How to care for your nails
How to Care for Your Nails
. Taking care of your nails not only improves how your hands look, but also helps you stay hygienic and healthy. Here are some tips to help
Trim your nails when they get too long
. Cut nails when they reach a point that s to high for you. If you don t clip them when needed they can tear or get caught on things. Even worse it can scratch things like you. Take special care with your toenails. For true nail care, trim your toenails in a straight line and not in a curved manner. Inappropriate toenail cutting, toe injuries and even ill fitting boots or shoes might result in minute pieces of these toenails splitting up at the corners. This can also lead the problem of ingrown nails.
Follow a good diet for nails
. Fragile nails can be caused by iron deficiencies. Foodstuffs abundant in iron include liver, trim red meats, species of fish, soy products, beans, lentils, whole grain products, green spinach, fresh vegetables, asparagus, parsley, poultry along with turkey, nuts, egg yolks, dry fruits like raisins, dates and apricots, etc. Eat a lot of these to help keep your nails healthy! Beetroots usually contain more calcium and also vitamin D to supplement healthy nail growth. Day to day consumption of beetroots is likely to make all your finger nails incredibly healthy and sturdy.Likewise for daily nail care, incorporate additional calcium loaded food items for instance milk products into your daily diet.
Use some tricks and remedies to clean your nails and remove stains
. Squeeze a tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cup of normal water and dip all your fingernails or toenails in this particular solution as for a couple of minutes. Then thoroughly clean these with hot water and then use a moisturizer. This really is a helpful nail care tip to get rid of stains on your nails.For nail care dip all your fingernails and toenails into lukewarm mustard oil as for 8 10 minutes. Then rub each of them slowly and gradually to ensure that circulation of blood is as usual. This really should be executed each day to help make all of your fingernails and toenails fit and strong.
Massage your nails
. Use a cotton ball dipped in fresh lemon juice and rinse them all right out after short while. By following this kind of procedure, an individual s fingernails or toenails will end up being firm as well as radiant.
Smooth It Out
. Make it a habit to use a pumice stone or foot file on damp heels and calluses. Doing so will keep your feet looking good in open back shoes. First, soak your feet in water or a foot bath for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften the skin. Then gently remove the thickened skin with a pumice stone. New York podiatrist Isaac Tabari, DPM, recommends a warm foot bath made of black tea (tannic acid). Tannic acid, he says, is a natural antibacterial agent that may reduce the chance of getting athlete s foot. Moisturizing foot scrubs made from botanicals such as crushed fruit pits, sugar, or chemical exfoliators also help remove dead skin. After you scrub, apply a rich foot cream or balm containing shea butter or cocoa butter.
. If your heels are very dry and cracked, see a podiatrist or dermatologist for a prescription treatment. If they re not that bad, there are plenty of moisturizing products from which to choose. First, you might try some medicated heel pads, which don t need a prescription, to soften calluses while you walk. After you ve exfoliated the calluses, use a heavy cream to moisturize tough skin on your heel. Look for creams containing petrolatum, an emollient, or a humectant such as lactic acid, which draws moisture into the skin.
. Over the counter antifungal treatments come in many forms lacquers, creams, lotions, liquids, spray powders, and spray liquids. These products work best on mild cases of athlete s foot, and probably not at all with toenail fungus, which is difficult to treat. No matter the form, they have one of the following active ingredients, which are all equally effective: terbinafine, tolnaftate, miconazole, ciclopirox, or clotrimazole. Tabari says tea tree oil, sometimes called melaleuca oil, also works well on mild cases of athlete s foot.
. Wear sunscreen on the tops of your feet. Apply a broad spectrumsunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your feet when you re going barefoot or wearing open sandals.
. Standing for a long time can make your feet sore. Wearing insoles can help make shoes more comfortable. Look for insoles that have a plastic shell at the bottom. Podiatrists say the shell makes them strong enough to provide real support.
Dont Forget Your Toenails
. Love getting pedicures? The technique matters. Clumsy trimming can lead to hangnails and ingrown toenails. Also, make sure the nail technician gently pushes back the cuticle rather than cuts it, which can lead to an infection. If you do your own nails, look for nail
Keep fingernails dry and clean
. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals.
