Well hello! It’s been a while so first of all, belated Happy New Year nail art warriors! I hope you all had fabulous holiday. As for me, I had a very interesting one :) If you follow SoNailicious on Instagram, you know that I’ve been travelling through the snowy mountains of Siberia and the searing dunes of Abu Dhabi. It’s been incredibly inspiring and as always, I’ve been meticulously documenting my nail art ideas in my Little Book of Nail Art. So stay tuned, plenty travel inspired nail art coming your way!
But before we proceed to nail arting our way through the new year, why don’t we make a few resolutions to improve our nails health? Whether you already have healthy nails or you’ve been trying to grow longer and stronger nails, these resolutions will come in handy. Because vigorous nail painting without proper care may take toll on the health of your nails. Also having healthy nails helps make your manicure last longer and prevents chipping (even gel manicure won’t last if your nails are brittle and dry) not to mention slightly longer nails mean you have even more space for nail art endeavors.
Instead of a lengthy list of resolutions that no one in the history of humanity will be able to accomplish, I offer you a list of 8 simple actions that can be easily incorporated in your current nail care routine. Even if you add a couple of those to your routine, you will be able to improve your nails health significantly.
Sounds good? Then read on!
8 resolutions to make right now for healthier and stronger nails:
1. Take care of cuticles. Healthy, soft cuticles (or to be correct eponychium) is the key to healthy strong nails. While moisturising cuticles you’re also nourishing your nail bed and thus, promoting healthy nails growth. For this purpose, I highly recommend to try Mavala Nailactan, – this treatment softens cuticles and strengthens nails at the same time. If cuticle creams is not your thing, try one of these cuticle oils. However, if targeted cuticle care is not an option for you, simply use one of these multitasking hand creams. Every time you apply your hand cream, make sure to massage some over cuticles.
Ah and don’t forget, cutting your cuticles is a big no-no. A much safer alternative is to push cuticles back using a treatment like Orly Cutique. Apply the product and let it work it’s magic, then rinse it off and carefully nip only remaining lifted pieces of dead skin – hangnails. Never cut all the way around the cuticle because that will cause the skin to become ragged and tear, opening the way to infections.
2. File like a pro. Nail shape trends are constantly evolving — from oval to square and back to oval. You can change your nail shape as frequently as you please. However, filing your nails properly is the key to maintaining healthy free edge, which prevents nails splitting and breaking. Even better if you use a glass nail file, as it helps to minimise any damage that filing can cause by sealing the free edge instead of fluffing it up.
3. Treat your nails like jewels. Have you ever tried to open a letter or sealed box with your nails? I, surely, did. It may have cost me a nail or two and taught me a lesson of not using my nails as tools. Even if you don’t break your nails immediately, you risk bending the nail back. The white area (also known as the stress area) will weaken and eventually break. So make an effort to pay close attention to how you use nails. Your nails are jewels, so treat them as such and let the tough tools do the work.
4. Eat well. Your diet plays a huge role in all functions of your body. The best foods for strong and healthy nails are those rich in protein and vitamins A, B and E. Simply make sure you eat one-two portions of animal protein (eggs, beef, fish, poultry) and vegetables (broccoli, spinach, carrots and bananas) daily.
Sometimes, however, having a good diet is not enough as genes also play a big part in having brittle nails. If this is the case (for me it certainly is!), add some great supplements that contain biotin and iron to your ration.
5. Do get manicures. A weekly manicure (even for short nails ) is essential to maintaining your nails health. A properly done, step-by-step manicure, whether you do it at home or at salon, will make any nail colour look fantastic. But most importantly it will keep cuticles groomed, protect nails from any potential damage and strengthen them. Here’s how to do manicure at home like a pro.
6. Gloves are your best friends. I know you know it… but just to remind you, there’s nothing can protect your hands and nails from harsh chemicals, hot water and soil than gloves. So please do wear them, let your nails and hands be happy!
By the way, if you’re using a hand sanitiser often, I’d suggest you revisit how you fight with germs. Hand sanitisers are filled with very harsh chemicals and could be doing more harm then good. Using them often may cause severe dryness, hangnails and ragged cuticles, ultimately resulting in nails becoming weak and brittle.
7. Avoid toxic chemicals in nail products. As much as I love nail polish, the hard truth is that by nature every nail polish is a mix of chemicals in a bottle. However, what we can do is to chose wisely and avoid lacquers that are loaded with hazardous materials or toxic chemicals. Nowadays most of the popular brands only offer 3-free nail polish, some are 5-free and a few even moved to 10-free formulas, like Kester Black! Just make sure you always check certifications, when buying new nail polish, especially if you are not familiar with the brand.
8. Moisturize like there is no tomorrow. Unless you suffer from extremely dry skin, you may not moisturise your hands nearly as much as you should. However, your nails would be much stronger if you did. Moisturize your hands with hand lotion every time you wash your hands. Also invest in a rich, highly effective anti ageing hand cream or treatment and apply it every night before you go to bed.
Keep a small tube of hand cream in your hand bag or on your office desk to keep your hands hydrated throughout the day, make sure you massage some over cuticles too. It will help to soften cuticles and prevent hangnails. My favourite at the moment is Kamill Intensive hand and nail cream.
Well, there you have it – 8 simple actions to take right now that can help to improve significantly your nails health and strength.
Now, over to you!
What’s your secret to growing healthier and stronger nails? Is there anything that we should add to the above list?
Come on, spill, sharing is caring!
– Maria, xx
P.S. I’d also add to the list ‘Use a good nail strengthener religiously’ but if you’ve been reading SoNailicious for a while, I’m sure you already do! If not, here’s a great list of some of the best nail strengtheners around, including my all-time favourite Orly Nailtrition and Mava-Strong.
More tips for healthy nails:
- How to repair nails after acrylics
- How to give yourself nail spa at home in 15 minutes
- Top 5 tips for healthy nails
- Brittle nails: how to make them stronger