Hydration Will Strengthen Your Nails
Now that the gel-dip-acrylic is off, the key is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. “Prolonged use of gel manis and acrylics dehydrates your nails, making them dry, brittle, and fragile,” says manicurist Jin Soon Choi, founder of JINSoon nail polish and salons.
A cuticle oil is your BFF for imparting deep hydration. Focus on slathering it not only on the nail itself, but also massaging it well into the cuticle the cuticle is where new, healthy nail growth will start so it’s important to nourish and hydrate this area, says Choi.
One best-seller to try: CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner. Holford also likes using straight up jojoba oil, which can strengthen nail beds and boost healthy nail growth. She recommends applying it three times per day for five days for the best results.
Best Overall: Duri Rejuvacote 1
There are plenty of skincare devices and tools and at-home gadgets on the market, but this is the first weve seen for your nails. Heat, red light therapy, and gentle vibrations work together to strengthen your tips and help promote growth. The LED light therapy technology is clinically-proven to energize cells below the skin surface, and you only need to use this for three minutes a day to help make nails healthywhich in turn leads to growth, explains Elle, who is a fan.
What Can I Do To Strengthen My Nails
Do you frequently wash your hands or do the dishes? Nails that fluctuate between wet and dry environments can become brittle. In fact, the most common reason for brittle nails is that they simply dried out.
If you want to strengthen your nails, there are several easy and inexpensive options:
- Moisturize. Try a dedicated nail oil or a hand lotion with alpha hydroxy acid or lanolin. If nails are soft but brittle, they may be too moist so cut back on the moisturizer.
- Limit manicures. To strengthen brittle nails, limit the number of manicures to avoid subjecting nails to the chemicals in nail polish and polish removers. Especially avoid acetone-based nail polish removers. For soft, brittle nails, a layer of polish may actually help.
- Avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are a convenient way to keep the germs away when soap and water arent available. But alcohol can dry out your nails and skin.
- Get a paraffin wax bath. As an indulgent nail treatment, an at-home paraffin wax bath soothes and moisturizes nails and hands. Soak your hands in the bath for 10 to 20 minutes then give the wax time to dry before peeling it off.
- Wear gloves. When washing dishes or doing housework, wear rubber gloves to protect your fingernails.
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Dermatologist’s 3 Simple Tricks To Treat Cracked And Splitting Fingernails
#1. Hydrate your nails and add oils.
Do this by using creams, oils and ointments on your nails every day after they’ve been wet. My favorite remedy is good old fashioned Bag Balm which is made with wool alcohol . Know that the thicker the cream, the better. Oil-rich products or ointments are best. The trick is to use something that stays put for a while and does not rub off right away.
One of my other favorite hydrating ingredients for nails is glycerin. It is in my Dry Skin Hand Cream. This is a great product to apply to your hand and nails numerous times a day after washing. It is non-greasy and convenient making it easy to use. It’s important to moisturize skin and nails immediately after water exposure: applying moisturizers to dry nails is not nearly as effective.
Always apply moisturizer within minutes after your bath or shower, or after washing your hands. Do it as often as possible.
I love this hand cream I wash my hands so many times during my work day that they would be chapped and cracked if it weren’t for my Dry Skin Hand Cream. I keep it in my lab coat pocket! Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
Use the Hand Cream many times during the day and the Bag Balm at bedtime to create an intensive healing treatment to help keep your nails from splitting. If your nails are really bad, you may want to even apply Bag Balm to them numerous times a day after washing your hands.
#2. Clip and file your nails when they’re wet.
Making Your Nails Stronger
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Take A Biotin Supplement
Biotin is one of the B vitamins. Because its water-soluble, it isnt stored by the body, so you have to ensure that you consume it daily.
Biotin can help strengthen hair and nails and also helps the bodys nervous system to function properly. It can be found in foods like sardines, cooked eggs, and legumes, or you can take a B vitamin or supplement.
Check with your healthcare provider before taking a biotin supplement to ensure that its safe for you.
Use Cuticle Serums For Moisturization
Healthy cuticles are the key to healthy, strong nails. However, it is quite common to damage your cuticles or push them too far, often increasing the risk of infection in the nail bed. Your cuticles may also get damaged due to medical conditions that lower blood circulation to the extremities, such as diabetes.
