Not only are nails the most noticeable aspect of your hands, but they are also a great indication of your internal health. As a child, we all heard the story of “if you drink milk, it’ll make your nails and bones stronger”, but there are many different tips aside from this that can help to achieve healthy nails.

How Can I Sustain Healthy Nails?

There are many different signs that your nails are unhealthy and need a little TLC. Discolouration, brittle nails, white marks and ridges are just some of the many various symptoms, which prove that you need to take a look at your nail care routine. The issue with unhealthy nails is that once they are damaged, it takes a considerable amount of time to regenerate a new nail; on average your nails will take around six months to regrow completely. This means that it is recommended to take care initially; here is our guide to healthy nails.

Refrain From Biting Nails

The habit of biting nails is very common and as well as causing brittle nails and infections; it also puts you at a huge risk of picking up illnesses. You wouldn’t eat a sandwich without washing your hands first, so the idea of biting your nails after touching everything around you is the same concept. Great ways to refrain from biting your nails is to revert your attention to a stress ball whenever you feel yourself about to put your hands near your mouth.

Take Care Of Cuticles

It has always been thought that the best way to keep cuticles healthy is to cut them down, but this information is false. The use of a cuticle is very important as it protects the base of your nail when this is cut it takes away the seal between your nail and nail bed meaning that is very similar to an open wound and can easily lead to an infection. You can see that you have cut them too low if you start to see redness or swelling. Instead of cutting down cuticles, you should moisturise them using nail oil and then gently push them back a little. Correct manicure care will always be provided at a professional nail salon.

nail oil

Trim Regularly

Although long nails do have the wow factor appearance-wise, it can mean that your nails are more likely to be at risk of damage. They can easily get caught causing them to break or snag, which means that for maximum health keep a shorter nail. All nails grow at a different rate. However, it is recommended to trim your nails every two weeks. To avoid ingrown nails, cut them straight and then file the edges into a more rounded shape.

Protect Your Hands

If your hands are not protected and taken care of, then neither will your nails, which means that protecting your hands using rubber gloves when cleaning or washing up is vital. The majority of cleaning products include chemicals that are harsh to the skin, so making sure you wear rubber gloves through any cleaning process is recommended. As well as cleaning products, hot soapy water can also be damaging as it starts to weaken the nails the more your hands are immersed in water.

Of course, at some point of the day your hands and nails will need to come into contact with water, so when they do, ensure that you thoroughly dry them with a clean towel or paper towel. Try keeping a hand cream or pot of petroleum jelly handy, so you can keep your skin hydrated at all times.

cleaning using rubber gloves

Use A Base Coat

To say that you can never apply polish to your nails again would be a pretty harsh recommendation, so instead, we recommend that when you do so, you use a base coat first. Using a base coat will create a protective barrier between your natural nail and the polish, stopping the harmful ingredients from affecting your nails and staining them with the colour of the polish. Another helpful little use of a base coat, aside from helping to protect, is that they are made with ingredients that help to smooth our your nail and make the colour polish stick better, making it longer lasting. Many different companies such as OPI and Sally Hansen specialise in base coats that also include strengthening qualities.

Use Acetone Free

Many different studies prove that although it does stain nails, it is not the actual nail polish that damages your nails, but instead what you use to remove it. Most nail polish removers include a compound called acetone, which is in fact what ruins nails. Continually applying acetone dries out the nail, which means that the nail will become weak and eventually start to peel and break. Using an acetone-free nail polish remover is a safer way that contributes to maintaining a healthier nail.

Eat Well

The generic answer, when asked how to maintain a healthy balance in any part of your body, is always to eat well. Similar to your hair, your nails are made from protein meaning that the best way to make both stronger is to stock up on your protein intake; this can be anything from meat to fish to spinach. Fruits that include antioxidants such as blueberries and grapes are also great for healthy nails, so why not substitute your daily snack for a handful of fruit?

handful of fruit

Nails should not only be kept healthy for appearance but also to lower the risk of bacteria causing infections. They do not need to have constant care, but regular maintenance is always recommended. If you have extremely dry and damaged nails, then it may be a good idea to look into biotin, which is a form of vitamin B. Biotin supplements can start to reverse the damage caused in the past, but it is recommended to ask your doctor for advice on the vitamin. We hope that this article was helpful if it was why not share on social media?

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