Become A Nail Filing Master
Go with a soft nail file to keep the edges of your nails smooth, says Dr. Klein. With rougher grains, you run the risk of making tears in the nail, which can lead to peeling and hangnails.
File your nails in one direction, using long and swift strokes. Back and forth see-saw motions will cause the nail to splinter, says Dr. Solomon, who recommends using the Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator 4-Way Nail Buffer.
The micro-fiber material its made from is very gentle on the nails, but still manages to achieve a clean shape, she says.
Be Gentle On Your Nails
Your nails are delicate, so treat them that way. Avoid using metal tools under nails, as too much digging can cause the nail plate to separate from the skin , common for people over 50, says Dr. Stern. Cleaning with chemicals and washing dishes by hand can also weaken nails. Guard them by wearing rubber, vinyl, nitrile or plastic gloves, says New York City dermatologist Janet Prystowsky, M.D., Ph.D.
A Dozen Tips For More Beautiful Nails
Long, strong, healthy nails are possible — if you don’t fall prey to myths and old wives tales! Three experts tell you what you need to know.
Like a great new haircut or a terrific skin care regimen, healthy, well-manicured nails are an integral part of a neat, pulled-together appearance – one that can work as an asset in both the social and the business world.
Unfortunately, experts say both men and women fall prey to myths and old wives’ tales about how to care for nails. Another pitfall: many of us rely on the guidance of salons, some of which may not be doling out the best advice — or treatments.
To help set the record straight — and get you on the road to beautiful nails — three top dermatologists offer these 12 tips for achieving healthy, well groomed, elegant nails.
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What Your Nails Have To Say
Don’t be surprised if your doctor takes a look at your nails at your next checkup, even if you’re having no problems with them. Fingernails provide good clues to a person’s overall health.
For instance, when the doctor presses your nails, he or she is checking your blood circulation. By looking at your nails, a doctor may find changes that may be associated with skin problems, lung disease, anemia, and other medical conditions. Your nails are in the know!
Avoid Using Your Nails As Tools
A lot of persons with long nails are guilty of this. Am I sure youre not among them? Are you? Well whether youre guilty or not, heres something you should know.
When you use those nails as tools, youre rendering them weak. A weak nail is liable to break.
Besides that, your nails may lift away from your nail beds in the process and lead to a more severe health complication. So dont do it.
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Best Products For Healthy Nails
Everything you need to get your nails in tip-top condition, ready to try this summer’s most-popular nail colours…
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil
Nourishing Vitamin E is the hero ingredient here, giving dry, brittle nails the TLC they need.
Take the time to massage it in too. It’ll boost circulation, rewarding you with longer, stronger nails.
OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener in Bubble Bath
If you hate the look of bare nails, youll love the tinted version of everyones favourite nail strengthener.
The pretty pink shade adds a hint of colour, while the polish gets to work rehydrating weak, damaged nails. After the initial application, apply one coat every other day for best results.
Mavala Scientifique K+ Nail Hardener
Packed full of keratin this hardener helps to make nails more resistant to breaking. Especially helpful if you spend your days typing!
Jessica Peeling Nails Treatment Kit
A 3-step treatment for nails on the brink. First up, fuse pastry-like flaking layers back together with the base coat for peeling nails.
Next, seal in with the high gloss top coat for an extra layer of protection. Finish off with a dot of cuticle oil on each nail, rehydrating the skin and promoting healthy growth.
Clean Extra Polish Off Cuticles
You are bound to have some color on your cuticles while painting your nails. Clean it up with a nail polish remover for a neater manicure. Take an ear bud, dip it in nail polish remover, and gently wipe off the paint from the cuticles.
Well-kept nails make a pretty sight even better if they are strong and shiny. Maintain your nails using the tips and tricks mentioned above. Try them and tell us your experience in the comments section below.
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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.
If Problems Persist Get An In
If you’ve adhered to the advice above and are still suffering from weak and brittle nails, it may be time to get a medical evaluation. “Nails can be affected by a variety of dermatologic conditions, including psoriasis and nail fungus,” warns Hashim. When it comes to caring for your nail health, he advises “the best approach is a balanced diet, gentle nail care, and seeking an in-person evaluation if you are concerned about any nail diseases.”
