When following a beauty regimen, skincare and haircare routines often grab the center stage. Most of us tend to neglect or forget that our nails need an equal amount of nurturing, pampering, and caring.
Did you know that strong, healthy nails can be an indicator of good health? Unfortunately, our environment, everyday wear-and-tear of life, or bad manicures can strip them of nutrients and cause damage.
Hence, it’s essential to invest in some good nail care practices. Let it be part of your good hygiene maintenance. Preserve your nails’ shine and keep them from getting brittle and dry!
So here are some simple, effective, and inexpensive tips to keep your nippers in top shape, literally and healthily.
Keep ‘Em Clean and Dry
Unkempt nails are a breeding ground for bacteria, and most nail problems start with them. These are essential practices for maintaining healthy nails:
- Wash the inner side of your fingernails after digging into delicious meals
- Clear off the past week’s flaked or chipped nail polish
- Make sure your nails and the surrounding skin are free from grime and dirt
You can use an acetone-free remover to clear your nail polish and follow it with a gentle, nourishing hand wash free of harsh chemicals. Gently scrub around your fingernails and toenails using a clean toothbrush to remove dirt and dead skin cells. Thoroughly dry your hands and toes after washing.
No matter how convenient it might seem, never use your nails as replacement tools to open cans or bottles which can break and chip them.
Avoid vigorous scrubbing and buffing. Do not use sharp metals or pointy ends of nail files to clean under the nails, as they can separate the nail plate from the nail bed and leave it prone to infections.
Use gloves while doing the dishes or other chores. The chemicals in detergents and soaps can damage and weaken your fingernails.
Minimize Water Exposure
Have you noticed how your nails become soft and malleable after a long bath? It’s because nails absorb more water than the skin.
While you need to hydrate your hands and keep them clean, excessive water contact can weaken nail structure, making them brittle and susceptible to breakage.
Clip Them Regularly
Just like your hair, your nails also need regular trimming to maintain their health and prevent them from breaking and snagging.
So, take some time out every fortnight and cut them neatly in a straight line. As a bonus, having short, neat, and natural-looking nails is the new fashion trend.
File in One Direction
After trimming your nails, file them slowly and gently in one direction. Not only does this help you achieve a smooth tip and give it a good shape, but it also prevents premature breakage. Filing your nails aggressively in a back-and-forth motion can weaken your nails and harm the nail bed.
Use a glass file instead of an emery board to smooth out the edges. It helps create an even finish and can be used even on weak and damaged nails.
Moisturize Your Fingernails, Too
When you don’t go to bed without moisturizing your face, why should it be any different with your nippers?
One essential nail care habit to adopt is moisturizing your nails regularly because they also need external moisture to stay healthy, just like the skin.
You can use cuticle moisturizers, hand creams, lotions, or other moisturizing oils to maintain your nails' health, shine, and strength. If you prefer not using any cosmetics, rubbing a few drops of olive, almond, avocado, or coconut oil before going to bed also works.
Don't Scrape Your Nail Polish
When your nail polish starts to peel or chip off, get rid of it entirely with a cotton pad soaked in acetone-free nail polish remover.
Avoid scraping off the polish. It not only ruins the texture of your nail but also makes it excessively dry by removing its healthy, protective layer.
A good nail care habit is to remove the polish when it starts to lose its shine, instead of waiting for it to peel or chip off on its own.
Take Good Care of Nail Tools
It’s essential to clean, disinfect, and sanitize your nail care tools periodically, before and after each use, to keep them bacteria-free and your nails infection-free.
Regularly replace disposable tools like emery boards, and wash metal implements thoroughly with soap and water.
Indulge Sparingly in Acrylics and Gel Treatments
Although gel nails and acrylics are convenient and long-lasting, they can take a toll on your nails’ health. Gel manicures can damage the skin in and around the nail due to their exposure to UV light.
The best solution is to apply sunscreen or a gel polish before the procedure to minimize the effect.
Choose Nail Care Products Carefully
Stay away from nail care products that could potentially harm your nails. Whether it’s nail polish, cuticle oil, or nail polish remover, read the labels just as you would with makeup and other skincare products.
Choose brands that are paraben-free, sulfate-free, and toxin-free. Preferably, pick something filled with the goodness of Vitamins A, C, and E.
And when using sanitizers, try not to get them on your nails as they can cause dryness. Always opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover.
Use Both Base and Top Coats
An easy way to avoid discoloring your nails is by applying polish between a base coat and a top coat.
The base adds a protective layer to your nails and prevents it from getting stained by the polish. On the other hand, the top staves off chipping and splashes a much-needed gloss finish.
Just like your skin and hair, your nails are made of a protein called keratin. Proteins are alive and must be fed well to thrive.
A lousy, unhealthy diet can cause brittle nails, particularly from calcium deficiency. For healthier and stronger nails, fill your meals with protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. Opt for nutrient-rich foods like nuts, seeds, eggs, whole grains, lentils, and fish.
You can also consider taking supplements like biotin capsules and omega oils to nourish your nails, skin, and hair from within.
While it’s crucial to keep your nails free from harsh chemicals and polishes to maintain their health, it doesn’t hurt to occasionally indulge in some safe and chemical-free enhancements.
Wondering what they are? Press-on nails!
For gorgeous and timeless press-on nails that are also long-lasting and affordable, check out Glamnetic’s extensive collection of nail sets and bundles.
These babies allow your nails to breathe. Plus, every Glamnetic nail set also comes with 24 nails in 12 different sizes. They’re even chip-resistant and waterproof so you can use them repeatedly.
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