To help strengthen your nail cuticles and boost blood flow to them, it is suggested to perform a quick massage. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, double-duty ointments, hand creams, and skin protectants to massage your cuticles.
Invest in a cuticle oil that not only moisturizes the cuticles but also nourishes and repairs them, all of which contribute to improved cuticle health. You can purchase cuticle oils with a high content of shea oil.
Simply gently massage your nails with the product for 510 minutes. Wear cotton gloves once the product is absorbed and leave it on overnight. Wash your nails in the morning using warm water. Eczema-friendly creams are also available for people with eczema.
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Use Nail Strengthening Products
There are plenty of products that you can use to make sure your nails don’t break. Dr. Garshick says using products like Vaseline Healing Jelly or any petroleum jelly-based ointment nightly will help trap moisture and strengthen the nail. She adds that it also helps keep the skin around the nailthe periungual areasoft and smooth this will minimize trauma and inflammation and help make the nail appear healthier.
She also recommends using cuticle oil as it helps hydrate the cuticle as well as the nail bed. Dr. Graf agrees and recommends something like ISDIN’s Si-Nails nail serum as it’s been proven to increase nails’ thickness, density, and durability.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Self
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My fingernails are thin, and they tear and split easily. Is there anything I can do to make them stronger?
ANSWER: Weak fingernails often can be strengthened with some basic self-care steps. If you try those techniques and you dont see any improvement after about a month, though, consider talking to your doctor or seeing a dermatologist.
Your nails are part of your skin. They are made up of layers of the protein keratin and grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. As new cells grow, older cells become hard and compacted, and eventually are pushed out toward your fingertips. Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges, grooves, spots or discoloration.
Fingernails may become weak or brittle due to harsh conditions. For example, regular use of nail polish remover that contains acetone can wear nails down over time. Repeated exposure to very hot or very cold temperatures also can be hard on your nails. Frequent contact with chemicals, such as those in many cleaning products, may weaken nails. If your nails are immersed in water for long periods of time, that can make them more prone to splitting.
If your efforts to strengthen your fingernails dont help, or if nail problems seem to be associated with other symptoms, see your doctor or a dermatologist. He or she may recommend the nutritional supplement biotin. Some research suggests it might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.
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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
What Causes Brittle Nails
According to Dr. Lamb, damaged nails can signify different things in different people. “Nails often manifest vitamin deficiencies or can be a normal sign of aging,” said Dr. Lamb. “Eczema or psoriasis can be found in the nails, too. Often when a patient has been diagnosed with psoriasis, the first place I look is their nails.”
However, our nail thickness, hardness and growth is often determined by our genes. Lamb compared this to the way our hair grows since they’re made up of a similar type of protein. “For the same reason some people have curly hair, some people grow long short , it’s all dependent on genes,” said Dr. Lamb. “But there can also be pathology problems with your nails: paronychia, fungus, yeast eczema.”
Be cautious not to misinterpret nail issues with nail diversity. “Sometimes there are just normal changes,” said Dr. Lamb. “For example, I have fast-growing thin nails, some people have thick, durable nails grow slow.” If you’re concerned about the growth or texture of your nails, a dermatologist can help steer you in the right direction.
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The 10 Best Nail Strengtheners To Buy 2021
We all know someone who has perfect fingernails without even trying. They can put their hands through just about anything and never once will we hear them say I just broke a nail! Comparing ourselves to these people wont make our nails heal any faster, but taking the right measures and precautions will.
There are plenty of treatments that will get rid of painful and quite frankly embarrassing nails. With the right products, you no longer have to live life from one broken nail to the next.
Moisturize Your Hands And Nails Regularly
Frequently moisturizing your nails and the surrounding skin with a hand cream can prevent further impairment of the integrity of the nails, says Philadelphia-based dermatologist Rina Allawh, MD. Ointments, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaniply Skin Protectant, pull a double-duty by nourishing your nails and protecting them from future damage by locking in moisture.
Cuticle oil helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize weak nails as well, says North Carolina-based board-certified dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD. I recommend LOccitane Shea Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil, she says. Its formulated with a high concentration of shea oil to help soften cuticles and nourish nails.
