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How To Have Healthy Nails

Tropical Delight Smoothie Bowl

How To Have Healthy Nails

You can probably feel the nutrient density of this bowl just by looking at it. Pineapple, kiwi, and mango contain vitamin C and carotenoids. Bananas are a good source of prebiotic fiber. Chia seeds are chock-full of omega-3s, and pistachios are a good source of protein. Your hair and nails are thanking you already.

Indulge In Acrylic Or Gel Treatments Sparingly

Any nail expert you talk to is going to do their best to steer you away from acrylic or gel manicures as long-lasting and convenient as they are because they’re very hard on the nail. But if you’re keen on getting them, there are some ways to minimize the damage to your hands and nails.

The main issue with a gel manicure is the exposure to UV light in the drying device, which can damage the skin below and around the nail, leading to an increased risk of cancer. To help reduce that risk, Dr. Prystowsky recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 before the procedure to help block the damage, or you can try special gloves that expose only the nails themselves, shielding the rest of your hands from the harmful UV rays.

There’s also a professional service that the Good Housekeeping Institute‘s Beauty Lab found won’t ruin your nails: CND’s Shellac Luxe salon service, which won a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award in 2019.

Cut Back On Gel And Acrylic Manicures

They may be touted as an easy alternative for people who have trouble growing their nails, but frequent gel or acrylic manicures can cause your nails to peel, weakening them in the process. These manicures also expose your digits to excessive amounts of acetone in the soak required to remove them, which is very drying to the nail, says Dr. Klein. If you prefer to keep these types of manicures on rotation, make sure to either give your nails time to breathe between applications or save them for special occasions.

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Eight Steps To Healthy Skin Hair And Nails

As dietitian Cindy Williams explains, beauty really does come from the inside

Glossy hair, strong nails and glowing skin may be signs of a great beauty regime, but the importance of a great diet shouldnt be underestimated. Food contains lots of beauty nutrients, which people have used for thousands of years, inside and out. Today we can wash our hair and moisturise our skin with honey, rosemary, rosehip, avocado or olives, to name a few. A French woman I know attributes her beautiful skin to the olive oil she rubs on her face and hands while cooking.

Theres no magic food that will keep us looking forever young, but diet does affect how your skin looks and ages. Take these eight food steps to strong, healthy skin, hair and nails.

Protect Your Nails With A Base Coat

Important tips to get strong and healthy nails, according ...

When you’re painting your nails at home, don’t skip the base coat. Dr. Prystowsky points out that this step both shields the nails from being stained by polish and helps the color look more saturated and opaque with just one coat. Even without color, “strengthening varnishes leave a shiny hard coating on nails reinforce tips, making them appear thicker and can protect against damage,” says Wnek. And if you really want to take things to the next level, Dr. Shamban suggests adding a coat of clear gloss between each layer to add extra shine and protection.

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Keep Them On The Shorter Side

If youre having trouble with weak nails, consider cutting down the length while you build up their strength, suggests Dr. Solomon. Shorter nails are less prone to breaking because there are fewer exposed edges to tear, and less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed. Once trimmed, prevent snags by gently rounding the edges with a nail file.

Are Acrylic Nails Toxic

Research suggests that nails are an extension of our skin, meaning they too absorb chemicals and compounds.

This could be dangerous since the toxins present in acrylics and gel formulas come from potentially dangerous chemicals that have been linked to skin and respiratory issues.

Prolonged exposure can eventually cause nail loss and destruction of its matrix.

Besides that, some acrylic applications use Methyl Methacrylate , despite the FDAs warning about its toxicity in the 1970s.

But alas, its cheap especially when its diluted so many salons still use it.

MMA isnt the only concerning chemical though.

Toluene is another one. Its found in acrylic nail glue and is linked to headaches, irritated skin, and more.

But really, thats just the tip of the iceberg since prolonged exposure can also damage internal organs, especially your liver and kidneys.

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Taking Good Care Of Your Nails Is Important For Your Overall Health

On average, nails will grow approximately 0.125 per month. However, there are a few things that can help promote nail growth. This includes hormones and warmer temperatures .

Most doctors and experts all agree that there is no single type of food or supplement that you can take to help speed up your nail growth. However, its widely accepted in the medical community that a number of factors like poor diet and malnutrition, infections, as well as the aging process can all slow down the growth rate of your nails.

Go For Regular Manicures


Depending on the state of your nails and cuticles, start getting weekly manicures one to two months before the big day. If youre a nail biter and are trying to have healthier nails, start months earlier. Each visit will help you have healthy nails by making them stronger, and keep the cuticles and skin around them moisturized and clean.

