No matter if you are the type of person who meticulously paints your nails every day as a form of self-care or the type of person who continuously picks and bites at their cuticles, we all have the same goal: to have nails that are strong, beautiful, and well manicured. When your fingernails are neatly manicured, it gives the impression that your hands are younger and might even make you look more polished (excuse the pun!).
Because frequent hand washing and skipping trips to the salon can have a negative impact on the appearance of your nails, we consulted with professionals in the field of nail care to find out exactly what you should be doing for your nails. But first, how can you know if your nails are in good health? This is what you should be looking for.
Signs of Healthy Nails:
- The nail plates have a pinkish-white tint, which is a sign that the nails are in good health.
- Cuticles are real; thus, you shouldn’t cut them!
- The nail tips and fingernails are the same length.
- A prominent white portion in the shape of a half-moon (called the lunula) near the base of the nail
Signs of Unhealthy Nails:
It’s possible that dryness or a vitamin deficit are to blame for your nails peeling or splitting.
Tiny white patches on your nails almost always indicate that you bite them or paint them too frequently.
Stress, high fevers, or even accidentally jamming your finger could have caused horizontal grooves.
It’s possible that trimming or biting your cuticles is what’s causing the redness and swelling around your nails.
Nails that are shaped like spoons may be an indication of iron deficiency or anemia.
1. Keep your hands very clean.
After washing your hands, you should make sure that your fingernails are completely clean by first removing any and all remnants of lacquer with an acetone-free remover that will not cause nails to become dry.
Heal Your Skin, recommends using soap to a clean toothbrush and then gently scrubbing nails and the skin surrounding them in order to remove dirt and exfoliate any dead skin without resorting to harsh, drying chemicals.
2. Be gentle on your nails.
Remember that your nails are fragile, and always treat them as such. Avoid using metal tools under your nails because excessive digging can lead to onycholysis, a disorder that is common in persons over the age of 50.
Onycholysis can be prevented by avoiding using metal tools under your nails. Using cleaning products that contain chemicals and washing dishes by hand can both cause nail weakness.
3. Clip your nails regularly.
Maintaining a regular trimming routine is just as crucial for your nails as it is for your hair since it makes your nails less prone to snags and breaking. Your goal should be to trim them once every two weeks, but you can change this as necessary after you observe how your nails react to the routine.
Prioritize nail health over length.
If you are someone who has experience with hangnails or breaking them you keep your nails short — at least for a period of time as you allow them to grow stronger. Long nails are elegant, but if you are someone who has struggled with either of these issues.
A tidier appearance may be achieved by opting for a shorter style with rounded edges. This type of style also tends to be easier to maintain, which means you won’t have to put your nails through any additional strain. You won’t notice the difference in length as long as each nail is the same shape throughout and matches the nine nails on either side of it.
4. Always keep a nail file on hand.
If your employment or exercise routine puts your nails in danger of becoming damaged always have a nail file available so that you may immediately smooth down any jagged edges that may appear. Always work in one direction with the grain of your nail to achieve the nicest finish possible.
Try using a glass (sometimes called crystal) nail file rather than an emery board, which can cause your nails to peel and become caught on things. “A glass file will create an even edge to the nail and can be used on the weakest, brittle, and damaged nails.
5. Don’t forget to take care of your nail tools, too.
Remember to maintain the cleanliness of your nail equipment as well.
It is just as vital to frequently clean your makeup brushes as it is to disinfect your nail tools between uses, and the reason for this is germs.
Wash the metal equipment you use to maintain your nails with soap and water, and then wipe them down with rubbing alcohol, in order to prevent nail infections. Also, don’t forget to change any disposable tools, such as emery boards, on a regular basis. There is no justification for continuing to use a tool that is in poor condition when it is so simple and only costs a few dollars to switch to a new one.
6. Leave your cuticles alone.
The cuticle fulfills a very vital function, which is to act as a sealant in the region at the very bottom of the nail. If you do decide to cut or remove the cuticle, you should do it with caution because doing so might cause the protective seal to be broken, making you more susceptible to bacteria and the risk of infection (in addition to experiencing painful and ugly tears).
New York, suggests doing so once a week after you shower (when your skin is soft) using a wooden orange stick. This is the best time to perform this task. To finish, apply a cuticle oil or treatment and massage it into the cuticles and nail beds. “Serum-like strengtheners are absorbed quickly and typically contain moisturizers to rehydrate dry, brittle nails.
7. Protect your nails with a base coat.
The nail polish from staining the nails also makes the color appear more opaque and saturated with only one coat of polish. Even without color, strengthening varnishes “leave a shiny hard coating on nails; reinforce tips, making them appear thicker; and can protect against damage. Strengthening varnishes leave a shiny hard coating on nails.” And if you really want to take things to the next level.
Putting a coat of clear gloss in between each layer for the purpose of providing extra shine and protecting the layer behind it.
Read the labels on your polish.
As is the case with makeup and skincare, not all brands of nail polish are made equal; therefore, you need to take care to ensure that you are purchasing or utilizing a high-quality product. Polishes that include harmful chemicals such as dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene should be avoided at all costs. These toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and breaking of the nail plate.