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Okay Then What Can I Take To Make My Nails Stronger
Sorry to break it to ya, but Ive got bad news: We would all have strong nails if supplements lived up to their marketing hype, Dr. Hawthorne says. But the truth is that taking supplemental vitamins is unlikely to be of value since the body has a limit on how much of these ingredients it can actually process and use. Basically, you cant exactly stock up on vitamins and get double the benefit .
And since the FDA doesnt regulate supplements the same way it regulates drugs or medicationsi.e., it doesnt regulate them at allyou might be asking yourself what this means for you and your nails. And the answer is mainly just a lot of marketing hype and sometimes empty promises.
Its not realistic to think a supplement or vitamin will instantly solve your nail issues. Every individual is different, and their health concerns can change on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis depending on a variety of factors like stress levels, hormones, and diet, adds Joel Schlessinger, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Skin Specialists P.C. in Omaha. Which means one vitamin may work for one woman but be ineffective for another.
For most people, taking nail vitamins isnt likely to be detrimental to your health, but they can build up in your system , potentially causing some serious health effects. So if you still want to try them knowing all that you know, chat with your doctor or dermatologist about one of these four top-rated nail supplements:
What Brittle Nails Can Mean
If these techniques dont work to strengthen brittle nails, its time to see your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Brittle nails can be signs of other health conditions, so be sure to let your doctor know of any other changes you notice.
Some health conditions that can cause brittle nails include:
- Raynauds syndrome: This disease causes circulation problems in the extremities, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. When the smaller arteries in hands and feet narrow, those extremities might feel numb or cold. Not surprisingly, this can affect nail health.
- Hypothyroidism: Low thyroid levels can cause more than just brittle nails. You might also notice fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, memory problems, depression, and constipation, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Anemia: Low iron levels can cause your nails to be brittle, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. You may also experience fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, cracks in the side of your mouth, or frequent infections. If blood work shows low iron, your doctor may recommend iron supplements.
- Cancer treatment: Brittle nails can be a side effect of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. If youre undergoing cancer treatment, talk to your oncology team about how to keep your nails and skin healthy and moisturized.
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Avoid Biting Your Nails
People often bite their nails out of boredom, nervousness, and various other reasons. While they may not realize the consequences of nail-biting immediately, years of this habit can damage the nails severely.
Repetitive nail-biting over a long period can shorten the nails, destroy the cuticles, and even damage the nail bed. In addition, it increases the chances of developing a bacterial or fungal infection.
Therefore, quit this habit at the earliest to preserve the health of your nails. Applying a bitter-tasting polish on your nails may help control the habit. Also, try to determine the physical or mental triggers that initiate this habit and work to improve the condition.
Invest In Clean Polish Products
Of course, make sure the polishes you use contain nourishing, conditioning ingredients rather than harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, camphor, and toluene.
Same goes for polish removers to swipe off your mani: “If you want to keep your nails strong, you don’t want to use 100% acetone removers,” Lim says. Instead, try to find options that contain moisturizing ingredients for the natural nail, like a soy-based removerthese can effectively dissolve polish while simultaneously strengthening the nail, and they’re typically pumped with other vitamins and hydrating ingredients.
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What You Should Be Eating To Strengthen Your Nails
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While most of us have an excessive amount of skincare and haircare products, we tend to forget about our nails. We bite, scrape, scratch, and bang our nails into countless amount of things without realizing it. So it’s important to keep our nails strong. Although under a tight student budget, not all of us can afford a regular mani-pedi session, but you can take matters into your own hands and start incorporating nail-strengthening foods into our regular diet. Here’s what you should be eating to strengthen your nails.
Give The Polish A Rest
Many of us are guilty of trying to making our nail polish last as long as possible, says Choi. We hope to extend the life of our color with constant touch-ups, then when the chips become too noticeable to bear, we head straight to a salon for a fresh coat. This all makes sense for cosmetic purposes, but having nail polish on your nails for too long greatly damages their strength and overall health, warns Dr. Jaber. Even the safest nail polishes can leave your nails brittle, thin, and dry if left on for too long. Instead, fully remove your nail polish after five days and allow them the same amount of time to recover before getting them re-painted. Leaving polish on too long is just one of the surprising ways you could be ruining your nails.
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