During the harsh cold winter months it’s hard to keep your hands looking pristine. It’s important to nourish your nails to keep them healthy.
My favorite products at the moment:
1. Nail Strengthener – Sephora
2. Nail Growth Miracle Serum – Sally Hansen
3. Healthy Cuticles – Sally Hansen
Here are a few of my favorite tips.
1. Think about how you currently care for your nails. Do you clip them and keep your hands moisturized? Do you work with your hands a lot? Do you bite your nails? Are you burying your nails under layers of acrylic gel or nail polish, and then soaking them in acetone to remove the gel or polish? Do you spend a lot of time with your hands in water, such as swimming or washing dishes? Your daily activities have a lot to do with the quality of your nails. Take an inventory of these things, and consider the effect they have on the quality of your nails.
2. Limit your exposure to harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals, such as acetone and others found in nail polishes, (as well as other chemicals one might encounter, if you work with them!) can sap moisture from your cuticles and weaken your nails considerably. Spending a lot of time with your hands in water can also soften your nails, causing them to break easily. Give your nails a break! Thoroughly remove any polish you might have on your nails. Clip your nails short. If you have a habit of biting your nails, make a commitment to quitting! If part of your routine is visiting the nail salon every week or so, consider taking a hiatus from this practice. Leave your nails naked, let them breathe. (And save your money!) This is one of the best things you can do for your nails!
3. Wear gloves! When doing heavy work with your hands, wear work gloves.
- When washing dishes, wear those fun yellow dish-washing gloves.
- Protect your nails from the elements.
- Also, to keep your hands soft and moisturized and your nails properly hydrated, slather your hands with your favorite lotion, or Vaseline, or non-petroleum jelly (sold in health food stores) or natural oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or jojoba oil or a mixture, and slip on cotton gloves before you go to sleep. (Remove any rings before you do this, otherwise your jewelry will get all gunked up.) When you wake up, your hands, nails and cuticles will feel and look soft, moisturized and healthy.
- If you can do this on a regular basis, you should begin to see a difference in the quality and health of your hands and nails.
4. File toward the middle of your nail. Start on one side and use even strokes of an emery board to shape and smooth the end of your nail. Turn your finger around and file the other half on the nail. (This takes practice, especially if you’re in the habit of simply sawing back and forth with your emery board.) Filing toward the center allows the bulk of the nail to support the edges, preventing the nail from splitting. Over time, this technique helps to improve the quality of your nails. Also, avoid metal emery boards, as they can be very harsh. Use a basic emery board, and use the lighter, finer grain side as much as possible. You want to be gentle with your nails.
5. Work from the inside-out. Your diet has as much to do with the strength of your nails as your lifestyle. Look at your diet. If your body isn’t getting the proper amounts of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals it needs, then it is not going to be able to make strong nails. Of course you’ve heard that you should “eat a balanced diet!” from tons of other sources, and you don’t need to hear it again. Though it really does make a huge difference. If you eat a healthy diet and your nails are still weak, consider investing in a high-quality supplement for hair, skin and nails. These supplements usually contain vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as many B vitamins, and folic acid, zinc, iron, calcium and biotin. Making sure you have a good intake of omega 3 oils can also reduce your risk of weak, brittle nails. When taken on a regular basis, supplements can have considerable positive effects. Not only will your nails grow stronger, you might see an improvement in your skin and hair, and you may even feel healthier and have more energy as well!
6. Buff your nails. Get an inexpensive, four-sided nail buffer from your local drugstore. Buffing your nails brings blood and lymph to the nail matrix (the tissues under your nails responsible for producing new fingernail!) and also smooths ridges in your nails and makes them shiny. Buffing your nails makes them pretty and classy, without resorting to chemical-heavy polishes!