The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says that dry, brittle nails are rarely caused by vitamin deficiencies or other serious medical conditions. One way to help determine if nail issues are a systemic problem or from other reasons, such as using harsh nail polishes, is to compare your toenails and fingernails. If your toenails are strong and healthy and your fingernails are breaking, then it could be from using harsh nail products or another external reason.
If both toenails and fingernails are brittle and breaking, it could be an internal issue. If it is a vitamin deficiency, low iron is often the cause and your doctor can test you for this and provide the right supplements. Other medical conditions that can cause brittle nails include Raynauds syndrome or hypothyroidism.;
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Watch Your Nails For Signs Of Health Problems
Most of the time, nail problems can be traced to environmental assaults — exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips.
That said, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that the condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health. Here’s what they say to look out for:
- White nails — liver condition
Avoid Using Gel And Acrylics
Gels and acrylics are no doubt super pretty but sadly cause immense damage to the nails. Avoid them entirely, if possible.
The acrylic powder contains a lot of chemicals and roughens the nails and causes dents in them. The drying mechanism in gel manicures causes harm to the skin around your nails.
A smarter alternative for this would be to choose press on ones if you are hellbent on this particular nail look as they are less harmful and easy to apply.
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Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer
You need to follow a series of steps for that. Start by cleansing your nails with vinegar. Soak them in water, then, apply a base coat. Put two layers of nail paint and a top coat on, and let them air dry.
You need to reapply the top coat once in every few days to make sure the paint does not dry and chip off. In case that happens, file off the chipped nail and seal it again with a top coat. You can even add a thin layer of white coat to fix your chipped nail.
The Best Nail Growth Treatments And Strengtheners
The world might be starting to reopen, but our nails on the other hand, are still in hibernation mode. To get them nail-art-ready, invest in a nail treatment that’s designed to promote growth and strengthen, so you’re ready for your full diary of social obligations.
We tested some of the best available, to see which ones really deliver results. Below are the ones we rate.
How we test
We asked over 1,000 women to trial over 42 brands of nail growth treatments and strengtheners for a one-month period; the products ranged from oils to polishes to creams.
For nail growth products, testers assessed whether they prevented breakages and peeling, if they helped with growth, and if nails were left looking healthier and stronger.
For strengthening treatments, testers noted whether the products helped with any flakiness, as well as if they had an impact on smoothness and strength.
Both types of product were also judged on how easy they were to apply, their drying time and how often they needed to reapply.
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Remember Toenails Count Too
Everything that applies to your fingernails applies to your toenails, which experts say may be even more prone to problems due to careless pedicures. “Because feet are more often inside shoes — a dark, moist environment — fungus can grow more easily,” says Ravits. If you get regular pedicures, experts say take your own instruments and never let the tech dig under the nail or around the cuticle. Moreover, Ravits says cutting toenails at an angle — instead of straight across — increases the risk of ingrown toenails, which can be painful and sometimes develop into an infection.
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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Always Keep A Nail File On Hand
If your job or workout routine exposes your nails to potential damage, Dr. Prystowsky advises keeping a nail file handy for on-the-spot buffing of any rough edges. For the smoothest finish, work in one direction with the grain of your nail.
Instead of an emory board, which can cause nails to peel and snag, try a glass nail file. “A glass file will create an even edge to the nail and can be used on the weakest, brittle, and damaged nails,” Dr. Stern says.
Take A Collagen Or Biotin Supplement
“Pay attention to your diet,” explains Amy Lin, the founder of sundaysa nail care brand focused on wellness. “Your nails are made of proteins and naturally need a lot of vitamins.” Specifically, your nails consist of keratin, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting your fill of keratin-building amino acids. Two of the most popular are biotin and collagen, as they tend to be the most effective in supporting nail health.*
First up: Biotin has been shown to support thickness and firmness of nails in several human studies.* One study, in particular, found that those who took biotin supplements had 25% thicker nailbeds than the placebo group.* In terms of collagen, another study showed that when patients took collagen daily for 24 weeks, their nail health was better maintained, including faster growth rates, reduced breakage, and improved appearance.*
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Things You Can Do To Keep Your Nails Healthy
Whether your nail care is a form of self-care, a treat or just routine maintenance, keeping your nails healthy and strong is worth the investment. And the good news is, it doesnt have to be expensive. Rather than splurging at the nail salon, healthy nails can be achieved and maintained through simple lifestyle habits. A little extra TLC will take your nails a long way! Here are 6 things you can do to keep your nails healthy.
