding the rest of your hands.
If you are doing a DIY manicure at home, be careful of strong colours. Going from one strong colour to the other without a break can dry nails out and over time, weaken the nail structure.
Nail polish remover could be the only reason your nails are weak and sometimes, going natural could be just the thing your nails need to refresh.
You wouldn’t go to bed without moisturising your face, so why should your nails be any different? Use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails nourished and hydrated. In a pinch, you can even use lip balm.
Load up on protein-rich food
Your nails are made of a protein called keratin so to help keep nails strong, tweak your diet. Eat protein-rich foods like beans, fish and nuts. Add vitamins and supplements like biotin, vitamin E and fish oil into your daily regimen.
When you find the right combination for you, you’ll be rewarded with stronger, clearer nails.
How to get strong and healthy nails