15 Handy Tips to Get Strong and Healthy Nails, According to Nail Care Experts - Nails Principle

15 Handy Tips to Get Strong and Healthy Nails, According to Nail Care Experts

15 Handy Tips to Get Strong and Healthy Nails, According to Nail Care Experts

Whether you're the type of person who meticulously paints their nails as a form of self-care or a person who habitually picks and bites at their cuticles, we all yearn for healthy, meticulously manicured nails. Well-groomed nails make your look instantly polished (not to be confused with the wordplay), and even hands can look more younger.

Talked to some nail-care specialists to learn what you should do for your nails, but one thing to keep in mind is first, how can you know if your nails are healthy? Pay attention to these indicators.

Signs of Healthier Nails: 

  • Nails are a lustrous off-white color. 
  • Cuticles are present, so do not cut them! 
  • Nails and white tips are the same length. 
  • Prominent half-moon-shaped white spot called the "lunula" at the base of each nail.

Signs of Unhealthy Nails:

  • Peeling or splitting nails may be due to dryness or a consequence of vitamin deficiency. 
  • Tiny white spots generally indicate you are biting your nails or painting them too often.
  • Horizontal grooves can be from fever, stress, or jamming your finger.
  • Red skin around the nails may arise from biting or removing cuticles.
  • Fingernails that are spoon-shaped could be a sign of iron deficiency or anemia.

If you want to find relief for your nails' problems, consulting a dermatologist is essential. Since your nails are extremely noticeable, you are able to observe a fingernail issue, specifically if you're perfectly capable and take care of it early. Here's how to get strong, healthy nails:

1. Keep your hands very clean.

To make sure that your nails are thoroughly clean, thoroughly wash them by first removing any evidence of color with a nail polish remover that's free of acetone. Use a gentle skin-softening soap when scrubbing to remove dirt and exfoliate any dead skin without using harsh, drying organic solvents. Ava Shamban, M.D., a dermatologist in Los Angeles, provides this advice in her book Heal Your Skin.

2. Be gentle on your nails.

Treat your nails with care. Don't use metal tools under your nails, as you might damage their plates, causing them to separate from the skin (an ailment named onycholysis). Dr. Prystowsky says that a side effect common to people over 50 can be the weakening of nails due to cleaning and dish washing by hand. She recommends wearing rubber, vinyl, nitrile or plastic gloves in order to prevent rubbing this area, and recommends purchasing a medical pedicure device to prevent squeezes in the process.

3. Clip your nails regularly.

Frequent trims are important for your fingernails and toenails just as they are to your natural hair, observes Dr. Prystowsky. So aim to clip your nails every fortnight, adjusting frequency as needed as soon as you see how your nails respond.

4. Prioritize nail health over length.

Long nails are elegant, but Dr. Shamban recommends that you refrain from growing your nails very long if you have a history of hangnails or breakage. Short with rounded edges often looks neat and is easier to care for, so you won't have to subject your nails to extra wearing down. As long as each nail has a seamless shape and matches its shape next to it, you would never notice the added length.

5. Always keep a nail file on hand.

If your work takes your fingernails into possible contact with hazards, Dr. Prystowsky advises keeping a small nail file handy for repairing any rough spots when they occur. For even results, work in one direction with the grain of your nails.

6. Don't forget to take care of your nail tools, too.

Disinfecting your nail tool between uses is just as vital as keeping makeup brushes clean, and for the same reason germs. To keep your ring clean and strain-free, the Doctor recommends cleaning metal tools with soap and water, then wiping the tools down with rubbing alcohol. Don't forget to replace worn-out tools like emery boards with their own. There's no need to keep a rotting tool around when it's so simple to pay a few dollars for a new one. The cuticle acts as an important line of defense at the base of the nail. Do not risk injuring or damaging it, because it may break the protective barrier to bacteria.

