At first glance, fingernails seem like they’re more durable than they really are.
If you’ve ever broken or torn your fingernail, though, you know that they can be just as delicate as any other part of your body, including your skin and hair. The good news is that keeping your nails healthy doesn’t have to be difficult—if you practice the following eight nail care tips regularly, you’ll have strong and attractive fingernails for years to come!
1) Take care of your cuticles
Keeping your cuticles clean and dry is one of your best lines of defense against a fungal or bacterial infection. Also, make sure you’re wearing cotton gloves while you sleep if your hands get cold easily. That will keep moisture from accumulating in your nails, which can also help prevent cracking. If all else fails, try using an over-the-counter antifungal treatment.
2) Have healthy habits
What do you typically do with your fingernails? Even if you only spend a few minutes per day clipping, filing, and painting them, these habits can impact their overall health. Here are some tips for keeping your fingernails healthy: Wear protective gloves when you’re working with substances like acids and solvents. Whenever possible, work in a well-ventilated area, use eye protection, and follow all safety precautions listed on product labels.
3) Stop biting your nails
You may be a habitual nail biter, but it’s not hard to stop. Once you’ve identified that you bite your nails, don’t beat yourself up about it—it happens! Simply take small steps to nip that habit in the bud. Try dabbing a foul-tasting substance on your nails (like lemon juice or hot sauce) or wear rubber gloves when doing chores.
4) Eat healthy foods
The best way to keep your nails healthy is by eating healthy foods that’ll support their growth. They can become brittle or break easily if they don’t get enough protein, iron, and zinc. Foods high in these nutrients include eggs, fish, turkey breast, lean cuts of beef like top sirloin and eye of round, chicken without skin, milk and yogurt.
5) Use natural ingredients at home
If you’re not particularly a fan of going natural, your nails can benefit from some extra TLC at home. To keep your nails healthy, try adding more Vitamin E into your diet. This vitamin is essential for healthy hair and skin, so why not use it on your fingernails too? You can also make a homemade nail strengthening polish with turmeric paste! To make sure that all of these ingredients are working their magic on your cuticles and nails, try massaging them in twice a day.
6) Watch out for nail polish chemicals
If you like to go all out with nail polish, be sure to read up on each brand’s ingredient list. Avoid brands that have formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor in them. These chemicals may disrupt your hormones and cause damage to your nervous system. If you’re not sure what’s in your nail polish, look for safer options from well-known brands such as Sally Hansen, Butter London, and China Glaze.
7) Remove nail polish regularly
If you want healthy nails, it’s important to keep your polish off of them. This is because nail polish can trap bacteria underneath, causing a variety of infections and cuticle damage. To prevent such problems, avoid keeping your polish on for too long—and be sure to remove it before bedtime.
8) Get regular manicures
It’s always a good idea to get regular manicures and pedicures. Getting your nails done helps you take care of them, but it also makes you more likely to take care of them at home. When you go in for a treatment every week or two, you’re reminded that they need attention—and that’s what will help keep your nails healthy.