Thursday, July 30, 2015

Healthy Nail Tips!

As an avid lover of nail polish and self-proclaimed nail art addict, healthy nails are one of those elusive things I'm always after. Sometimes my nails are rock hard and healthy and other times I have to keep them ridiculously short to prevent breakage. I think I have finally found the perfect balance for beautiful nails so I wanted to share a few tips that I've stumbled across that worked for me.
  • Avoid buffing nails. Not everyone thinks of the fact that buffing your nails is removing layers from it. Doing this too often will make your nails paper thin and incredibly weak. If possible avoid buffing your nails altogether and do so sparingly when absolutely necessary.
  • Use acetone free nail polish remover. Acetone is a powerful ingredient for stripping off nail polish quickly however it is also very drying to your cuticles and can irritate the skin. While it is less effective to use an acetone free nail polish the extra patience in using it will help your nails in the long run. If you must use acetone nail polish remover avoid getting it on your cuticles.
  • Apply cuticle oil. Keeping your nails and nail bed moisturized will help protect nails from breakage due to lack of moisture.
  • Keep them at a manageable length. Nails that are too long will snag on things and break easily so be mindful at maintaining them at a manageable length. There is no universal "right" length as this is something that varies with your lifestyle but generally having the nail extend about a millimeter past your finger tips is a safe option.
  • File the nail in one direction. When filing your nails just go in one direction instead of a sawing motion to prevent damaging the tips which can lead to fissures and cracks which cause breakage and tears in your nails.
  • Always have a nail file at hand. On the same note of filing your nails, it is important to always have access to a nail file. Nothing ruins a nail more than an unexpected breakage or crack and the worst thing that can happen is for it to worsen due to the ragged edge catching on things. Having a nail file that can quickly smooth over the problem can help a minor inconvenience turn into a long term problem.
  • Never use your nails as a tool. While it's tempting to pry open that box or tweeze something out using your nails this is a huge no-no for maintaining the health of your nails. Doing this could cause your nail to bend and break causing some serious problems to your nails.
  • Avoid peeling off nail polish. Most of the time as you peel off old nail polish it takes with it a layer of your nail, and it does so unevenly. Help maintain the strength and integrity of your nail by avoiding peeling off nail polish. Also at the first sign of a chip either remove the nail polish or seal it with a top coat to avoid the same nail peeling dilemma that happens as polish chips off.
  • Limit water exposure. This one seems odd since washing your hands are so common, but nails are very porous and overtime it will dry out your nails and weaken them. Combat this by the use of hand creams or oils to return moisture back into your nails especially after exposing your nails to water for long periods of time.
  • Nail polish is your friend. Contrary to popular belief, wearing nail polish is good for your nails as long as you take the proper precautions of wearing it (using a base coat/top coat, not peeling it, etc.). Nail polish protects the surface of the nail against things such as water and harsh chemicals, and the use of dark nail polish acts as sun protection for the tender skin under your nails!
  • Watch your nails for sign of health problems. Your nails can tell a lot, and this is sort of an extra tip but if you notice them changing colors unusually it could mean a few different things:
    White nails - liver condition
    Half pink/half white nails - kidney disease
    Yellow and thickening of the nail with a slowed growth rate - lung disease
    Pale nail beds - anemia
    Yellow-tinged nails with a slight blush at the base - diabetes

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