Practice good nail hygiene
. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.
. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.
Apply a protective layer
. Applying a nail hardener might help strengthen nails.
Ask your doctor about biotin
. Some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.
Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles
. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.
Pull off hangnails
. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails.
. If you have a nail problem that doesn t seem to go away on its own or is associated with other signs and symptoms, consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.
Use harsh nail care products
. Limit your use of nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone free formula.
Use a milky hand wash
. The clearer the cleanser, the more it may dry out your skin. Also avoid soaps that contain the harsh chemical triclosan (often marked antibacterial ) and instead look for naturally antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus.
Never put your hands in hot or icy water
. Hot water makes skin dry by taking away sebum; cold can cause a constriction and then a dilation of capillary vessels, leading to redness, explains manicurist Mie Kitabayashi of Beverly Hills Chi Nail Bar.
Lube up with oils
. Oils are the best way to get moisture into the skin, according to manicurist Kimmie Kyees, who recommends Sally Hansen Dry Chapped Hand Creme ($6, at drugstores), which contains safflower seed oil.
Learn proper cuticle care
. If cuticles are dry and torn, any manicure will look old, says L Oreal Paris global nail artist Tom Bachik. However, cutting cuticles can open you up to infection and make them look worse, warns Illamasqua manicurist Fleury Rose. Exfoliate hands with a body scrub, then nip only hangnails that you can wiggle. Soften other cuticles weekly with Be Natural Cuticle Eliminator ($6, sallybeauty.com), says manicurist Miwa Kobayashi, of L.A. s Sally Hershberger salon. Then push them back with an orange stick.
Moisturize post sanitizer
. It s a step most of us wouldn t think to do, but it s important: High amounts of alcohol can dehydrate skin and nails, making polish chip faster, says Sally Hansen manicurist Tracylee. Just wait until the sanitizer has dried.
Protect with sunscreen
. Your hands can wrinkle and spot just as fast as your face. Kitabayashi mixes Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38, ($34, shiseido.com) with lotion. Sunscreen alone can be drying to hands, she says. To even out spots, Rose likes L Occitane Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 20 ($30, usa.loccitane.com), which contains Bellis perennis (a daisy plant) extract.
Try anti aging face cream
. Bachik uses L Oreal Paris Revitalift ($20 and up, at drugstores) its retinol improves elasticity during his clients manicures. To conquer crepeyness, apply it to the backs of your hands at night.
Slather on a mask
. Smooth on CND Almond Illuminating Masque ($22.75,cnd.com for salons), then place hands in plastic bags and top with a warm towel for five minutes. Heat helps the mask penetrate, Kyees says.
Dont cut or manipulate cuticles
. The cuticle is the natural barrier to fungus and bacteria and once you breach that, protection is lost, she says. This will not only make cuticles look worse red, swollen, and ragged but may also land you a nasty infection that harms the nail bed and leads to permanent nail damage. And while cutting cuticles holds the most potential for harm, pushing them back can cause problems as well.
Use nail hardeners sparingly
. The take home message here is that a lot of them do more damage than good, says Stern. She reminds us that these products are not studied clinically, so most claims are not backed up by science. Unless nails are exceptionally weak and fragile, she says, most people don t benefit from a nail hardener. Healthy nails are flexible nails, she says, so to keep yours from breaking, avoid anything that makes them more brittle.
Moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle
. While there is little in the way of medical data showing that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it can make cuticles look better and help protect nails from breaking due to a lack of moisture. If your nails are prone to breakage, it could mean they need moisture and putting oil around the cuticle helps moisturize the entire nail, which will reduce the incidence of chipping, cracking, and splitting, says Margaret Ravits, MD, a dermatologist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Take biotin supplements
. In several studies, researchers found that supplements of biotin (a member of the vitamin B family) increased nail thickness and prevented splitting and breaking. In a respected German study that evaluated 45 people with severe nail problems, 2.5 milligrams of biotin daily for several months benefited everyone with 91% of the 45 citing significant improvement. NYU dermatologist Sumayah Jamal, MD, says to get the effect, it s vital that you take the prescription strength, therapeutic level of 2.5 milligrams daily. Some nail products also contain silicon and the supplement MSM, two other nutrients associated with nail health.