Keep your nails dry
Excessive water contact can weaken the nail structure and lead to brittleness, peeling and breakage. After a long bath, you might notice how soft and bendy your nails get. Thats because the nail is like a sponge and absorbs water like the skin, except only 1,000 times more. Instead of soaking your nails in water at the nail salon, ask for a dry manicure!
Moisture and condition
We all know moisturizing is a crucial step in skincare but its often overlooked in nail care. Dry and brittle nails can be caused by a lot of different factors but ultimately theyre a cry for moisture. Next time you use hand lotion, make sure to rub it onto your cuticles too! You can also use a nail conditioner or cuticle oil.
Leave your cuticles ALONE
Consider supplements for extra support
Biotin is a B vitamin that promotes healthy cell growth and helps the metabolism of protein-building amino acids all essential for nail growth. Taking supplements and eating biotin-rich foods can help strengthen brittle nails.
Watch the weather
Dont bite your nails
Using Supplements And Creams For Healthy Nails
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Take Breathers Between Manicures
Bottom line: Your nails need to breathe. Constant use of polish, even non-toxic polish, can weaken the nail, says Dr. Solomon. If you find that your nails have become especially fragile , give them a month off from nail polish to allow them to grow and strengthen. Applying a keratin treatment between manicures, such as CND RescueRXx, can help nourish your nails during the hiatus.
Lemon Juice For Stronger Nails:
Lemon is a good source of vitamin c which helps to prevent yellow nails and also keeps your nails healthy and strong.
- Mix olive and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a bowl
- Slightly warm the mixture and let it cool until it is touchable
- Dip a cotton ball in this mixture and apply directly on your nails
- Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes
Repetitions: Do this method at least twice a week.
Note: Do not use lemon if there is an injury on your nail or on the skin around your nails. The acid content of lemon causes a burning sensation on the wounds.
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Read The Labels On Your Polish
Just as with makeup and skincare, not all nail polish brands are created equal, so make sure you’re buying or using a good product. Dr. Debbie Palmer urges you to steer clear of polishes containing toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene, as these toxins can contribute to brittleness, splitting, and cracking.
Don’t Cut Or Manipulate Cuticles
Whether you have your nails professionally groomed or do them yourself, the No. 1 recommendation is leave your cuticles alone, says Dana Stern, MD, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
“The cuticle is the natural barrier to fungus and bacteria — and once you breach that, protection is lost,” she says. This will not only make cuticles look worse — red, swollen, and ragged — but may also land you a nasty infection that harms the nail bed and leads to permanent nail damage. And while cutting cuticles holds the most potential for harm, pushing them back can cause problems as well.
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Invest In A ‘soft’ Nail File
You might have heard that glass nail files are better for filing with, but while they’re pretty, longer-wearing and easy to clean, it pays to invest in a ‘soft’ file, according to Session Manicurist, Ami Streets.
‘To get the best finish from your filing, always opt for a soft file to prevent tearing or splitting your nails,’ she says. Her top picks? ‘Orly’s nail file is probably one of best I’ve used because of the durability and the way it gives the smoothest finish really fast.’
‘Pro products are always best and usually more hard wearing. I really like the Natural Nail Company because you can choose a file depending on whether your nails are soft or hard, and there are even options for acrylics.’
What’s more, you really need to nail your filing technique. Back and forth see-saw motions will only cause the nail to splinter, so always file in one direction, using long, swift but gentle strokes.
Pro Tip: ‘Start from the outside edge and move into the centre,’ advises Streets. ‘This technique will give you a smooth finish and more control over the shape you’re trying to achieve.’