You may be the type of person who loves to beautify her nails with trendy nail art designs. Or, you just can’t stop yourself from biting nails. Whatever. Perfectly- manicured and amazing nails is what we all love. Getting those Instagram-worthy nails isn’t tough. You’ve to know how to take care of nails on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, all of us are not gifted with healthy nails. And, the nail polish colors are only the icing on the cake. Investing in salon manicures are not worth it unless your nails are healthy from inside. Now, you may ask, “How to know whether your nails are healthy or not?” Read on to get the answer.

How to Know Health of Your Nails?

Here’s what to look for.

a) White tips and nails have even lengths

b) The semi-circle white shape at the nail base is easily visible

c) Plates of nails are pinkish-white color

d) Cuticles are there

Your Nails Are Unhealthy when they’ve the following conditions

a) Skin around nails become swollen and red

b) Nails start to split

c) Tiny white spots on nails due to excessive biting or applying nail polishes quite often.

d) Nails become spoon-shaped

As nails are easy to see, finding out the issues won’t take a long time. If the issues are arising because of negligence, transforming the brittle nails into amazing nails is hassle-free.

How to Take Care of Nails: Tips and Tricks

Daily wear and tear of life and bad manicures can damage your nails badly. However, a few simple habits can help you get well-maintained nails within weeks. Put these actions ASAP and enjoy tip-top nails for long.

1. Stop Biting Nails:

How to take care of nails

Biting the nails can make them look pathetic. It can make the tips of nails uneven. Moreover, the touch of saliva to your nails make them brittle. It also affects the cuticles.

Controlling this habit immediately is vital for good nails. For that, apply a bad-smelled nail polish and you’ll definitely not want to bite your nails after that.

2. Clean Your Hands and Nails: Dirt-free and polish skin around them is the key to healthy nails. Wash the nails thoroughly. Make sure there’s no dirt at the inner side of your nails. Once washed, let them dry. Moreover, cover your fingernails with gloves while washing dishes.

3. Use Acetone-Free Remover: Most of the nail-polish remover brands have both acetone and non-acetone based removers. No doubt, removers with acetone remove the nail paints quickly. But at the same time, they’re harsh and cause dryness to your nails, cuticles, and the skin around.

On the contrary, acetone-free removers are gentle on your nails. They also cause less dryness.

4. Scrub Your Nails: Take a bowl of warm soapy water. Soak the tips of your nails in it for about 3 minutes. Now, use a clean toothbrush to scrub your nails. Scrubbing the nails with soap and water prevents spreading of germs. Therefore, scrub them every time you wash them.

5. Strengthen Nails: Strengthening the nails is vital to prevent them from breaking. Gill Deacon in a book named There’s Lead in Your Lipstick gave us an easy recipe to make nails stronger.

Mix 1tsp of wheat germ oil, 2tsp of castor oil, and 2tsp of salt in a sealed bottle. Take out the mixture in small amount and rub it onto the nails. Wait for 3-5 minutes. Wipe it off.

6. Don’t Cut and Pick at Cuticles: Cuticles protect your nail bed. As a result, trimming the cuticles give way to the contaminants to enter your body. These contaminants can lead to infection.

Just push the cuticles back from your nail tips. This will make your nails appear longer.

7. Trim Regularly:

how to take care of nails

Dr. Prystowsky told in an interview to GoodHouseKeeping.Com, trimming the nails regularly is no less important than trimming the hair. Clip the nails after every two weeks. During clipping, give them the shape you want.

8. Use a Glass Nail File: Glass or crystal nail files are the best. Dr. Stern says glass files make the nail edges even. In addition to it, these type of nail files are also the safest options to use on damaged and brittle nails. They smooth away the rough edges without any problem.

9. Never File Nails Back and Forth: Do you aggressively saw your nails back and forth with a file? Stop doing that immediately. Harsh trauma of filing leads to premature breakage and peeling. You may have noticed that your nail is also moving back and forth when you’re filing it too roughly. So, be gentle when filing.

10. File from Side to the Center: Filing the nails the right way gives you fray-free finish. But, what’s the right way of filing them? Start filing from the nail sides to the center in one direction. This technique makes the movement of the fluid to the nail bed less painful.  

11. Apply Moisturizer: Flakiness in nails make them delicate. As a result, they begin to break easily. Moisturizing them on a regular basis helps to keep them strong. Applying moisturizer to the cuticles and nails make them shiny.

12. Buffing can Replace Coloring: Colors are definitely eye-catching. Buffing the nails can enhance their natural beauty. Buff the nails with large grit side of the buffer. Use the finer grit to polish them. And, the smooth side of the buffer can bring more shine to your nails.

13. Protect with a Base Coat: Base coat shields your skin. It prevents discoloration and stain on your nails. Apply a thick coat of base color on the nails prior to applying nail polish. This will make your nails look more beautiful. So, don’t skip the step of applying base coat.

