Our nails are a denser form of our skin made from a protein called keratin. When you see signs of discoloration, brittleness, or other seemingly imperfections, do not take it lightly. Keeping your nails healthy is an essential part of your overall health. Follow these 7 tips below to keep your nails healthy.
1. Keep Your Hands Clean
One of the most basic things you can do is to keep your hands clean. When washing, make sure that you remove all dirt that may have accumulated underneath the nail. On the surface, use an acetone-free nail polish remover. This will keep your nails from drying so they retain the moisture they need to stay strong and supple. To exfoliate, gently scrub your nails with a little soap and a soft bristle toothbrush to remove any dead skin cells that may linger on the surface.
2. Take Care of Hangnails Quickly
If you are wondering exactly what is a hangnail, it is perfectly understandable. Hangnails develop when the skin around the nails become sore from irritation or infection. They lose their strength and a small piece of skin around the edges may tear off causing pain or irritation. Clip hangnails quickly to avoid aggravating the condition. If the soreness doesn’t go away in a few days, see your doctor to have it properly treated.
3. Moisturize cuticles Regularly
Regularly massage your cuticles with a good oil before retiring at night. Choose one that contains a healthy dose of vitamin E, which is essential for maintaining proper cuticle health. Without proper moisturization, bacteria and other contaminants can irritate them and cause infection. Massaging in a thick oil like castor or olive oil can keep it soft and pliable so you will have healthier and stronger nails.
4. Know What You’re Putting On Your Nails
Just as you would not buy any packaged food without reading the labels, you also need to know the ingredients for anything you use for nail care. Many treatments contain toxic chemicals that can contribute to the weakening of your nails. Avoid polishes that contain chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene. Choose only those polishes for something that will be much kinder to your hands.
5. Protect Your Hands
Whenever you’re about to do any work that will put an extra burden on your hands, make sure you wear gloves. Activities like washing dishes, gardening, or scrubbing with harsh cleaning supplies will cause a lot of irritation to the skin and nails. Wearing rubber gloves will keep them from excessive exposure and help them to hold in their moisture. For added protection, apply hand cream before putting them on. The rubber will seal in the moisture while you’re working.
6. Feed Your Nails With the Proper Nutrients
Making sure that your diet is nutrient-rich will give your nails everything they need to grow strong and healthy. When your diet includes a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your nail health will improve naturally. Some nutrients you should look for include B-Vitamins, Iron, Magnesium, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, and Zinc.
7. Let Your Nails Breathe Between Manicures
While it can be tempting to keep your nails covered in lots of artistic designs, these applications of colors can end up drying and weakening your nails. It is important to give them a break in between applications to keep them strong. This will give them time to rest and self-repair so that they can maintain their strength. Sometimes, all they need is a little time to go all natural to recover from the harsh chemicals and pigments from the polishes you use.
It doesn’t matter if you regularly paint your nails or you prefer keeping them plain and simple, we all need to care for them in order to keep them healthy. If you’re dealing with peeling, splitting, hangnails, or groves developing, then something is wrong. By applying these seven simple techniques, you will be able to bring them back to the full luster and strength they deserve.