You’ve conquered your complexion and you’ve managed to achieve and maintain healthy, flowing locks, but what about your nails? Many people don’t give much thought to their nails, yet, the hands are something we see and use every day. Not only should the health and appearance of your hands make you happy but also, they should impress others. You don’t need to invest in weekly manicures to have healthy nails, though — you simply need to follow these tips.
Tips for caring for your fingernails fall into two broad categories: Fingernail do’s and fingernail don’ts. Some things you should begin doing today to protect your nail health are as follows:
- Practice good nail hygiene. Make sure your clippers or nail scissors are sharp and able to slice right through the excess nail, otherwise you’ll be left with hangnails and jagged edges. When you trim your nails, make sure to cut straight across. Use a nail file to round out the sharp edges. Clean out any dirt beneath your nails to prevent bacteria growth.
- Keep your fingernails dry. Prolonged contact with water — especially hot water — can crack your nails and allow bacteria to seep in. Though you cannot avoid doing the dishes forever (We wish!), you can wear gloves to protect both your hands and nails from cracking. You should also use gloves when using cleaning chemicals to clean the surfaces in your home.
- Apply a protective layer. Use a protective clear coat designed to fortify the nails and moisturize them from the bottom up.
- Moisturize the nails. Ideally, the protective clear coat you use will also moisturize your nails, but if it doesn’t, use a strong hand lotion to protect both the fingernails and your skin.
- Consider a supplement. If your nails are really brittle, and if the above tips don’t work, talk to your doctor about using a supplement. Biotin can help strengthen weak nails and, as a bonus, it’s great for hair health!
All the good you do by taking the above steps can easily be undone by engaging in certain bad habits. Habits to avoid include the following:
- Don’t bite your fingernails. Fingernail biting or picking at your cuticles can severely damage the nail bed. Even a small tear along your cuticle is enough to allow bacteria in, which can lead to an infection.
- Don’t use harsh nail products. Though fingernail polish is fun, it can wreak havoc on your nails if you use it too often. Cheap polishes and acetone-rich remover can dry out your nails and destroy your nail health. If you do want to keep your nails colorful, apply a protective coat first, followed by a quality polish. When you remove the polish, use an acetone-free formula.
- Don’t pull of hangnails. Chances are that when you pull off pieces of dead skin, you’ll pull of healthy skin right along with it. Carefully clip away hangnails when they develop.
- Don’t ignore problems. If you develop a nail problem that doesn’t go away with your efforts or on its own, consult with a dermatologist, who can assess your nails for signs of a more serious, underlying issue and/or prescribe a treatment.
Achieving nail health doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, for many people it begins and ends with protecting them. See how NuNails can help you achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful nails with just a few coats.