14. Never Paint on Oily Nails: Sure, hydrating the tips are essential to ensure good health of nails. But, never apply nail polishes on oily nails. Doing so may prevent you from getting long-lasting manicure. Take a nail polish remover wipe and wipe the nail beds down. It’s only after that you should start applying base coat and nail polish.

15. Block with Sunscreen: Want to go for gel manis? Mind it, the gel manis may take a toll on the nails. It exposes the skin around and below your nails to the harmful UV rays. That being said, block the damage by applying a sunscreen having an SPF between 30-50.

16. Stay Away from Harsh Polish: Oftentimes, nail polishes have like harsh chemicals formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and others. Fortunately, there are some companies like Revlon and Sally Hansen that manufacture nail polishes without adding any toxic chemicals. Apart from them, water-based polishes are also available in the market. They are the safest nail polishes. But, the only problem with them is that they don’t give you lasting colors.

17. Roll Instead of Shaking: Not using the nail polish for a long time separates the ingredients. This may affect the finish. However, shaking the bottle before using won’t do any good. Rather, roll the bottle between your hands. Rolling enables the ingredients to mix in the polish again. Ultimately, gives you the effect you want.

18. Finish Off with a Top Coat:

how to take care of nails

A top coat is a must-have for long-lasting nail colors. It not only adds shine to the nails but also protect them from getting chipped off easily. Apply the top coat after every few days. This trick is very effective in extending the staying period of your manicure.

19. Avoid Nail Hardeners: Nail hardeners contain huge amount of formaldehyde. When your nails come in contact with formaldehyde, they become damage-prone. Consequently, they start to break. Therefore, nail care experts always advise to stop using nail hardeners.

20. Stop Using Cotton Balls: If you’re just like me, you’re surely using fuzzy cotton balls to remove the polish. What you may not know is that cotton balls can ruin your manicure. So, what’s the solution?

Use paper towels. Removing the polish with paper towels won’t leave any fuzz behind. As a result, you’ll get crystal-clear nails once the job is done.

21. Never Paint Too-Thick Coat: Too-thick coating of polishes may end up making the nails look bubbly. Moreover, they give you an uneven finish. The time the coating will take to harden will also be long. So, stick to apply two coats only. This is the secret to seal the lacquer on nails before you proceed to apply the second coat. At the end, you’ll be surprised with such a flawless paint job.

22. Allow Your Nails to Breathe:

Leave the job of beautifying your nails with bold colors and nail art designs for the weekend. And what your nails will do for the rest of the week? Well, let them take a break. When your nails are at rest, repair the damages with a clear gloss.

According to Dr. Shamban, going from one nail color to another without a break can lead to nail dryness. This can make the nails weak and appear yellow. Therefore, we should allow our nails to refresh and rejuvenate before we apply another nail color.

23. Dry the Nails Naturally: In a hurry? Don’t have the time to dry the nail color. Even then, avoid using a blow dryer. Blow dryers release heat to dry the nail polish. This heat can mess up your manicure. However, you can soak the hands in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. And, your nail colors will dry up without any mess.

24. Stray Paint from Skin: Many a time, while applying nail colors, the colors spread on our skin too. Apply Vaseline on the skin around nails. After that, go for the paint job. Vaseline around the nail edges helps you to wipe of any stray color on the skin easily.

25. Prefer Nail Tips Over Full Extensions: Nail extensions often lead to bacterial and fungal infections. It can damage the nails forever. Therefore, girls who love to wear nail extensions should stop using them immediately. On the contrary, they can choose nail tips. As nail tips cover less surface area than extensions, the extent of damage is also comparatively less.

26. Limit Use of Cleaning Chemicals:

Laundry and dish detergents, floor cleaning solvents, bleach, and some hand-washing soaps have potential drying effect on your nails. These cleaning chemicals strip the oils from nails, making them brittle and dry. So, try to limit the use of such chemicals. Or, you can wear gloves while dealing with them.

27. No Manual Chippings: Chipping away the nail color manually causes peeling. It removes the nails’ top layer called onychocytes. These are tiny cells that together protect the nails and make them strong. According to dermatologist, Robin Gmyrek, picking off nail polish removes these cells. And, your nails become weak and crack.

Many products are there in the market to give you amazing nails. Among them, many people get confused on what to choose. This confusion is especially regarding gel and acrylic. Which is good for nails? How to decide which one to buy? What’s the difference? Check out the video to clear your queries.

When to Consult a Doctor?

American Academy of Dermatology says that the nail condition is the reflection of an individual’s overall health. These conditions generally suggest the following issues.

a) Nails become thick and yellow. Their growth rate also becomes slow. — Lung disease

b) White nails — Liver problem

c) Half pink and half white nails—Kidney disease

d) Nail beds become pale – Anemia

Few doctors of Ireland in 2005 found that the earliest symptoms of Osteoporosis appear first in the nails. It was found in a research that the disulphide bonds in nails of Osteoporosis patients are lower than the normal level. In case, you’re observing any of the following conditions, consult with your dermatologist without any delay.

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