Nail care is a crucial aspect of self-care that is frequently disregarded. Your appearance is enhanced by having strong, healthy nails, which also speak to your general health and well-being. Just a few straightforward behaviors can make a world of difference in maintaining healthy nails.
In this blog, we'll go over five key suggestions for maintaining strong, healthy nails. We have all the advice you need to have beautiful nails, from hydrating to treating them with the same care as your hair. So let's get started on nail care and discover how to give our nails the care they require.
Hydrate Your Nails
Moisturizing Nails Promotes Health and Enhances Beauty. Keeping nails moisturized benefits both natural nail plates and artificial enhancements.
Benefits of moisturized nails:
- Flexibility: Hydrated nails are less prone to cracking, peeling, and snagging. This reduces damage from daily activities and artificial nails.
- Strength: moist nails gain strength from within, less likely to split or tear away from surrounding skin.
- Growth: Adequate moisture encourages healthy nail growth from the nail matrix and cuticle.
Types of nail moisturizers:
- Oils: Jojoba, almond, and vitamin E oils deeply moisturize nails and cuticles without feeling greasy. Massage a few drops directly onto nails 1-2 times daily.
- Creams: Formulated with moisturizing agents like glycerin and urea, nail creams hydrate the skin around nails while sealing in surface moisture. Apply a thin layer 1-2 times daily.
- Serums: Concentrated formulas packed with humectants like hyaluronic acid. Serums penetrate nails and surrounding skin for long-lasting hydration. Apply a few drops 1-2 times daily.
Tips for using a moisturizer:
- Massage: Gently massage oil or cream into both sides of the nails and cuticle area to ensure maximum hydration.
- Seal: Apply moisturizer, then seal it with a thin layer of petroleum jelly to reduce moisture loss overnight.
- Layer: Apply multiple layers throughout the day for nails that are particularly dry or damaged.
Leave Your Cuticles Alone
Cuticles are an integral part of nail growth and health. Resist the urge to cut or trim them.The Importance of Cuticles:
Cuticles form a barrier that protects nails from germs and moisture loss. They also:
- Seal nails to nail folds, reducing the risk of infection
- Produce oils that lubricate and nourish nails
- Contain stem cells that aid in nail regeneration
Board-certified dermatologists warn against cutting cuticles, saying:
- Trimming can cause inflammation, infection, and damaged nail matrix cells
- Untreated, the matrix heals itself and regenerates cuticles
- Cuticle removal may temporarily improve nail appearance but leads to long-term health issues
- Bacteria access: Exposed raw edges leave nails vulnerable to germs and slow healing
- Pain & irritation: Cutting cuticles causes inflammation that lasts for days
- Permanent damage: Aggressive removal can permanently injure matrix tissue and slow nail growth
- Infection: Open wounds from cuticle cutting easily become infected
Leave cuticles in their natural state to provide:
- A protective barrier for nails
- Lubrication from natural oils
- Access to stem cells that enable nail regeneration
Protect from Water Damage
While your nails need some hydration, excess water exposure can damage them.
Water harms nails in several ways. It softens and swells the keratin in your nail plates, making them prone to splitting, peeling, and breaking. Water also leaches oils and minerals from your nails, leaving them thin and brittle. Soaking nails in water for lengthy periods allows fungi and bacteria to penetrate the nail matrix, leading to nail infections.
There are some simple things you can do to protect your nails from excessive moisture damage:
- Apply a base coat before getting your nails wet. This creates a barrier to limit water absorption. Reapply a top coat after to reseal your nails.
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning, or performing other wet tasks. This prevents direct contact with water with your nails.
- Use moisture-wicking or anti-fungal nail polish formulas. This help draws water away from beneath artificial nails and inhibits microbial growth.
- Thoroughly dry your nails after they get wet. Pat them with a towel and wave in the air to evaporate trapped moisture that can seep into nail tissue over time.
- Moisturize your nails and cuticles well after they dry. This will replenish oils and nutrients leached away by the water.
Many people are currently enthusiastic about getting their nails done, whether they wear acrylics, gels, or press-on nails. However, dermatologists warn against aggressive removal techniques like severe tugging, yanking, or prying that can dislocate or tear nail plates. Instead, experts advise removing them from the same patient, a gentle way to minimize risks to natural nails.
Dr. Ranella Hirsch of Yale explains that "The nail tissue is fragile and needs to be treated delicately." Thus, when it comes to removing press-on nails, it's important to use an acetone-based remover to soften the glue instead of forcefully pulling them off, which can cause damage to the natural nail plate. After applying the remover, wait a few minutes to give it time to work its magic, as forced removal can cause tears and snags.
Once the glue has been softened, slide a plastic nail tool under one corner of the press-on nail and lift that corner gently. Continue lifting the press-on nail evenly and slowly around the nail plate. If it remains stuck, reapply the remover and let it sit for a few more minutes before trying again.
By taking a go-slow approach with the help of removers, you can detach press-on nails without peeling or tearing the fragile nail plate underneath. After full removal, it's crucial to replenish hydration and nutrients to the naked nail plate by applying cuticle oil or cream to nourish and soften the nail tissue.
Treat Your Nails Like You Treat Your Hair
Just like hair needs regular moisture and hygiene to remain healthy, so do your nails. Applying hair care tactics can benefit your manicures.
Both hair and nails are made of keratin protein, so they require similar moisture and nutrients. Daily hydration through massage with nail oil or cream keeps nails flexible and resilient, paralleling the benefits of conditioning hair. And biotin, collagen, and other key supplements nourish both keratinous tissues from within.
Hygiene routines also mirror each other. As the outer layers of nails and hair constantly shed, regular exfoliation and debris removal through soft brushing and filing is essential to prevent breakage and encourage new growth. Cleaning under the nails removes bacteria that can damage nail tissue.
So treat your nails like you treat your hair:
- Moisturize daily with oil or cream, massaging both nail sides and cuticles.
- Supplement wisely with doses tailored for nail nutrition.
- Exfoliate nails periodically using a soft brush or ionic buffer.
- Avoid picking at cuticles which causes inflammation and lifting.
Just as you take time to hydrate and detangle your hair, make nail care rituals a part of your routine. Daily moisturizing and smart hygiene habits that prevent bacterial build-up will reward you with naturally beautiful, resilient nails matching your healthy, well-cared-for hair.
Making simple nail care rituals a priority, just like you do with hair care, can truly transform your nails. Daily moisturizing, avoiding aggressive treatments, limiting water exposure, and nurturing cuticles will keep your nail plates healthy and strengthened from within. The result? Beautiful, long-lasting nails that match your diligent self-care habits.