7. Leave your cuticles alone.

It's critical to the well-being of your nails for the cuticle to provide protection from bacteria and infection, along with maintaining the integrity of the rest of the nail. Pretend not to cut the cuticle or cut it altogether because you risk losing your protective covering. Keeping your cuticles out of the way aids you to fend off hangnails, suggests Dr. Stern.

8. Protect your nails with a base coat.

When you are painting your nails at home, never forget to base coat. Dr. Prystowsky tells us that this step both shields your nails from staining by nail polish and helps the color look more vibrant and opaque with just a couple of coats. Even if it lacks color, " strengthening varnishes leave a glossy hard coating on nails; strengthen tips, making them look thicker; help prevent damage," explains Wnek. And if you really want to take things to another level, Dr. Shamban suggests adding a coat of clear gloss between each layer for additional shine and protection. 

9. Read the labels on your polish.

Just as with makeup and skincare products, not all nail polish brands are created equal, so be certain you buy or use a good product. Dr. Debbie Palmer indicates that you should avoid polishes that contain hazardous materials such as dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene, since these substances can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking.

10. Use a top coat to prevent nail chips.

Don't think you can forgo your own top coat, either. This step is just as essential, as the top coat seals in the polish's color and yields a brand new shine to your digits. Dr. Prystowsky recommends adding an additional top coat every 3 days to eliminate chipping, so you'll experience the optimal durability from your manicure.

11. Indulge in acrylic or gel treatments sparingly.

Any nail technician you talk to will always encourage you to avoid acrylic or gel manicures  because they're long-wearing and inconvenient. But if you still want to get them, there are ways to minimize the damage to your hands and nails.

The main issue with a gel manicure is the exposure to ultraviolet light in the drying device, which can harm the skin below or around the nail, putting you at an increased risk of skin cancer. To help lessen a higher risk of damage, Dr. Prystowsky recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 prior to your root canal treatment, or you can try using special gloves that only expose the nails, protecting the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.

12. Give your nails a break.

Don't forget to save elaborate nail art and colorful highlights for the weekend, and during the rest of the week, allow your nails adequate time to recover and rest by coating them with a clear coat. Dr. Shamban advises not switching from one eye-catching polish color to a second without letting your nails recover in between colors, as this may lead to them drying, turning yellow, and weakening the structure of the nail.

Dr. Stern agrees with this recommendation that your nails may be weakened due to the use of fingernail removers. Sometimes going natural remedies "can be just the thing your nails need in order to revive and replenish," Dr. Stern say.

13. Moisturize your hands and nails regularly.

You moisturize your face before bed, so do your nails. New York City nail specialist Holly Falcone likes to use a mixture of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails hydrated while she sleeps, but any nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer will do. If in a pinch, you can also use a little bit of lip balm. "Efficacious formulas include humectant ingredients such as glycerin, emollients like fatty oils and silicones, which collectively moisturize skin and nails," says Wnek.

14. Wear gloves when doing dishes.

Any time you need to clean when you're wearing rubber gloves, gardening, or engaging in any other activity that's messy or involves water, you need to use vinyl or nitrile gloves. Some of them come with a cotton lining. Without using dishwashing gloves, washing dishes in hot water can damage your nails. Similarly, the gloves you might have on for gardening can be dirty and require special treatment.

When it's cold, remember to wear a pair of mittens or a glove so that the cold air and wind don't undo the good work you did moisturizing, leaving you with dry, flaky, scaly skin.

15. Load up on protein-rich food.

Your fingernails are made of a protein called keratin, just like your hair and skin. As a result, just as you can boost the looks of your skin through a change in diet, you can also improve the clarity of your nails by adjusting your eating routine. Falcone recommends you look for multivitamins and supplements containing biotin, Vitamin E, and fish oil, while Dr. Palmer suggests taking protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts. In essence, there are essential nutrients every expert agrees on. Once you've found the right combination, it is definitely worth trying.

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