Taking care of your nails is no mean feat, especially if you don’t keep on top of it. It really doesn’t need to be a chore, though – make a few small changes to your diet and your care routine, and you’ll find that your nails will be looking better in no time.
Take some inspiration from my suggestions below, and revel in your healthy-looking tips…
If you want to make a concerted effort with your nails, the first thing you have to do is improve the quality of your diet. Hair, skin and nails are all very easily affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so ensuring that you get enough of the essentials is key. Important nutrients include Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, plus calcium and iron. Vitamins A and E are easy to apply topically in the form of hand creams, but B, C, D, calcium and iron are ones that must be incorporated into your diet. Up your intake of leafy greens, pulses, fruits, vegetables and dairy, and you should start to see an improvement. Supplements are also a good idea when taken in conjunction with this varied diet.
Untreated cuticles can look unkempt, so neatening them up will make a big difference to the appearance of your nails. Before you make any changes, it’s a good idea to moisturise them first as attempting to push back the skin when it is dry may result in damage. Likewise, it is important not to cut the cuticles off completely as they provide essential protection for nails against infection.
Start by applying a cuticle remover onto the nails, and then use a cuticle stick to gently push the layer of skin backwards. Work systematically to ensure that all of the dead skin is pushed backwards in a neat line, but don’t force the skin back too far, as that result in discomfort and damage.
When your cuticles are sorted, it’s time to moisturise and fortify your nails. A hand cream with added antioxidant protection in the form of vitamin E will work to eradicate harmful free radicals and intensely hydrate the skin. Creams rich in oils, ceramides and fatty acids will also work to plump and smooth the skin, while ensuring that nails are nourished with essential protein.
Avoid formulas that have formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, camphor and toluene in them, which are toxic and known irritants. These ingredients can also be very drying for the nails, which often results in fragility, breakage and peeling. Before you colour, applying a strengthening base coat can make a big difference. Not only will this work to properly prepare your nails and ensure a perfect result, it will also shield them from becoming stained by dark nail colours. Finish your routine with a high shine top coat, and you’ll be left with glossy and healthy-looking tips.