Who Wants Strong and Healthy Nails
Better looks at your finger tips.
Or, maybe I should ask – Who doesn’t want strong and healthy nails! No one wishes to see ridges, dents or areas of unusual colour or shape on their nails. The fingernails are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin which grows from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. Every woman desires her nails to be uniform in colour and consistency and free of spots or discolouration.
Simple routine goes a long way
A simple but routine exercise can keep your nails healthy and beautiful. Soak them in warm soapy water and use a soft brush to clean them. This will not only clean your nails but will prevent any types of infections which occur due to germs and dirt accumulations. Dr Ava Shamban, author of Heal Your Skin, recommends applying soap to a toothbrush, then gently scrubbing your nails and skin. This will remove dirt and exfoliate any dead skin without the need for harsh, drying chemicals or expensive scrubs.
A regular manicure will also help in getting rid of dead skin accumulation around your nails. Try to keep your nails dry because if they remain wet there will be a formation of bacteria or fungi.
We all know certain dos and dont’s about nail-care: ✿ Keeping fingernails dry and clean prevents bacteria from growing under the fingernails. To avoid splitting of fingernails due to prolonged contact with water, wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals. Don’t bite your fingernails, pull off hangnails, or pick at your cuticles. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection. Instead, carefully clip the hangnails with a nail clipper. Don’t use harsh nail-care products. Limit your use of nail polish remover. Use moisturiser. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too. In addition to the little tips we all know, in this article, we will focus on certain important nail-care advices that may not be so well known.
Regular trimming is desirable
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.
Regular trims are as important to your nails as they are to your hair, says Dr Prystowsky. So set aside time to clip them on a regular basis, depending upon the frequency of growth of your nails.
Right diet helps
Whatever you eat directly reflects on your nails. If nails seem to discolour they indicate a vitamin deficiency. It is essential to replenish them by an adequate supply of calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous, zinc, folic acid, silica and vitamin C. Try drinking plenty of milk and water and eat milk products like cheese and yogurt. Eggs, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, parsley, coriander, broccoli. Apricots, carrots and almonds are your friends and are good supplements to your diet.
Nail artist and expert Holly Falcone advises adding vitamins and supplements like biotin, Vitamin E, and fish oil to your daily regimen, while Dr. Debbie Palmer recommends protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts.
Buy safe products
Just as with make-up 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.
Dr Shamban warns that going from one strong polish colour to another without giving your nails a break can dry them out, turn them yellow and, over time, even weaken the structure of the nails.
Moisturising the right way
Falcone likes to use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails hydrated, but any nutrient-rich oil or moisturiser will do.
You may prepare nail moisturiser at home by following this recipe which comes from a book called
There’s Lead in Your Lipstick by Gill Deacon. Mix 2 tsp castor oil, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp wheat germ oil (makes enough for 20 to 30 applications) Mix and keep in a sealed bottle. Rub a small amount onto your nails. Leave for 3 to 5 minutes. Wipe off.
Nail paints and removers
Nail paints typically contain very toxic chemicals such as toluene, dibutyl phthalate, dimethyl and diethyl phthalates, camphor, and formaldehyde, which have been shown to cause cancer. Exposure to these chemicals through your nails over a long period of time can result in complete nail loss by the destruction of the nail matrix. This
will gradually lead to drying out of natural oils which can cause damage and splitting. They may also lead to serious nail breaks, infection and loss of the natural nail.
Fortunately, there are companies that make some polishes that do not contain these chemicals. So, make sure you read the label carefully before purchasing. You can also buy water-based polishes, which don't last as long but are the safest option out there.
If you have brittle nails, dermatologists will stop you from using acetone nail polish remover. It is very harsh as it removes a lot of natural oils from your skin. Instead of this opt for oil-based nail polish removers. They are less harmful to your nails.
Prefer buffing to painting
It may not be as fancy or eyecatching as nail-colour, but a bit of buffing can go a long ways. Take the time to trim, file, and buff your nails properly and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how great they can look, despite being all natural. Remember, do not saw back and forth with a file because that can weaken your nails. Always file from the outside edge of the nail inward.
When visiting a salon
If you rely on salons for manicures or pedicures, keep a few things in mind. Stick to salons that have a good reputation and feedback. Don't have your cuticles removed – they act to seal the skin to the nail plate, so removal can lead to nail infection.
JUST AS WITH MAKE-UP AND SKINCARE, NOT ALL NAIL POLISH BRANDS ARE CREATED EQUAL, SO MAKE SURE YOU'RE BUYING OR USING A GOOD PRODUCT.
Instead, dermatologist Dr Debbie Palmer 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 cream or thick, creamy lotion. Also, make sure your nail technician properly sterilises all tools used during your procedure to prevent the spread of infection. You might also ask how the foot baths are cleaned. Ideally, a bleach solution is used between clients and the filters are cleaned regularly. When to see a doctor
But sometimes our nails put us in a spot where we need to visit a dermatologist. How do we know when is the time to consult the doctor or dermatologist? Take a close look at your nails. If you notice the following, it is time to visit the dermatologist: ✿ Changes in nail colour, such as discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under the nail Changes in nail shape, such as curled nails Thinning or thickening of the nails Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin Bleeding around the nails Swelling or pain around the nails Failure of nails to grow out
Step by step manicure at home
It is not difficult to perform a manicure at home. The following 10 steps will help you out: Gather all your tools before you begin: Nail polish remover Nail clipper Cotton pads Nail buffer Cuticle pusher and nipper Cuticle cream and hand moisturiser A base coat for the nails, your favourite nail polish, a clear top coat To start off, remove the nail polish that you are wearing. Use a non-acetone nail polish remover and cotton pads to remove your old nail polish gently. Use the nail clippers to trim your nails. Avoid cutting them too short. Then, use the nail file to shape them. Take a bowl big enough to hold your hands. Fill it with warm water. Add baby shampoo or a gentle cleanser and soak your hands in it for a few minutes (maximum 3 minutes). Soaking the cuticles helps soften them. It loosens up the dirt and dead skin cells. Use a gentle nail brush to clean the nails and the skin around them to remove any traces of dirt. Wipe your nails and hands, and massage some cuticle cream onto your nails. Then, use a cuticle pusher to push the cuticles back gently. Do not exert too much pressure because that may push the cuticles too far in and damage your nails. Once the cuticles are clear, wipe off the excess cream. Lastly, massage your hands with a hand moisturiser. Use a rich and thick cream for intense moisturisation. Focus especially on your fingers and the area around your nails. Take a cotton pad and apply a bit of nail polish remover to your nails. Use a clear nail polish as a base coat. A base coat helps the nail paint last long. Once the base coat is dry, apply a thin coat of your favourite nail polish on top of it. Once your nail polish is dry, finish it off by applying another layer of clear nail polish on top of it. This shields the nail polish from chipping or flaking. Moreover, if you have done any nail art, the clear top coat will protect that too. The texture, smoothness and shape of your nails tell tales about your health and cleanliness. Nail care is important. It not only reflects your style but also your personal hygiene. Always keep in mind that your personal grooming is incomplete without nail care. Get ready to display your hands with extra confidence after using some of the above-mentioned tips. We
EXPOSURE TO THESE CHEMICALS THROUGH YOUR NAILS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME CAN RESULT IN COMPLETE NAIL LOSS BY THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NAIL MATRIX.