Mani Queens, this one’s for you! Pretty nail polish colors are only the icing on the cake, what’s most important is what lies below, aka healthy nails. Tine to take a break from all those salon manicures and invest in specific products that keep your nails and hands in perfect shape, even without nail polish to pretty them up. You’ll be surprised how simple, corrective action can transform brittle, weak nails into things of wonder! Let’s get started.
It All Starts With Clean Hands And Nails
Who doesn’t like digging into a paratha with their fingers? But do you remember to wash your hands thoroughly playing extra attention to the inner side of your nails? Also, leaving last week’s chipped nail polish to simply grow out is an ugly, unkempt and unhealthy habit. To guarantee healthy nails, its super important to make sure your nails and the skin around them is polish and dirt-free. Always use an acetone-free remover like Colorbar Ultimate Nail Enamel Remover Acetone Free to remove polish. Anything else simply dries out your nails. Then use a gentle, nourishing hand wash like Dove Nourishing Shea Butter & Warm Vanilla Hand Wash on a toothbrush and scrub gently around nails to remove dirt and dead skin cells.
Gently Does It
Your hardworking hands need a little TLC. Scrubbing and buffing roughly can actually expose them to infection. Stay away from sharp, metal tools to clean under nail because too much digging can cause the nail plate to separate from skin, leaving it prone to fungal infections and an irregular white, arching nail tip. Instead always use an orange stick or glass buffer like Nails&More Glass File Buffer – Yellow to clean under nails. Glass files create an even edge to the nail and can be used on the weakest, most damaged nails. It’s also a good idea to use a nail strengthener like Nykaa Nail Care - 7-in-1 Nail Spa that contains nail loving ingredients like Acetyl-Methionine, Keratin-like Peptide, Vitamin E and Amino Acids that strengthen and nourish nails.
Trim Your Nails Regularly
Allowing your nails to grow out long enough for you to compete in a Guinness record is not going to help your cause. Regular nail trims are as important as hair trims so every fortnight clip them and gentle buff and file them. The best time to trim them is right after a shower when they are sifter and easier to cut. Use a nail clipper like Sally Hansen Clip-N-Catch Control Grip Nail Clipper – 80505 for your fingers and GUBB USA Toe Nail Clipper for your toes where the nails tend to be harder. Don’t forget to disinfect your tools monthly by washing in a bowl of warm soapy water and drying them afterwards thoroughly.
Trim your fingernails by cutting almost straight across the nail. Then use a nail file or emery board like Vega Nail File With Cuticle Trimmer (NFT-06) to slightly round out your nails at the corners to help them grow and prevent getting snagged in clothes. And don’t forget to file uneven edges off in the same direction because filing back and forth can weaken nails.
Keep A Nail File Handy
All that flitting about, using your hands in a hundred different ways all day, can cause a lot of wear and tear. It’s a good idea to keep a nail file handy to smooth away any rough edges as they happen. Never, ever bite off the ragged bits because that can cause tears in your nails and damage the nail bed. We love using the Vega Manicure Tools - Nail File Small (NF-05BL) because its small and handy and easily slips into your handbag.
Leave Your Cuticles Alone
You must have heard this a hundred times, but we’ll say it once more. The cuticle seals the area at the base of the nail, preventing germs from entering and infecting nails. When you cut or trim the cuticle, it breaks that seal of protection, leaving your nails prone to infection. If your cuticles are looking ragged, simply push them back gently with a blunt edged nail file or orange stick after a shower. And don’t forget to use a cuticle oil or cream afterwards to keep them soft. We recommend Orly Argan Oil Cuticle Drops, a soothing blend of Argan and Jojoba Oils that nourishes and hydrates cuticles and nails.
Always Use A Base Coat
Think of it as sunscreen for your nails. Whether or not you plan on applying nail polish, apply a base coat to your nails. Not only does it prevent the nail from getting stained, but it also adds a protective layer to your nails. The Maybelline New York Superstay Primer Protecting Base Coat is just was the doctor ordered for brittle, weak nails. It preps, primes and protects nails and retains the richness of your nail polish color.
Indulge In Gel Nails Sparingly
Sure, they are pretty and convenient, but they take a toll on your nails. The main issue with gel manis is the exposure to UV light in the drying device that can damage the skin below and around the nail. It’s best to apply a sunscreen with SPF 30-50 before the procedure to block the damage, Or, better still, just apply a coat of gel polish for that at home-salon effect and you’re good to go! We love all the shades in the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure collection. The all-in-one potion has an inbuilt base coat, growth treatment, runway-inspired colors, top coat, gel-shine finish, chip-resistance, and a keratin strengthener for 64% stronger nails. What’s not to love?
Learn To Read Labels On Your Polish
You’re finicky about your skincare, so why not with your nail polish too? Steer clear of polishes with toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene that can worsen brittleness, splitting, and cracking. Look for a five-free formula like Nykaa Nail Enamel that is not just free from the five biggest nail baddies but is also not tested on animals and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
Moisturize Your Hands And Nails Regularly
You wouldn't go to bed without moisturizing your face so why should your nails not get some TLC too? There’s no dearth of pampering, nourishing formulas choc-a-bloc with gorgeous ingredients to keep your cuticles and nails hydrated while you sleep. Check out Nykaa Freesia & Vanilla Hand and Nail Crème infused with Avocado, Almond, Jojoba and Olive Oils. It’s a good idea to keep the love for your hands going even during the day. We suggest Lotus Herbals WhiteGlow Skin Whitening & Brightening Hand & Body Lotion SPF 25 that brightens and hydrates skin, thanks to the plant actives that penetrate the skin to moisturize from within.
Get Your Fill Of Protein
Beauty is more than skin deep and your fingernails are made of a protein called keratin. Kill three birds with one stone—shinier hair, clearer skin and healthier nails—by getting your fill protein rich foods like low fat dairy, nuts, seeds, eggs and fish. Finally, do take supplements like a Biotin capsule and Omega oils to nourish your skin, hair and nails from within. Biotin especially strengthens nails and keeps brittleness away. You could opt for HealthVit Biotino-Z Biotin with Zinc 60 Capsules and OneLife Omega 3-6-9 60 Softgels. The right nutrients and you’ll flaunt healthy, clear nails in no time!