How to Keep Your Nails in Tip Top Shape
Posted on June 14 2017
Like the hair and skin, nails are usually the most visible part of your body. Keeping them in the perfect condition is important, especially in industries where appearance matters (such as the corporate, fashion, and media industry). Not only that, they can reflect the state of your overall health and well-being. Although nails are considered important, they’re usually overlooked by most people. Some are even misguided when it comes to taking care of them. Having beautiful and strong nails isn’t as complicated as some people might think. In this article, we will explore some common, and easy-to-do tips for healthy nails.
STAY AWAY FROM YOUR CUTICLES!
Have you ever been to a nail salon? Usually, what they would do is hack away at your cuticle to try and remove them. They would do this so that the nail polish would look even. Heck, even some beauty blogs would recommend pushing them back. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, doing this could damage the nails. The cuticle is a waxy material that protects your nail beds from infection. If you remove it, you’ll be exposing your nails to various bacteria and fungi which could damage your nails. So do yourself a favor and follow this healthy nails tip: stop picking on your cuticles.
HAVE A BALANCED DIET.
Your nails are made up of a lamellated protein called keratin (same constituent of your hair). Like all products synthesized by your body, they require the right amount of nutrients. For nails specifically, they need Biotin (a part of the Vitamin B complex), vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and protein. Experts have observed from numerous studies that Biotin supplementation can strengthen the nails. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids also provide nourishment for the cuticle and nails, allowing stronger nail growth. Also, since nails are made up of protein, a protein diet can help in their growth and nourishment. So a tip for healthy nails and an even healthier life is to stock up on some food rich in these nutrients.
TRIM YOUR NAILS REGULARLY.
Although long nails are considered fashionable, shorter nails look cleaner and more refined. Not only that, when you have shorter nails, the tendency for them to snag in certain places will be reduced, thus lessening nail damage. Also, like the hair, nails will look better if you trim them regularly. A nail care tip would be to cut the nails straight across and round them out at the tips.
GIVE YOUR HANDS SOME LOVE AND USE SOME GLOVES!
Household chores are inevitable. How can you go on without washing the dishes and doing the laundry? Unless if you have a helper. But even then, constant soaking and washing of hands can still dry them out, subsequently drying out your nails as well. This will lead to very brittle nails. To avoid this, protect your hands by wearing cotton-lined, rubber gloves when doing household chores and constantly moisturising your hands, which leads us to our next tip…
MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE, MOISTURISE!
The hair and skin aren’t the only ones that benefit from regular moisturising; nails will look healthier when they are not dehydrated. This helps you avoid dryness which can lead to cracks and fissure formation. Rubbing your nails with coconut oil, olive oil, or petroleum jelly can be effective in moisturising your nails. The pressure from the rubbing can also improve blood circulation to your fingers, thus stimulating better nail growth. Overall hydration can also do wonders for your nails, skin, and hair, so drink lots of water in order to look more vibrant and healthy!
READ THE LABELS.
When using nail products such as nail polish and nail polish removers, make it a point to always read the labels and ingredients. Chemicals such as acetone can dry out your nails, causing brittleness and damage. Products with dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde are also common nail polish toxins that contribute to nail brittleness. So when going to your next nail product shopping spree, avoid products with those chemicals.
FILE YOUR NAILS.
Using an emery board to file your nails will keep them from snagging on objects. However, do not use those old school emery boards with coarse surfaces to prevent microbreaks on the tips of your nails. A basic nail care tip would be to file your nails slowly and in one direction to avoid further damaging your nails.
Nails don’t exist to be used as tools when you need them. Their sole purpose is to protect your fingers from harm. Avoid using them to open soda cans, opening packages, etc. Extra pressure on your nails can eventually lead to nail breaks which are very unsightly and painful.
CHEW ON FOOD, NOT YOUR NAILS.
My sister used to have this nervous tick and it would drive my mum insane! Eventually, she stopped when she realised that her nails weren’t growing as nicely as it should. It looked too short for her fingers and overall ugly. If you have this mannerism, or if you see others like your kids doing it, try encouraging them to stop because constant chewing of your nails won’t only look bad, it’ll pave way for infection.
USE FLIP FLOPS WHEN USING PUBLIC SHOWERS
You may be clean, but not everyone shares the same importance to personal hygiene as you. Showers in public pools and facilities are rich in fungi and bacteria which, if you’re not vigilant, can go into your toenails and infect them. Be safe and wear flip-flops when using these public bathrooms because you never know what kind of infection lurks around the corner, waiting for its next victim.
LIMIT YOUR VISITS TO THE NAIL SALONS
Going to nail salons is a luxury you can do without. Like public restrooms, the tools of these professional manicurists can be rich in bacteria and fungi from their other customers. Also, constant application of nail polish can damage your nails. It’s not only advisable for health reasons, it’s also economically sound because a trip to the nail salon can cost you money which you could be using for other, more important things. However, if you cannot avoid going to the nail parlor, I suggest you bring your own tools for them to use. This will ensure you that what they’re using on your toes are clean.
There you have it! Simple tips for healthy nails. Follow them and you’ll have beautiful nails in no time. If you have any other tips that have not been tackled in this article, feel free to comment in the comments section below! :)