A simple routine to get the best practical advice for nails care and to get healthy nails growth. Nails polish, gel & acrylic nails and how to avoid & treat nails infection.
HOW TO GET STRONG NAILS
Nail appearance can have a major impact on making a good first impression.
In order to look well-groomed, elegant & manicured nails are an integral part of a neat appearance – one that can work as an asset in both the social and the business world.
Most people rely on the guidance of the salon owners, which may not be the best advice.
I have spent a considerable time researching on how to get the perfect nails with simple steps that you can do at home.
1 KEEP NAILS CLEAN
It’s important to keep your nails & the surrounding skin thoroughly clean.
You can clean the nails with a gentle natural antibacterial soap with eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil on a soft toothbrush.
This will remove dirt & any dead skin without using harsh chemicals.
2. REMOVE WITH ACETONE-FREE REMOVER
Do not use Acetone to remove old varnish, as it strips the nail, leading to brittle nails.
3. DO NOT SCRUB TOO MUCH
Nails are very delicate, and rubbing them too much will expose them to infection. Do not use metal nail files under the nails, as the skin will separate, with irregular appearance.
4. TRIM REGULARLY
Cut your nails every two-three weeks, to stop them splitting or breaking.
5. KEEP NAILS SHORT
Although long nails are beautiful, they will break if they are weak, leaving jagged edges.
A shorter style, with rounded edge is easier to maintain & looks neater.
6. DO NOT USE ORANGE EMERY-BOARDS
These are too harsh on nails, causing cracks & breakages.
When nails break or have rough edges, file in one direction with finer, smoother files.
7. DO NOT CUT CUTICLES
The cuticles seal the area at the base of the nail.
When you remove or cut the cuticle too much, it breaks the protection, leaving open to bacterial infection. You can gently push the cuticles back with a rubber-tipped hoof stick.
8. DISINFECT YOUR NAIL TOOLS
Clean all your nail equipment to avoid bacterial infection.
Wash the metal tools with soap & water & then wipe with alcohol.
Replace the nail files & buffing boards regularly.
9. USE A BASE COAT
This protects the nail & also helps the varnish to have a deeper colour.
Use a clear gloss to add extra shine & protection
10. USE A TOP COAT
This seals the colour, making the varnish last longer and decrease chipping.
Do not use nail hardeners. Healthy nails are flexible. By putting a nail hardener, they will become brittle.
11. DO NOT APPLY ACRYLIC or GEL TREATMENTS
Although these are longer lasting, they can cause cancer and other skin diseases due to the exposure to excessive UV light in the drying device.
12. GIVE THE NAILS A BREAK
Nails need time to rest and repair. By applying nail varnish over long periods of time, leads to brittle nails that become yellow in appearance.
Keep your nails well moisturized. Coconut, Olive, Almond, Avocado, Flaxseed or Safflower seed oils are the best to keep nails healthy. This is especially important after using an alcohol-based sanitizer or with frequent hand washing.
14. WEAR GLOVES
Wear gloves with a cotton lining when you are using harsh chemicals, gardening, or handling any dirty equipment. Also long periods of time in soapy water when you are cleaning dishes weakens the nails. In winter, wear a pair of warm mittens, so that the cold air & wind don’t leave you with dry, flaky & scaly skin.
15. DO NOT PUT HANDS IN HOT OR ICY WATER
Hot water makes the skin dry by stripping away the sebum.
Very cold water will cause constriction & dilation of the capillary vessels, leading to redness.
16. REMOVE DISCOLOURATION OF THE NAIL
Lemon juice contains Vitamin C, which protects nails, removes stains & encourages stronger growth. Soak your nails in a mixture of olive oil & lemon juice.
17. VITAMIN E OIL
Massage Vitamin E oil into the cuticles & on the nails every night. It will strengthen the nail & increase the growth rate of your nails.
18. SOAK IN APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
If you have brittle or discoloured nails, soak them in this liquid. This not only strengthens the nail, but also heals & prevents microbial infections that cause breakage & yellowing.
Nails are made of protein called keratin.
It’s essential to have a diet rich in:
- Protein: eggs, lean meat, salmon, nuts, beans & soya-based products.
- Vitamins A & C: tomatoes & fruits
- Biotin (Vitamin H): whole grains, nuts, fruits & vegetables. Biotin increases nail thickness & prevents splitting.
- Omega 3 oils from fish
- Vitamin E from nuts
- Nettle Tea herbal tea is a well-known natural remedy for brittle nails
20. PROTECT WITH SUNSCREEN
Your hands will wrinkle with exposure to the environment. Use a Hand cream with sun screen, vitamins & skin whiteners to keep your hands not only moisturised, but also prevent the sun damage.
Lightenex® Hand & Foot Cream by Pharmaclinix® is one of the best formulations available.
21. LIMIT PROFESSIONAL MANICURES
Regular, intense manicures can lead to dry, brittle nails, as most salons use harsher chemicals than those for home-use. Take your own tools to the Manicurist to avoid nail infection.
Detergent shampoos or those for oily hair strip the lipids and the natural oils from the scalp. This will, unfortunately also strip the oils from the nail bed.
23. CHOOSE NAIL TIPS OVER FULL EXTENSIONS
Nail extensions can lead to fungal or bacterial infections. It’s better to wear Nail tips, as less damage occurs because the surface area covered is less.
Liquid nail compounds containing MMA (methyl methacrylate) has been banned in many countries due to high sensitivity & permanent nail damage.
Some unscrupulous salons are still using it as it is a cheap product.
24. TOENAIL INFECTIONS
Toenails are more prone to problems, as they are inside shoes, in a dark, moist environment, where fungus grows more easily.
Do not dig under the nail or around the cuticle. Also cut the nail straight across to avoid in-growing toe nail, which can become painful & develop into infection.
NAILS ARE A REFLECTION OF YOUR HEALTH PROBLEMS
The condition of your nails can reflect a problem in your overall health.
Changes in the nail, e.g. discoloration or thickening can signal health problems like liver & kidney disease, heart & lung conditions, anaemia & diabetes.
White spots on the nails: zinc deficiency.
White or pale fingernails: Kidney or liver disease or anaemia
Dents on fingernails: Psoriasis, alopecia, vitamin deficiency or thyroid imbalance
Horizontal nail ridges: previous injury or poisoning
Vertical ridges are just a sign of old age
Purple-tinge: circulatory problems & anaemia
Yellow nails with a slight blush at the bottom is a sign of diabetes.
Yellow toenails: fungal infection (due to sweaty feat in synthetic shoes, that don’t let air circulate.
Nail splits: lack of Vitamin B12, Vitamin C & Folic acid
- Soak your nails in lemon juice in olive oil for 15 minutes per week
- Use a cuticle nourishing cream at night
- Take a nail polish holiday
- Take Biotin supplements
- Use Lightenex® Hand & Foot cream by Pharmaclinix® at night.
This is packed with vitamins, anti-oxidants, skin whiteners in a sun protection base. (www.Pharmaclinix.com)
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