7 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Nails : Having healthy, strong nails looks fantastic, feels fantastic, and is a great self-esteem booster. While there are plenty of products on the market for improved nail health, your best bet is to make some simple adjustments to how you treat your nails. Here are a few handy tips for improving and maintaining nail health.
Take Breaks from Polish
Once you’ve gotten one fantastic manicure, it might be hard to imagine your hands without those vibrant, colorful nails at the tips. Modern manicure procedures can bestow you with extremely durable finishes that look beautiful and last weeks at a time. Every three to four months however, you should take a short break to let the nails ‘breathe’. There’s nothing wrong with having bare nails for a few weeks. In fact, it will only make you appreciate your next vivid manicure even more. The longer your polish stays on, the more detrimental the effect; even if your manicurist says your polish will last three weeks, consider having it removed occasionally after two. Make sure removal is performed by a professional and not by yourself.
High Quality Health Focused Ingredients
When you go in for a manicure, always select the best possible polish brands for your nails. This cannot be stressed enough. The range of quality in nail products is extreme. Cheap brands are known to have harsh chemicals. Even though the industry is regulated, it is extremely hard to enforce. It is perfect acceptable to request a specific brand in your salon, even if they start to use an unknown brand. SNS Nails, a quality company with a focus on nail health, has a reputation for developing products with specific ingredients to nourish the nail bed. Further, the top brands like SNS will not have any of the banned chemicals like formaldehyde.
Preserve Your Cuticles
There’s a good chance that, at least once, you’ve used a wooden or metal cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles. If you haven’t, then you may have had a manicurist do this for you. It’s one of the classical points of nail cosmetology taught to girls from a young age but a forget tradition: your cuticles are your friends. Beneath the cuticle lies the nail matrix, or the root of the nail, which is the source of a nail’s growth. Pushing back, stripping, or otherwise damaging the cuticle in any way should be strictly avoided to reduce harm to the nail. Leave your cuticles alone — they’re cute!
Limit Exposure to Water
Have you ever noticed how thick and bendy your nails become after long exposure to water, such as in the shower, in the pool, at the beach, or after washing dishes by hand? Despite how solid they look and feel, your nails are like porous little sponges. They’re hundreds of times more water absorbent than your skin, if you can believe it, and every time they absorb and shed water, their structural integrity is slightly weakened. Getting your nails wet too often will contribute to brittle, splintering nails. While you shouldn’t panic over taking a swim or a shower, you should still watch how much time your nails spend in the water and be mindful of the consequences. Washing dishes is an especially notable culprit, since there is such prolonged exposure to water as well as oil-stripping dish detergent, so consider purchasing a set of rubber gloves if you need to wash dishes by hand. Alternatively, you can invest in a dishwasher — or getting yours fixed.
Moisturize Dry Nails
If getting your nails too wet is a bad move, letting them dry out is too. In fact, the reason we don’t want too much water on our nails is because water absorption is ultimately drying. But what if your nails are already on the dry side? To fight back against dry nails, you should moisturize. This doesn’t necessarily entail buying new products or spending any time moisturizing that you normally wouldn’t; while there are moisturizing products marketed explicitly for nail health, the same moisturizer you use on your hands will be good enough. Next time you put lotion on your hands, pay some extra attention to your nails. If you usually wear polish or extensions, make sure your nails get some added moisture on their down-time.
Avoid Temperature Extremes
Be mindful of temperature. Temperature extremes will cause your nails to expand and contract relatively rapidly, damaging the cells of your nails and leading to structural issues. This applies to all kinds of temperature swings, whether they’re caused by extreme weather or simply going from a temperature-controlled interior setting to an outdoor one. If you live in an area with cold winters, a pair of warm leather or fabric gloves will go a long way toward keeping your nails cozy and safe from the elements. Hot or cold, if the air is usually dry where you are, moisturizing your nails will be doubly beneficial.
This might sound obvious, but since there’s no small amount of junk science that suggests otherwise, we should make it clear: be gentle with your nails. Don’t use them to open soda cans. Don’t use them to extract bagel crumbs stuck between your laptop keys. Don’t use them to pry open your cellphone case. Those with weaker nails should be especially careful how they use them, but even if your nails are strong, don’t treat that as justification to abuse them or get rough. Keep your nails out of dangerous situations, make sure you keep them free of dirt and detritus, and keep your nails filed straight across to prevent them getting snagged on clothes and other textile items.
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