Limit professional manicures
. While it s hard to beat the pampering luxury of a pedicure or manicure, a study just completed by Stern and colleagues at Mt. Sinai showed those who indulged regularly were the most likely to suffer from dry, brittle nails. The doctors theorize that exposure to more chemicals and harsher ingredients may be one reason. Jamal adds that women who get manicures frequently suffer from chronic nail bed infections, evidenced by puffy, reddened areas around the base of the nail. When you look at your finger sideways the area around your nail bed should be flat. If it s puffy, that s evidence of a chronic infection, says Jamal. One way to reduce problems, say the experts, is to take your own tools to the manicure. This, says Jamal, will definitely cut down on the risk of infections and help ensure a healthier experience.
Avoid acetone based polish removers
. The one product that all dermatologists agree you should avoid if you have brittle nails is acetone nail polish remover. It has been documented time and again that it strips the nails, causing them to become brittle which is something we found in our study as well, says Stern.
Avoid rough emery boards
. Those old fashioned orange emery boards are too harsh for nails, causing small fissures and cracks that lead to breakage and tears, says Ravits. Instead, she says, file nails with a smooth, fine file and don t saw back and forth. Instead, Ravits says, file in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.
Dont overdo hand washing and limit contact with cleaning chemicals
. As healthy as it can be to wash your hands frequently, overdo it and you ll wreak havoc with your nails, says Stern. If you are in a profession where frequent hand washing is mandatory, she advises to use moisturizer as often as possible and rub a little extra around the cuticles several times a day. When doing housework or laundry, Jamal says, minimize contact with harsh chemicals, including dishwashing liquid, by wearing rubber gloves whenever possible.
. While most women know when a shampoo doesn t agree with their hair, many don t realize it may not agree with their nails even if their hair looks great. This, say experts, is particularly true of detergent shampoos, or those for oily hair, which are designed to strip lipids and other natural oils from the scalp. If your nails are very dry and you are using any soap product that strips the oils, there is the potential to dry the nails, says Stern.
Choose nail tips over full extensions
. All our experts told WebMD that, in general, nail extensions are bad news for nails, frequently leading to fungal or even bacterial infections and, says Stern, sometimes to permanent damage. If you must wear nail extensions, she says, opt for just tips. While they can still cause problems, the potential for damage is less since the surface area covered is smaller.
Remember toenails count
. Everything that applies to your fingernails applies to your toenails, which experts say may be even more prone to problems due to careless pedicures. Because feet are more often inside shoes a dark, moist environment fungus can grow more easily, says Ravits. If you get regular pedicures, experts say take your own instruments and never let the tech dig under the nail or around the cuticle. Moreover, Ravits says cutting toenails at an angle instead of straight across increases the risk of ingrown toenails, which can be painful and sometimes develop into an infection.
Watch your nails for signs of health problems
. Most of the time, nail problems can be traced to environmental assaults exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips. That said, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that the condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health. Here s what they say to look out for: White nails liver condition,Half pink/half white nails kidney disease,Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate lung disease,Pale nail beds anemia,Yellow tinged nails with a slight blush at the base diabetes
Rubber Gloves Are Your Friends
. Do not EVER do the dishes or clean your home without wearing rubber gloves. The chemicals you use for cleaning are very strong and can really damage your hands and your nails. Not only that they will make your nails weaker, they could also give you nasty burns. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning.
Calcium Gels and Nail Hardeners
. Calcium gels and nail hardeners can really make your nails stronger. However, you can t expect results right away, you need to give it some time and use the product regularly. I used to have a very good nail hardener which I can t find on the market anymore, so if you could recommend me the one you re using, I d be very grateful.
. Your regular hand cream is sometimes not enough. In order to take good care of your nails, you need to get special nail creams. They are usually not expensive, and there s a bunch of them on the market. Try a couple until you find the one that suits you best.
. One of the biggest mistakes many girls do when it comes to their nails is cutting the cuticles. This should never be done. Instead, apply cuticle remover gel or cream and gently push your cuticles with a cuticle stick.
