I have weak, brittle nails. What can I do to make them strong?
Brittleness of nails may be caused by trauma, such as repeated wetting and drying, repeated exposure to detergents and excessive exposure to harsh solvents, such as those found in nail polish remover. Brittle nails are also seen in those with low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), malnutrition, tuberculosis, and certain lung conditions, skin diseases like psoriasis, lichen planus and alopecia areata.
Keeping your finger and toenails trimmed will minimize cracks or tears. Use a moisturizing cream on your nails after washing or bathing. If your work requires you to work with water, its best to cover up with rubber gloves since nails can absorb between 20 and 25 percent of their weight in water. Nails expand as they absorb water, then contract as they dry. The more water you expose nails to, the more they expand and contract, and this weakens them further.
Poor nutrition can also cause brittle nails. The solution is to include foods that will promote healthy nails. Consume a diet rich in lean meat, pulses, legumes, green leafy vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Biotin supplements and clear nail polish that contains proteins can help strengthen nails. A regular soaking with vegetable oil is very effective. It restores the moisture which is lost by repeated exposure to water.
What are the ingredients I should look for in a day cream?
If you spend long hours outdoors or have a job that requires you to sit in front of a computer, its best to apply a sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection. A day cream should be chosen according to your skin type. If you have oily skin, stick to a sunblock in summer. In winter, use a gel-based moisturizer such as Clinique Moisture Surge Thirst Relief Gel as a day cream. For normal to dry skin, opt for a cream containing SPF, aloe vera, squalene, Vitamin E and glycerin for day use.
What ingredients stimulate skin regeneration in a night cream?
Night creams for skin regeneration should contain active ingredients like Retinol, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and vitamins C and K. They boost the level of collagen and elastin in the skin and hydrate it intrinsically. As a result, they enhance skin texture, diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and reduce puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. Retinol stimulates cell turnover and exfoliates; currently its the only ingredients that shows an effective reduction in wrinkles. Using a Vitamin C serum daily will help brighten the skin complexion, hydrate and even out skin tone. It also reverses sun damage. Vitamin E helps to balance the skins hydration and improves elasticity.
Can I use my regular sunscreen on my face?
Sunscreens are available as creams, gels, sprays and lotions. Lotions and sprays are easily spreadable on larger body surface areas and are greasier. However, if one has very dry skin, a spray or lotion may also be used on the face. For normal skin types, sunscreens in the form of creams and gels are ideal for use on the face. In case of oily and acne-prone skin, one should use gel based sunscreens especially formulated for use on the face to prevent blocking of pores and aggravation of acne.
What is the best kind of sunscreen?
A good sunscreen is one that provides both UVA and UVB protection. Physical sunblock agents such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide form an important part of any good sunscreen. Mexoryl and Helioplex technologies make a sunscreen more stable and efficient. The other ingredients that make a broad-spectrum sunscreen effective include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate) and avobenzone.