Whether your nail care is a form of self-care, a treat or just routine maintenance, keeping your nails healthy and strong is worth the investment. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Rather than splurging at the nail salon, healthy nails can be achieved and maintained through simple lifestyle habits. A little extra TLC will take your nails a long way! Here are 6 things you can do to keep your nails healthy.
Keep your nails dry
Excessive water contact can weaken the nail structure and lead to brittleness, peeling and breakage. (Take the same caution you would with wet hair.) After a long bath, you might notice how soft and bendy your nails get. That’s because the nail is like a sponge and absorbs water like the skin, except only 1,000 times more. Instead of soaking your nails in water at the nail salon, ask for a dry manicure!
Moisture and condition
We all know moisturizing is a crucial step in skincare but it’s often overlooked in nail care. Dry and brittle nails can be caused by a lot of different factors but ultimately they’re a cry for moisture. Next time you use hand lotion, make sure to rub it onto your cuticles too! You can also use a nail conditioner or cuticle oil.
Leave your cuticles ALONE
I think we’ve all been a victim of cutting, pushing back or trying to get rid of cuticles altogether – but cuticles are not the enemy! Cuticles are the nail’s protective seal, and missing with your cuticles can do way more harm than good. They also protect nail growth; when they’re dry or irritated, it can damage the nail bed and affect the way your nails grow out.
Consider supplements for extra support
Biotin is a B vitamin that promotes healthy cell growth and helps the metabolism of protein-building amino acids – all essential for nail growth. Taking supplements and eating biotin-rich foods (like egg yolk, dairy products, salmon, avocado, sweet potato, nuts, seeds and yeast) can help strengthen brittle nails.
Watch the weather
Just like how winter can be a rough time for the skin and hair, it has the same effect on nails. Going from outdoors to indoors, like from a heated home to chilly open air, exposes our nails to extreme temperature swings and causes nail cells to contract and expand repeatedly. This leads to a weakening between the cells and eventually breakage. I recommend always wearing gloves in the winter and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Don’t bite your nails
Enough said! Constant nail biting can damage the nail bed, which sits on top of tiny blood vessels that feed it and give your nails that flushed color. Basically, it provides nourishment and protection, so don’t mess with them!
What does your nail care routine look like? I’d love to hear!