Maintaining beautiful and strong nails (both in your hands and feet) is a feat for most women. Here’s how to do just that.
While our nails are prone to ridges, dents and cracks, regular nail care can work wonders in achieving healthy nails. The ultimate solution to your nail dilemmas is developing habits essential for your nails to look gorgeous enough to make a good impression on anyone you deal with every day.
To help you get started, here are the seven habits you need to develop to have those sought after nails that are as strong as they are beautiful.
Whether you do your mani-pedi on your own or you get it done by a professional in a salon, find time to make an appointment to trim your nails weekly. Regular nail care, including cuticle care and filing, is crucial to maintaining beautiful and strong nails.
It’s also important to use nail polishes that do not contain toluene, formaldehyde resin and formaldehyde as they can be toxic when inhaled and can cause damage to you nails.
Also, make sure that you apply a base coat and a top coat when applying nail polish. When removing nail polish, stay away from acetone-based polish removers because they strip your nails and make them brittle.
Are you going to clean your home using a household cleaning formula? Then make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands and nails from harmful chemicals that may be present in these cleaners. Exposing your nails to these chemicals can result in brittleness and breakage later on.
If your plans for the day include gardening, consider wearing gloves to protect your nails from getting dirty and coming in contact with bacteria. If you’re going to wash the dishes, wear gloves so that your hands are not exposed directly to the dishwashing liquid and to protect your hands and nails while scrubbing stubborn dishes.
Similarly, wear a pair of winter gloves to keep your hands warm on chilly days, and to protect your nails from the dryness and deterioration that cold temperatures can cause.
We are often encouraged to wash our hands frequently, but the truth is that if we wash our hands too often, it damages our nails. They can weaken, break and tear more easily when often submerged in water.
If your job requires you to wash your hands frequently, moisturize your hands with hand lotion as often as you can. Moisturizing the entire nail can help to prevent it from cracking and chipping. Rub and massage your cuticles to get the blood flowing in the nail bed, too. This habitual exercise facilitates nail growth.
Sunscreen is not only for your face, shoulders and legs. It should be used on your hands and feet, too, including the fingers and toes. If you’re going to be under a LED light, UV or the harmful rays of the sun, apply a generous amount of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your hands to ensure that they are protected.
Biotin, more commonly known as Vitamin H, is a water-soluble member of the Vitamin B family. Several studies conducted by researchers and dermatologists have shown that biotin supplements improve nail thickness and reduce the chance of breaking, chipping and splitting in nails.
Other things to look for in nail products are MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and silicon as they also help in the growth and strengthening of the nails.
Avoid wearing shoes that are too pointy or too small for you. If the shoes you wear are too tight, they can cause the toe nails to grow into the adjacent skin, which can result in an ingrown nail—and we all know how painful it is to deal with the much dreaded ingrown nail.
When the nail gets infected, it’s even more painful and may even prevent you from going out if you can’t walk comfortably. So, let your feet breathe and stick to wearing only shoes that fit your feet well.
Damp environments are where fungi and viruses live and thrive. For this reason, when you’re in a public place like swimming pools and shoe stores, do not walk around barefoot for the sake of your nails.
Aside from maintaining a healthy skin, a regular nail care regimen is also essential to achieving well-groomed and healthy nails. Remember these seven habits and start applying them until they become habits.
How are you nails currently? Do you give them TLC? Do you have any additional tips for other women who deal with constant nail breakage? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them in the comments!
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus.
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