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How To Keep Your Nails Healthy

How To Keep Your Nails Healthy

Alice O'Donnell

From your head to your toes, every party of your body sometimes needs a little TLC. And nails are no exception, yet they so often get let behind. It seems much easier to moisture your skin than to moisturise your cuticles, right? But, leaving nails to their own devices can result with brittle nails and, in the worst-case scenario, infections *shudder*.

Looking after your nails doesn’t have to break the bank. Luckily, there are some handy little tricks to leave your nails smooth, strong and damn-right gorgeous.

Use Acetone-free nail polish remover

The nail-polish remover world is divided into two – Acetone or acetone-free. Acetone is a chemical which acts as a solvent, dissolving the nail varnish. It also is what gives the remover such as pungent smell. While acetone is extremely efficient at removing nail varnish, it can also dry out and damage your cuticles.

Luckily, most brands offer a range of acetone-free remover, where weaker chemicals are mixed with a hydrating formula to keep your nails in tip-top shape. The only down-side to acetone-free remover is that it has slightly less strength than the acetone based nail-varnish removers, so you have to use slightly more of it.

Acetone-free remover can be purchased in all major pharmacists, such as Boots, or your local chemist.

Stop Biting Your Nails

Okay, we know that if you’ve been told once to stop biting your nails once, you’ve heard it a thousands times. It’s one of the hardest habits to break, especially if you’ve been nibbling at them for years almost without thinking about it. However, there’s more reasons than fake nails in the world why you should serious consider breaking the habit. Not only does it damage the look of your nails, it can also introduce bacteria and infection to your cuticles.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, nail biting works the other way too, and can damage your teeth as well as your oral health in general. One way to try to stop biting your nails is to get to the bottom of the issue. When, and why, do you bite your nails? Out of boredom? Exhaustion?

By discovering what your trigger is, you can work to find other solutions. Maybe buy an adult colouring book for when you’re bored or have a few early nights when you’re tired. It’s incredibly difficult to break a habit, but trust us, your nails will look, and feel, so much better for it.

Read More: How To Stop Biting Your Nails

A Healthy Diet

While nails may be the last thing on your mind as an incentive to eat healthily, your diet hugely impacts the health of your nails.

Nails are made from a protein called keratin, which is also vital in the production of hair. Luckily, vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for keratin are very common in food. Vitamin A can be found in green vegetables such as kale and spinach, and orange vegetables and fruits, like carrots and cantolpes, while Vitamin D is present in eggs, oatmeal and milk. Salmon, eggs, beans, oats and peas are especially good foods for promoting strong, healthy nails.

If you find your nails are prone to breaking, you might consider taking a Vitamin B supplements called Biotin, which works by providing the nutrience your nails are lacking. However, in the majority of cases, a healthy, balanced diet is enough to keep your nails strong and durable. 

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Moisturising and nails may seem like two things which do not go hand in hand but spending a few minutes a day pampering those cuticles can really be worth it. Moisturising can be so benefiting, especially if you find your nails are prone to becoming brittle and breaking.  It works by sealing the moisture in your nails, preventing evaporation to occur in the layers of your nail; meaning that the individual layers do not become weak or brittle.

There are two main ways to moisturise your nails: the first method is simply smoothing cream or oils onto the skin and nails. While there are specialist brands you can buy in shops such as Boots and TK Maxx, Vaseline can work just as well.

The other option involves creating a bath of oil, such as olive oil, and soaking your nails in the bath before wiping of any excess liquid. Both work just as well, and if your nails are in intense need of TLC, you can do the two treatments. 

Spend time on your nails

Now we know in a perfect world, we’d all be heading off for a manicure every week. While unfortunately nobody has the time or money for that, luckily you don’t need to in order to have healthy, happy nails.

From making slight changes to the type of foods you eat to switching the type of nail-varnish remover you use; you can drastically improve the health of your nails. Spending maybe ten minutes a week on filing, trimming and cleaning your nails will not only sweep away any dead cells, but leave your nails looking like they’ve been pampered in a spa for hours. 

Have you any tips for healthy nails?

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