How to get Healthy, Strong Nails

If you often paint your nails or use any kind of nail art, you’ll definitely want to have strong and healthy nails. It’s only when you take care of your nails that you’ll have the perfect canvas for your favourite nail polishes and decals. So, what are some things you can do to keep your nails in tip-top condition? Here are 6 of some of our best tips. 

6 Top Tips for Perfect Nails

1) Use a cuticle oil

You don’t have to spend a lot, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but using a cuticle oil will really help the condition of your nails, cuticles, and surrounding skin. There is a huge variety of different oils, some with fun and funky scents, there’s no excuse to not be using one! They’re essential if you want clean and healthy cuticles, and they can even help your nail polish last longer. You can even experiment with different oils, just mix them together in a bottle or nail pen (can also be found on Amazon) to create the perfect cuticle and nail oil. Cuticle oil prevents your cuticles from drying out and from becoming brittle.

2) Swap out your emery board for a crystal nail file

It is well worth investing in a crystal nail file. It will last you for years on end, a simple rinse under the tap when you feel like it needs a clean and it’s as good as new. Unlike regular emery boards (I actually shudder at the thought of them now!), a crystal nail file will allow you to file backwards and forwards without the fear of tearing or damaging your nail tips. This means you can get a nice clean shape in the easiest and healthiest way. Remember to file your nails in a single direction and keep a slow and steady pace so that you don’t weaken your nail beds. Sawing away at your nails will do more harm than good.

3) Avoid cutting your cuticles

I know a lot of nail salons will do this, but honestly, people, cutting your cuticles is a big no-no. There are so many great alternatives out there, nail and cuticle scrubs, cuticle dissolvers, you could even take a rubber orange stick and push them gently back after applying your cuticle oil.

This is because your cuticles are a layer of skin that protects the nail bed and allows it to grow healthily. So although some treatments may involve cutting your cuticles, it’s not recommended that you go for these kinds of practices. Cutting your cuticles might also lead to the dreaded hangnails. Cuticles provide a crucial barrier against germs and infection, and generally, you should leave your cuticles alone.  Remember – healthy cuticles lead to healthy nails.

4) Try to keep your hands out of water for long periods of time

Long soaks in the bath, washing up, anything that requires your nails to be submerged underwater for a lengthy amount of time will weaken them. Wet environments encourage bacterial growth, which is pretty gross and can be hard to remove. Coming into contact with strong chemicals – for example, when cleaning – will also weaken your nails. This means that you may want to wear rubber gloves when you wash the dishes or get someone else to do it. I love a long, hot relaxing bath, but I’m always conscious of keeping the nails above water. I also make the husband do the dishes – I don’t ask much of him I promise – he agrees that it’s a fair deal!

5) Keep your nails polished

It is not often you will catch me without nail polish on. It helps to protect the nail, so pop on a base coat, two coats of your chosen colour, and finish off with a top coat and cuticle oil. The base coat will make sure your nails aren’t stained, and the top coat will prevent the nail polish from chipping. Good to go! If you feel like your nails are feeling a little weak, using a glitter polish helps to fortify and prevent breaking.

6) Avoid Acetone

Admittedly as a nail blogger/swatcher, a life without acetone just wouldn’t work for me, it makes life far too easy. But I always remember to put the moisture back into my nails and hands after using it, as it completely saps them dry. Since acetone is a chemical that can be harsh on your nails, however, you really shouldn’t overuse it. But if you switch completely to non-acetone polish removers your nails and skin will thank you for it.

6) Keep Your Nail Tools Clean

This should be obvious, but keeping your nail tools clean will keep your nails clean as well. Things like nail clippers and nail files should be disinfected regularly. A quick rinse with tap water isn’t enough – you’ll likely leave oils from your fingers on your tools, which are hard to just clean with water. You can clean your tools by soaking them in rubbing alcohol or even bleach and then rinsing them in hot water. Doing this once every month is probably enough. You may also want to have separate nail clippers for your fingernails and toenails.

Eating healthy foods

Did you know eating super healthy foods has benefits in your nails? Just like it’s good for your body, it also has its benefits for your nails too. Your nails are made of keratin, which is a sort of protein. Hence, foods rich in protein or omega-3 fatty acids are particularly great for your nails. Foods that have these nutrients include fish, beans, and nuts. You can also take supplements like fish oil, which are readily available at the pharmacy or the supermarket. 

So there we are, I could go on and on but I don’t think you’d thank me for it! I feel like introducing these 7 small changes to your routine will do your overall nail health the world of good. If you want to show off your nail polish as best as you can, making sure your nails are clean and healthy should be your number one priority.

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