Take a keen look at your fingernails. Do they look healthy and strong or seem brittle, prone to breakage, and weak? Many times we go about our days neglecting our fingernails, and sometimes only stop when we are in pain or are due for a nail salon appointment.
However, whether you have your nails professionally done or do them yourself, the following tips would definitely aid in improving your overall nail health.
What are healthy nails?
Made entirely of protein layers known as keratin, healthy nails can be described as nails free of grooves, and pits, smooth and uniform in color (not discolored), and without stains.
It is important to note that sometimes impact damage can cause one’s nails to develop white streaks or spots but these eventually grow out with the nail.
Tips for Healthy Nails
1. Practice good nail hygiene
Keep your nails clean and dry as constant contact with water and dirty nails breed bacteria that can cause troublesome nail infections.
2. Minimal exposure to water
Excess contact with water can also lead to split fingernails or cause them to peel away at the layers. Wear gloves when washing dishes and doing other house chores.
3. Use mild soaps and sanitizers
The chemicals found in some of the soaps and sanitizers tend to be harsh and may strip your nails and the skin around your nails of their natural oils, leaving them open, dry, and jagged (cuticles especially). Using mild soaps and sanitizers coupled with moisturization of the hands and cuticles will definitely give your nails a boost with regard to health.
4. Moisturize your cuticles
Moisturizing your cuticles can go a long way in ensuring your nails stay healthy. Investing in a cuticle oil such as our Luxe Cuticle Treat range can aid in softening hard cuticles while ensuring that the nail and cuticle area is well moisturized, especially in this Covid-19 era of intense repeated hand washing and sanitizing.
5. Do not bite your nails
Biting at your nails and cuticles leaves them exposed and prone to infections. Biting can also distort your nails’ natural shape, causing them to grow out differently in a weird form. Nail biters are more susceptible to a skin infection called paronychia.
This infection is caused when microorganisms enter cuts around the nails which leads to redness, swelling, and infection. If left untreated, the pus that collects around the fingers may have to be drained surgically. Opt for a professionally done service or get yourself nail clippers to better trim and cut your nails.
6. Do not use your nails as tools
Using your nails as tools can range from using them to slide your feet into your shoes or opening tight lids or picking heavy objects using your nails. Avoid this as using your nails as tools compromises their strength, making them prone to breaking. Check out our Luxe Shoe Schlip to avoid the hassle of using your fingers to slide your feet into your shoes.
7. Drink enough water
Not only do your skin and hair benefit from drinking water, but your nails too. While moisturizing your hands takes care of moisture from the outside, drinking water ensures your nails are moisturized from within.
8. A healthy diet goes a long way
Apart from choosing the best nail salon that will help take care of your nails, what you eat also does play a role in the health of your nails. Plenty of nutrients in food can help your nails, and take them to being strong and healthy from brittle and weak.
This includes proteins (which is what the nail is primarily made of), vitamins such as Biotin and vitamin C, Iron Omega 3 fatty acids, and Zinc.
9. If possible take a biotin supplement
Biotin is part of the B vitamins and it is known for its proactiveness in aiding nail growth and strength. Sometimes you may not get enough Biotin from the diet, and that’s where a biotin supplement comes in. Biotin helps in reducing the splitting and breaking of nails hence making them stronger.
Do consult your healthcare professional on the best way to go about taking the supplement and if it is what you need.
10. Nail products used
You may do all of the tips that we have outlined above, using harsh nail products, disqualifies all of them. Harsh nail products may contain chemicals that weaken your nails. An example of such a chemical is acetone.
It can be easy to neglect your nails and assume that a monthly salon appointment should suffice but incorporating these tips could go a long way in promoting or ensuring your nails’ general health.