. You really have no reason to have super long nails. Not only that it s unpractical, but it makes you look a bit slutty. Keep your nails at length that doesn t come in a way of your every day chores and clip them regularly. Nails that are too long are also much more prone to breaking.
Filing and Polishing
. First and foremost, invest in a good nail file. Every time you clip your nails, file them. Do this by moving the file in one direction only. When you move it left and right you re actually creating tiny cracks that weaken your nails. Polish your nails not more often than once a month. If you do it too often, you can make your nails thinner and weaker.
Easy on Nail Polish
. Although colorful nails are quite cool, nail polish actually does a lot of damage to your nails. The reason is that nail polishes contain acetone, which makes your nails soft. Don t manicure your nails more often than once a week and buy only high quality nail polishes. If your nail polish has passed its expiration date, throw it right away.
Oil Based Nail Polish Removals
. Even though I don t know anyone who still uses acetone based nail polish removals, I feel that it s still a good idea to mention it. The bad effect on acetone on your nails has been previously explained, so opt for oil based nail polish removals. They are much less harmful to your nails.
Acrylic or Gel Nails
. Even though I personally don t like any kind of artificial nails, a lot of my friends who have really weak nails swear that acrylic and gel nails keep them from breaking their natural nails. So, if your nails are weak too, maybe you can opt for one of these solutions. Be careful though, I ve heard some girls had quite bad reactions to gel and acrylic. Also if you somehow pull an acrylic nail you risk pulling your natural nail together with it. And that hurts a lot.
Keep Your Nails Healthy
. No treatment or special care will help you if you don t know how to keep your nails healthy. Now, since there is more than just one advice on this, I ve dedicated a whole article to the subject. Read more on how to keep your nails healthy. So, these are tips on taking care of your nails I have for you. What do you think, are they helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Wear flip flops at the pool and in public showers
. This reduces the risk of infections caused by a fungus that can get in your toenails.
Wear shoes that fit properly
. Also alternate which pair of shoes you wear each day.
. What we eat directly reflects on our nails. Our nails are composed of calcium and other minerals. So, it is very essential to replenish them, which you can do so by an adequate supply of calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous, zinc, folic acid, silica, vitamin C. That is a long list that ll do a food technlogist proud, isn t it? Let s deconstruct that to something we can relate to, shall we? Here we go. Drink plenty of milk and also make sure you eat plenty of milk products like cheese, yogurt etc. Eggs, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, parsley , coriander, broccoli, apricots, carrots, almonds are also very good supplements to your diet. Drink lots of water as it will not just prevent wrinkles on your skin but also avoid your nails from getting brittle. Also look out for discoloration of nails or developing ridges, because they are indication of vitamin deficiency. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 leads to dryness and darkening of nails.
. Clean nails are not just necessary to look good but also necessary to ensure your well being. Our nails can carry lots of disease causing bacteria and germs. Winters, especially, make our nails more porous and susceptible to fungus. Trim your nails regularly. But do not file your nails immediately after bath because they tend to break. Avoid back and forth motion while filing your nails and make sure you stick to one direction. Resort to nail buffing as it augments blood circulation, stimulating nail growth and voila you have strong and shiny nails. When you wash hands, make sure you massage soap near your nails and cuticles. Rinse and moisture them well .You could also use a soft brush to clean them. Dead skin around the nails could be removed using a pumice stone. Do not keep exposing your nails to extreme temperatures, very hot water or direct heat and cold. They lead to brittle nails. Use of lukewarm water to wash your hands is recommended. A monthly manicure by professional is must but make sure they use clean and sterilized equipment. Use gloves while gardening, washing clothes, utensils and cutting vegetables.
Keep them well moisturized
. Apply moisturizer while watching TV, before going to bed and after washing your hands. Massaging hot oil once a week could give you smooth and soft fingers and nails. Vitamin E oil is very good for nails and so is castor oil. You could also use petroleum jelly to massage your beautiful nails. Massaging nail serum could also stimulate circulation and help your nails grow faster as during winters your nails tend to grow slow.
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. Now let it dry and if necessary, repeat the process to apply a second coat. Remember, on the ring finger, create the chevron tip using pink polish. This is what your nails would look like thereafter.
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