How to Keep Your Nails Healthy and Strong
Nails might be one of the last things on your beauty maintenance list. We take lots of care to ensure our hair and skin are in optimal condition — well-moisturized, conditioned, and smooth. We often leave the nail care for the manicure we get once every four months, leaving the nail technicians to push back our cuticles, buff the nails, moisturize, and massage our hands. However, for the most part, we bite our nails, let hangnails hang, or do things like peel our previous gel manicure off, leaving our nails all gritty and rough. Is it very difficult to care for our nails? Or are there easy ways that we can incorporate nail care into our daily beauty routine to ensure fingernail health? In this article, we are going to tell you some of the best tips for caring for your nails.
Why should we care for our nails?
Nails actually say a lot more than we think. Have you ever seen someone with fingernails that have dirt under them? Contrast that to someone who has well-manicured nails that are clean and trimmed. It says a lot about your personal hygiene and the way you present yourself. Also, having brittle nails can result in breakage that can be quite painful. Here are some ways that you can easily protect and keep your nails healthy! Let’s do a rundown of the care tips nails will most definitely appreciate.
Pamper your cuticles, and don’t ever cut them!
The nails grow out of an area located underneath the cuticle known as the nail matrix or the nail root. The cuticles are essentially the skin that protects the nail matrix and the new nails that will grow out of it. You might be familiar with nail salons and manicure procedures of cutting or pushing back the cuticles, but don’t do it yourself at home! The cuticle is really important for protecting the nail matrix against bacteria and germs that can enter the body and cause infections. Furthermore, cutting the cuticles can also result in infections, white lines, ridges, and other sorts of nail problems. So remember that no matter how your cuticles might make your nails look, they have a purpose in protecting your body from outside infections. To care for your cuticles, always moisturize them with nourishing cuticle oil, and if you do need to trim off hangnails, very gently push back the cuticle with a cotton bud soaked in oil and then snip off the hangnail carefully.
Make sure all your tools are clean by disinfecting them
Whenever you finish using nail tools such as your clippers and files, make sure you disinfect them. There is a ton of bacteria and germs under your nails that can get onto your nail tools. Hence, disinfecting your nail clippers and files should be done on a monthly basis. To disinfect your nail tools you can soak a brush in isopropyl alcohol with a content of 70% or higher, and then use this brush to clean the clippers and file. Rinse the tools off the alcohol in hot water. You should also make sure you have different nail clippers for your toes and fingernails.
File your nails correctly
Many of us don’t know that there is actually a correct way to file your nails. Filing your nails the wrong way can result in them breaking, which is very painful. The first thing to do is to ensure that you have a good quality nail file. Nail files come in different grades, and a nail file with a higher grain will result in more breaking as it is rougher. A fine grade nail file from 400 to 600 grit will not be as aggressive. The proper way to file your nails is to file them in one direction, and each time that you return the stroke, lift up the file. This method is the best way to prevent your nails from breaking or becoming damaged.
Give the nail polish a break every once in a while
We all love the look of a freshly manicured set of nails, and nothing irks us more than the sight of bare nail creeping under the color. Some nail perfectionists get their manicures redone every couple of weeks to ensure that their fingertips look perfect 24/7. However, having nail polish on at all times can be extremely damaging for our nails. Even if you like the way shellac nail polish looks, you shouldn’t always have them. Nail polish can cause damage to the strength and health of our nails, especially if they are full of chemicals. Brittle, thin, and dry nails are often the result of wearing polish for too long, and this is probably something we are familiar with after removing nail polish. The nail is yellow, dry, and flaking. If you want to remove your nail polish to get a fresh coat, make sure you remove it after five days and then let the nails rest for another five days before you get them repainted. Leaving polish on for too long is one of the most common ways we cause damage to our nails. You can have july 4th nails designs once in a while, but after that, give it a rest!
Give yourself some at-home nail spa treatments
The same way that we give ourselves beauty self-care days, our nails deserve some TLC too! Whenever our skin is looking dry, sallow, or just tired, we often pop on a deep-cleansing mask or moisture-boosting mask for some additional radiance and glow! The same goes for our nails, we can give our nails a boost of moisture and nutrients. You can look for deeply hydrating nail oils that can strengthen and hydrate the nails. Or you can try nail recovery solutions that contain peptides, which are proteins crucial for building strong nails. You can also do home remedies by mixing up some very simple ingredients. If your nails are looking yellow and dry, juice up a lemon and mix it with some baking soda to form a paste. Apply it to your nails and let it sit to remove the yellow stains. For dry cuticles, try dabbing on some olive oil or coconut oil to add a boost of moisture.
Having healthy nails is important for our overall health, and you can add these easy tips into your beauty routine! Set aside time in your weekly self-care day to give your nails some TLC and you will see a big difference in their strength and shine!
Stay tuned for more nail topics where we talk about the different meme nails have on the internet, and more!