Nail care is as essential as skin and hair care. Healthy and clean nails reflect our response towards personal hygiene. The way we take care of our nails is a good sign that we give importance to our personal health and proper hygiene.
Here are some nail care habits you need to imbibe in order to achieve healthy, clean nails.
1. Keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands with soap and clean water to keep it free from dirt. If you have nail polish, remove the colors with acetone-free nail remover or you may apply soap to a toothbrush and gently scrub the nails and skin. This will also take away dirt and exfoliate dead skin without exposing your nails from harsh, drying chemicals or expensive scrubs.
2. Trim your nails regularly.
If your hair requires regular trimming, the same holds true with your nails. Clip your nails every two weeks or adjust to more or less often once you see how your nails respond.
3. Do not cut the cuticles.
Cuticles are important in keeping our nails’ health. It seals the area at the base of the nail. Cutting it off breaks the seal of protection, making you vulnerable to bacteria and infection. If you want to get rid of your cuticle, the perfect way to do it is to push back the cuticle once a week using a wooden orange stick after shower, then massage them gently with a cuticle cream or thick, creamy lotion.
4. Be gentle on your nails.
Because your nails are delicate, avoid scrubbing them too roughly. This exposes your nails to infection. Do not use metal nail tools under the nail. Excessive digging under the nail plate causes it to separate from the skin, leading to irregular white arch nail tip.
5. Prioritize nail health over length.
For women, it is nice to look at long nails. However, if you cannot maintain such length or you struggled from snags or breakage, keep it short. A rounded edge nails are easier to manage and appear clean and neat. Go for strengthening and keeping your nails clean. It is always good to have clean and healthy nails.
6. Keep your emery board handy.
If you are an active person and your hands are exposed to several activities, it is good to keep a nail file within reach to smooth away any rough edges that happen on the spot. Make sure that you are filing your nails in one direction for a smoother finish.
7. Moisturize your nails.
It is a good habit to moisturize your nails at night. To moisturize your nails, use a mix of almond and avocado oils to keep cuticles and nails hydrated overnight. If you don’t have this particular oil, you can use nutrient-rich oil or moisturizer to retain moisture to your nails. You can even use a dab of lip balm.
8. Protect your hands and nails.
Use gloves when you are cleaning and exposing your delicate hands and nails to harsh chemicals, gardening or even washing dishes. Washing dishes in hot, soapy water weakens the nails so it is better to wear protective gloves when you do this chore. The same goes with laundry. If you are living in a country with cold weather, always wear your mittens so the cold air and wind don’t ruin the health of your hands and nails, By doing so will also prevent you from having dry, flaky and scaly skin.
9. Eat well.
Your food intake affects your overall health. Since your nails are made from keratin, you need to keep it strong. Apart from proper nail care, you should complement it by taking protein-rich food. Get protein sources from beans, fish and nuts. Include vitamins and supplements like Vitamin E, biotin and fish oil to your daily eating habits. Ample amounts of nutrients in the body will help you achieve stronger, clearer and healthier nails.
10. Give your nails a break from polish.
Don’t wear your nail polish for too long. Allow your nails to have time to rest and repair. Having one strong polish and changing it to another color without breaks can dry out your nails, turn them to yellow and over time, weakens the nail structure.
11. Steer away from acrylic or gel manicures.
Acrylic or gel manicures may be long lasting and beautiful to look at but they are very hard on the nails. So, use these manicures sparingly. The main concern about gel manicure is the exposure to UV light in the drying device, which can damage the skin around the nail, making you prone to skin cancer. If you want to try gel manicures, here are ways to minimize damage to your hands and nails.
• Apply sunscreen with sun protection of 30 or 50 before you undergo the gel manicure procedure to prevent damaging your nails.
• Try special gloves that expose only the nails, protecting the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.
12. Read the back labels before purchasing nail polish.
Like skin and hair care products, not all nail polish brands are created equal. Stay away from polishes with toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaledehyde and toluene. These chemicals can contribute to brittleness, splitting and cracking of nails.
13. Base coat is essential in nail care.
If you do your own manicure, do not skip the base coat. Base coat prevents staining your nails; thus, serves as protection. It also helps the color more saturated and opaque with just one coat. If you desire to take your nails to the next level, it is suggested to add a coat of clear gloss between each layer for extra shine and protection.
14. Add gloss with a top coat.
This step in painting your nails is necessary as the top coat seals the polish color and adds glossy finish to your nails. If you add another coat layer every three days, it decreases your nails from chipping, getting the most out of your manicure. This maintains the color of your manicure lasting for several days.
15. Take care of your nail tools.
To keep your nails from unwanted infection caused by bacteria, disinfect your nail tools between uses. Wash metal nail tools with soap and water and wipe it with rubbing alcohol. Replace emery board or nail file regularly especially if it starts to tatter.