Dermatologist Dr Dana Stern says there are a few key indicators for healthy nails. “Well-groomed nails are not too long, clean and even, and the tips are white,” she says. For optional hand health and appearance, try Dr Stern’s maintenance tips #1 Nail strength
Brittle, weak and uneven nails become increasingly common as we age. Dr Stern recommends nail treatments to address strength, as they build the nail plate and provide it with protection. Nail strength is also intrinsically linked to a well-balanced and calcium-rich diet.
#2 Cuticle care
“The cuticle is the nail’s natural protective seal,” explains Dr Stern, which is why maintaining them prevents peeling, cracking or infection. Dr Stern recommends regularly pushing the cuticles back after a warm shower or bath. (Avoid cutting!) Cuticle oils or balms encourage softness.
#3 Add moisture
Hands and nails require an intensive moisturiser because they’re frequently exposed to potentially dehydrating conditions – like being washed. “Moisture rejuvenates the appearance of hands and nails,” says Dr Stern. Keep cream in your handbag and next to sinks to ensure reapplication is top of mind.
#4 Toning treatments
Nail and hand-specific masks and exfoliators refresh the top layer to improve smoothness and vibrancy. “This process removes superficial damage so that you can more effectively treat and moisturise the nail, bringing the ‘canvas’ back to shape,” says Dr Stern.