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Stop Biting Your Nails

Avoid biting your nails as it can make the tips of your fingernails look uneven and misshapen. Youre also exposing them to the saliva from your mouth which overall results in weak and brittle nails. Furthermore, by putting your fingers to your mouth, you are actually transmitting the dirt and germs usually found under your nails.

Add A Cuticle Oil To Your Routine

If you want strong and healthy nails, one of the most important things you can do is to start using cuticle oil regularly, says celebrity nail artist Pattie Yankee. “You should massage it into the matrix area right at the base of the nail and the skin right below,” she says. “If you really massage the oil into that area, you nourish the matrix of your nail, which is the root of your nail. And as it grows out, it’s going to grow out healthy.”

Yankee suggests looking for a formula containing jojoba oil as one of the main ingredients. “It has small enough molecules that it’s able to penetrate to your nail plate,” she says. She also suggests looking out for almond and safflower oils, which moisturizes and, in turn, helps to strengthen your nails. While there are a lot of options out there, one of Yankee’s top picks is CND Solar Oil , which has both jojoba and sweet almond oils.

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What Do Your Nails Say About Your Health

Virtually every nutritional deficiency can affect the growth of the nail in some manner.

This quote from researchers in a 2010 study published in the Clinics in Dermatology journal pretty much sums it up. Strong, smooth nails arent just desirable for cosmetic reasons. Our fingernails are like a roadmap that tell our health story.

Uncontrolled health issues and nutritional deficiencies add up to fingernail problems. A variety of vitamins, micronutrients, and protein are necessary for healthy, strong fingernails.

In fact, scientists can read in fingernails if there are high levels of cortisol indicating stress, or if someone has diabetes. They can even tell if an older woman has had a fracture or not based off of fingernail analysis!

Brittle nails may be a telltale sign of hypothyroidism, and 50% of psoriasis sufferers have nail problems linked to skin inflammation.

Bottom Line: Healthy Nails Matter

How to Brighten Your Nails

Healthy nail hygiene is important but only half of the picture. Real health comes from the inside out by eating a real-food diet rich in vitamins and minerals!

Do you have healthy nails? What methods have you tried to strengthen fingernails?

  • Böhme, K., Barros-Velázquez, J., Calo-Mata, P., & Aubourg, S. P. . Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Activity of Essential Oils: Mechanisms and Applications . Antimicrobial Compounds. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-40444-3_3
  • Bone, Muscle and Joint Team, Cleveland Clinic . Why You Should Give Your Toenails a Break from Polish.
  • Can vitamin supplements strengthen brittle nails? .
  • Colombo, V. et al. . Treatment of brittle fingernails and onychoschizia with biotin: Scanning electron microscopy. . Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Elias, Nina. . 7 Things Your Nails Say About You.
  • Fingernails Are a Window to Your Health. .
  • Hexsel, D., Zague, V., Schunck, M., Siega, C., Camozzato, F. O., & Oesser, S. . Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails . Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 16, 520-526. doi:10.1111/jocd.12393
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    Taking Precautions To Avoid Nail Problems

  • 1Avoid biting your nails. Biting your nails is a bad habit than can damage your overall nail health. You can end up damaging the tissue surrounding your nails, making it harder for nails to grow. If you bite your nails, take steps to quit.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of DermatologyProfessional organization made of over 20,000 certified dermatologistsGo to source
  • Trim your nails short as this can help you resist the temptation to bite. You can also use foul-tasting nail polish or place tape or stickers over your nails.
  • Identify what triggers you to bite your nails. You may bite in response to stress, boredom, or anxiety. Try to know when you’re going into a situation where you may be tempted to bite your nails and take steps to avoid biting. You could, for example, play with a stress ball or a small ball of silly putty.
  • Give yourself time. Nail biting, like any bad habit, will not change overnight. It may take a few months before you’ve broken the habit of biting your nails.
  • 2Do not pull off hang nails. If you have a hangnail on your toenail or fingernail, do not pull it off. This can rip tissues near your cuticles, causing pain or infection. Instead, clip off hangnails using nail clippers.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Make sure any salons you use are licensed and the manicurist and pedicurists you work with are licensed by the state board.
  • Ask if foot baths are cleaned regularly.
  • How To Make Your Nails Grow Longer And Stronger

    Buh-bye, brittle nails.

    Maybe its been the lockdown boredom , but it seems so many of us are attempting to grow our nails longer and stronger right now.

    If youve ditched the acrylics and taken a much-needed break from the gels, yet your nails are still brittle and flaky, we feel your pain.

    On a mission to achieve the long, resilient talons of our dreams, weve tried out all the hacks and enlisted some of the best experts to reveal exactly how to make our nails grow longer, stronger and healthier for good. Stay with us for everything you need to know..

