Tips to Strengthen Your Nails
Your nails are practical tools for picking up small objects, dislodging food encrusted on dishes, and scratching an itchy area. But more than that, they also reflect your health. Thus, soft and brittle nails can be symptomatic of a nutritional deficiency. Follow these tips for healthy, shiny nails.
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To moisturize your nails, massage a small amount of petroleum jelly onto your cuticles and surrounding skin each night before you go to bed, or when your nails feel dry. Always keep a jar handy (in your bag, at the office, in the car) and use it as needed. Don’t you like petroleum jelly? Then go for castor oil. Its texture is creamy and contains vitamin E, a source of benefits for your cuticles. Otherwise, go to the kitchen cupboard. Indeed, the use of olive oil, which hydrates your nails to solidify them, is also recommended.
Don’t forget the rubber gloves when doing the dishes and other household chores. Most of these activities, from gardening to cleaning the bathroom, are disastrous for the nails. To protect your ends from dirt and harsh cleaners, cover them with vinyl gloves when cleaning time. And for super-soft handcuffs, apply hand cream before putting on the gloves.
Take Care of Your Cuticles
When pushing back your cuticles (you don’t have to cut them), always do it very gently, adopting a 45-degree angle. Otherwise, you risk damaging the cuticle, weakening the entire nail, according to Mariana Diaconescu, a manicurist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York.
Avoid Ingrown Toenails
Cut your toenails straight, to avoid ingrown toenails. Counseling is especially important if you have diabetes.
Dry After Cleaning
After washing the dishes, or taking a bath or shower, be sure to dry your hands for at least two minutes. Remember to dry your toes thoroughly after swimming or other activity underwater as well. Suppose you neglect this action by leaving your fingernails wet; it will increase the risk of fungal infections.
Air out your work boots and athletic shoes. Better yet, keep two pairs and swap them, so you never wear wet or sweaty shoes. The gesture could cause fungal infections.
Wear socks made from 100 percent cotton. These are best for absorbing moisture to prevent fungal infections.
Add a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg to your daily diet. Rich in zinc, they will do wonders for your nails, especially if your nails have white spots, a sign of zinc deficiency.
To avoid weakening your nails, avoid moving back and forth when filing your nails. File in one direction only, and never work out when you get out of the shower or bath with wet fingernails breaking more easily.
Massage your nails to make them healthy and shiny. Polishing your nails in this way increases blood flow, which stimulates their growth.
Choose the Right Products
Avoid varnish removers containing acetone or formaldehyde. They dry out nails terribly, says New York dermatologist Dr. Andrea Lynn Cambio. Instead, opt for acetate-based products.
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