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Now listen - every girl loves a good manicure. Like a good blowout or an expertly styled outfit, a fresh new set of nails can make you feel glamorous, put-together, and ready to take on the day.
Unfortunately, though, manicures are not always the healthiest choice for your nails (bummer). In fact, they can actually cause some serious damage over time - especially if you tend to pick! - leading to peeling, weak or brittle nails (and a thinner wallet, too!).
The good news? You don’t have to have fresh lacquer to feel your manicured best. Here’s how to skip the nail salon and still have that beautiful, freshly-polished confidence.
Just like a face mask can help you achieve lasting and meaningful results, a nail soak can help take your nail care to the next level.
You can make your own moisturizing nail soak at home using:
Simply warm it up for a few seconds and soak your nails for up to 10 minutes. Want to take it up a notch? Add:
They say that the first thing to give away your age isn’t your face - it’s your hands! Now, before you start panicking about brown spots and palm wrinkles, remember that a little consistent hydration and exfoliation goes a long way. After all, that’s why our faces end up looking so much better than our hands - we actually pay attention to them!
So invest in a nourishing moisturizer, and put it somewhere where you’re most likely to use it morning and night. For some people it’s the car, for others, the night stand or the bathroom counter. Just find the spot that’s best for you and be as consistent as possible (you can even put a few travel-sized bottles in all your go-to spots if you want to be extra consistent).
Now, what exactly constitutes a “nourishing” moisturizer here? Well, look for ingredients like:
One of the most common causes of weak, brittle nails is dryness. And it makes sense! Just as your hands can become rough and cracked from washing, the same symptoms can be passed to the nail bed. That’s where a great cuticle oil can work wonders.
Now, you may be thinking a cuticle oil? Can’t I just use my lotion or slather on some coconut oil? Well, maybe. The problem with something like coconut oil, though, is that its molecules are too big - so it can’t soak into the skin as deeply or effectively.
That’s why we recommend you splurge on an oil specifically made for the nails (with ingredients like sweet almond oil or vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6). It’ll provide lasting hydration, protect your nail, and toughen up weak or vulnerable nails.
This is not exactly a news flash, but picking or biting your nails and cuticles is a major no-no for a few reasons. Namely:
Don’t forget about your nutrition!
Making sure that you're eating a diet rich in vitamins - aka fruits and veggies - will always help encourage strong nail growth (and strong health in general!). A good rule of thumb? Follow the rainbow! Eat one serving of veggies from every major color, every day - purple, green, red, orange, and yellow. Doing this, you’ll be sure to get a wide range of vitamins, and your nails with thank you for it.
And what about biotin and keratin - the “go-to” proteins for nail and hair health? You can give these supplements a try, but always check with your doctor before trying out a new vitamin.
If you’ve consistently been getting gel or acrylic nails, chances are your nails are super fragile and prone to splitting or tears. Until they become stronger, we recommend that you keep them short and slightly rounded at the edges to prevent further breakage.
Also, remember to file in a single direction with a gentle file - like a glass file or a fine grit traditional file.
The key word here - gentle! Overly buffing your nails can seriously weaken the nail bed and thin out your nails, so never go at them with a heavy hand. But if you’re already dealing with peeling, gentle buffing can both prevent further breakage and increase blood circulation.This will actually encourage your nails to grow back more quickly and stronger.
Buffing can also add a beautiful shine to unpolished nails, helping you look like you just stepped out of the salon with a long-lasting (no chip!) topcoat.
Give it a try once or twice a week and you should start seeing results right away.
Here’s to healthy, beautiful, natural nails - yay!