Tips For Strong and Healthy Nails

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Tips For Strong and Healthy Nails

Strong and Healthy Nails

Whether you are the kind to paint nails religiously as a form of self-care or someone who always chooses to bite and nibble, we all crave healthy, perfectly manicured nails. We talked to nail care experts to find out exactly what you should do for your nails - but first, how do you know if your nails are healthy? Here is what you are looking for.

 

Signs of healthy nails:


Nail plates are white pink
The complexion is present (so don't cut it!)
Nails and white tips even lengths
A prominent white half-moon section (called the moon) at the base of the nail

Unhealthy nail signs:

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


Peeling or splitting of the nails can be dehydration or a lack of vitamins
Small white spots usually mean that you bite off your nails or paint them a lot
Horizontal grooves can be stress, high fever, or jamming your finger
Red, swollen skin around the nails can be caused by removing or biting the skin
Spoon shaped nails can be a sign of iron deficiency or anemia

If you are concerned about nail health, it is important to consult a dermatologist. Since your nails are so visible, it's easier to tell if there is a problem - which means you can treat them early if you get help, says Dr. Dana Stern, a dermatologist and nail care specialist. Now here's how to get strong, healthy nails:

1. Keep your hands clean.

Strong and Healthy Nails

Before you do anything, it is important to ensure that your nails and the surrounding skin are completely dirt-free. Then remove all traces of your last color with an acetone-free remover (anything else that dries your nail unnecessarily). Dr. Ava Champagne, author of Heal Your Skin, recommends applying soap to the toothbrush, then gently rubbing your nails and skin. This will remove dirt and peel off any dead skin without the need for harsh or dry chemicals or expensive peelers.
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2. Be kind to your nails.


Your nails are sensitive, and rubbing them hard can expose you to infection. Another refusal: the use of metal tools under the nail, since excessive drilling can lead to the separation of the nail plate from the skin (called nail dissolution). According to Dr. Stern, who is also a developer of the Dr.Dana Nail Renewal System, this is a common problem for people over the age of fifty. This can also lead to an irregular curved white tip, as explained by the New York dermatologist Dr. Janet Prestovsky.

3. Cut your nails regularly.

Strong and Healthy Nails

Dr. Prestovsky says that regular trimming is as important to your nails as it is for your hair. So set aside time to cut them every two weeks, and adjust them more or less often just by seeing how your nails respond.


4. Prioritize nail health over length.


Long nails are beautiful, but if you're someone who has struggled with snags or breakage, Dr. Shamban recommends that you keep your nails short — at least to start out with. A shorter style with a rounded edge tends to be easier to manage and looks neater, so you can focus on building strength without worrying about anything else. As long as each nail is uniform in shape and matches its nine neighbors, you won't miss the added length.

5. Always keep a nail file on hand.

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


If you're someone whose work or gym routine causes a lot of wear and tear, Dr. Prystowsky suggests keeping a nail file handy to smooth away any rough edges that happen on the spot. The best way to do it? Work in one direction with the grain of your nail for a smoother finish.

And it turns out, the emery board that's been sitting in your drawer could be causing your nails to peel and snag. Instead, try a glass (also called crystal) nail file. "A glass file will create an even edge to the nail and can be used on the weakest, brittle, and damaged nails," says Dr. Stern.
6. Don't forget to take care of your nail tools, too.

Disinfecting your nail tools between uses is just as important as regularly cleaning your makeup brushes, and for the same reason — bacteria. To keep your nails happy and infection-free, Dr. Prystowsky advises washing metal tools with soap and water and then wiping down with rubbing alcohol. And don't forget to regularly replace disposable tools like emery boards. There's no reason to continue using a tattered tool when it's so easy to rotate in a new one for a few bucks.

7. Leave your cuticles alone.

Strong and Healthy Nails
The cuticle has a very important purpose to serve: It seals the area at the base of the nail. So when you cut or remove the cuticle, it breaks that seal of protection, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria and the possibility of infection. The better you are at leaving cuticles alone, the more your nails will thank you. Taking care of your cuticles also helps minimize those dreaded hangnails (try not to tear them to avoid infections), says Dr. Stern.

If you're dead-set on messing with your cuticles, Dr. Debbie Palmer, dermatologist and creator of Replere, recommends gently pushing back the cuticle once a week with a wooden orange stick after getting out of the shower, then massaging them with a cuticle oil or thick, creamy lotion.

8. Protect your nails with a base coat.

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


Painting your nails at home is no excuse to cut corners by skipping the base coat. Dr. Prystowsky points out that this step not only protects the nail from being stained by the polish, but also helps the color look more saturated and opaque with just one coat. And if you really want to take things to the next level, Dr. Shamban suggests adding a coat of clear gloss between each layer to add extra shine and protection. 

9. Read the labels on your polish.

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


Just as with makeup and skincare, not all nail polish brands are created equal, so make sure you're buying or using a good product. Dr. Debbie Palmer urges you to steer clear of polishes containing toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene, as these toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking.

10. Use a top coat to prevent nail chips.

 

Don't think you're squirming your way out of using top coat, either. This step is just as important, as the top coat seals in the polish's color and adds a much-needed gloss finish to your digits. Dr. Prystowsky recommends adding another top coat layer every three days to decrease chipping, so you'll get the most out of your manicure. Seriously, what's the point of spending all that time painting your nails if it only lasts a day?

11. Indulge in acrylic or gel treatments sparingly.

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


Any nail expert you talk to is going to do their best to steer you away from acrylic or gel manicures — as long-lasting and convenient as they are because they're very hard on the nail. But if you're keen on getting them, there are some ways to minimize the damage to your hands and nails.

The main issue with a gel manicure is the exposure to UV light in the drying device, which can damage the skin below and around the nail, leading to an increased risk of cancer. To help reduce that risk, Dr. Prystowsky recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 before the procedure to help block the damage, or you can try special gloves that expose only the nails themselves, shielding the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.

There's also a new type of professional service that the Good Housekeeping Institute's Beauty Lab found won't ruin your nails: CND's Shellac Luxe salon service, which even won a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award in 2019.

12. Give your nails a break.

Strong and Healthy Nails

 


Save the elaborate nail art and those bold colors with lots of pigment for the weekend, and during the rest of the week, give your nails time to rest and repair with a clear gloss. Dr. Shamban warns that going from one strong polish color to another without giving your nails a break can dry them out, turn them yellow, and over time, even weaken the structure of the nail.

Dr. Stern agrees, saying that nail polish removers could also be the reason your nails are weak. Sometimes going all natural "can be just the thing that your nails need in order to rejuvenate and refresh," she says. 


13. Moisturize your hands and nails regularly.

Strong and Healthy Nails

You wouldn't go to sleep without moisturizing your face, so why should your nails be any different? Nail artist and expert Holly Falcone likes to use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails hydrated while she gets some shut-eye, but any nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer will do. In a pinch, you can even use a dab of lip balm. 

article source; goodhousekeeping