    How To Grow Longer And Stronger Nails

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    How Long It Takes To Strengthen Your Nails

    No matter what intervention you end up taking, don’t expect to see any differences overnight. “Changes can take many months longer for toenails than fingernails because they take longer to grow to become noticeable,” says Dr. Kim. “People tend to give up too quickly. Unfortunately, there are no super-quick solutions if the end goal is to have truly healthier nails.” Again, it could take up to several months depending on your personal growth rate, so stick it out.

    Part of it comes down to your genetics. Your genetic makeup and the presence of conditions such as psoriasis or thyroid issues can affect nail growth.”Because some people will genetically be more prone to weaker nails, any intervention may take even longer to reap visible results and the degree of improvement may be somewhat diminished, unfortunately,” says Dr. Kim. “But with patience and perseverance, it is still possible.”

    Does Nail Polish Harm Or Help

    How to Maintain Strong Healthy Nails

    Nails may look hard, but theyre actually a permeable substance that drinks in nail polish. This can cause the top layers of the nail to dry out, inviting yeast, bacteria, and mold to grow underneath the fingernail plate. Brittle nails can be caused by too many manicures, too much nail polish, or harsh nail polish remover.

    The popular gel polish is even more damaging to nails. Its been reported to cause brittle and thinning nails, even more so than regular nail polish.

    So does nail polish spell disaster for nail health then? Not exactly. These tips will help nails stay their healthiest, even with polish on.

    • Avoid artificial nails to allow the nail bed to receive necessary airflow.
    • Avoid wearing nail polish for extended periods of time to allow the nail to breathe.
    • Try a natural nail polish remover without acetone. Fresh therapies brand has one thats non-toxic.
    • Use a non-toxic nail polish and avoid the most harmful chemicals.

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    Orange Yellow Red And Green Beta

    According to its sticker, pawpaw is super food for the skin. Its the beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, that gives carrots, pumpkin, mango and spinach their healthy skin image. If you have dry hair and skin, take a look at how much coloured fruit and vegetables and other vitamin A-rich foods youre eating. Go for liver, oily fish and egg yolk.

    Large doses of beta-carotene improve its resilience and to a certain degree helps protect skin from sunburn, especially when eaten with other carotenoids like lycopene . So perhaps the way to get vitamin A is carrot and watermelon juice, although if you overdo it youll find your palms and eye whites going yellow from all that beta-carotene!

    Dermatologists often use high doses of vitamin A to treat acne, but this needs medical supervision as it can damage the liver and cause birth defects.

    • HFG tip: For a real vitamin A boost, try an omelette or scrambled eggs with spinach and canned or fresh salmon.

    Don’t Forget Your Toes

    Thinking about how to have healthy nails? Be sure to include your toes in your regimen! Even if youre wearing closed-toed shoes on the big day you shouldnt neglect your toenails. Go for a monthly manicure, or at least every six weeks, to avoid any issues with your nails and to moisturize the skin on your foot. You can also pick up some items to help have healthy nails and feet at home, such as pumice stones, foot filers and foot cream.

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    Limit Time In The Sun

    Your hair protects your scalp from the sun, but that doesnt mean your hair doesnt experience damage from too many rays. Protect your hair by wearing hats, scarves, or covering yourself with an umbrella if youre planning to be in direct sunlight for a long time. Go outside in the early morning or later in the day when the sun isnt as harsh. And consider using an SPF-containing hair product or zinc oxide cream on exposed areas of the scalp, as these are designed to protect your hair from sun damage.

    The Problem: Yellow Nails

    How to have healthy looking nails

    “This can happen naturally with age,” says Dr. Anthony. “But it’s also sometimes due to nail lacquers or acrylic nails.” If you often wear acrylic nails or paint your nails and are having this problem, try taking a break from the salon and give nails a chance to recover. Another possible cause: smoking, which can stain nails and give them a yellowish hue.

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    Caring For Your Nails

  • 1Clean your nails regularly. Like your hands, your nails should be washed regularly. When washing your hands, make sure to gently scrub the surface of your nails. You should also scrub the undersides with soap and water to remove harmful bacteria trapped under the nails.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source
  • 2Keep your nails dry. When nails are wet, bacteria can more easily grow underneath your fingernails. Always dry your nails thoroughly after washing them. You should wear gloves when doing household chores, like washing dishes or cleaning with products containing chemicals.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 3Moisturize your nails with lotion. Like your skin, your nails may need moisturizer on occasion as well. Water can dry out natural oils in nails, which need replenishing with an over-the-counter moisturizer. When using lotion, make sure to rub some moisturizer onto the surface of each nail.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Pick a gentle moisturizer free of a lot of chemicals or added scents.
  • If you develop a rash after starting a new moisturizer, cease use. You may have a mild allergy to that brand.

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