Old habits die hard but it’s time to leave your old nail habits and give your nails the treatment it deserves. It’s easy to forget about your nails when dealing with day-to-day life, however, one way to go about caring for your nails is to remember that your nails are made up of the same protein as your hair.
Yes, you read that right, Keratin, a protein contained in the hair is also found in your nails. Now that you are aware of this, you understand that your nails need gentle loving care just like your hair.
We all want polished, healthy fingers and toenails that sends “pulled together”. But it can seem confusing trying to know where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, start by eliminating these 10 moves from your life and watch your nails go from old-heave ho to looking gorgeous.
- Not Paying Attention To Ingredients.
Staying away from harsh ingredients can help keep your nails in check if you’re someone who paints your nails frequently. Depending on your preference, you can choose a formula that is five-three (which eliminates formaldehyde resin and camphor, like Julep and Zoya) a nail polish brand that falls under this category is Lippman’s line of Crème nail polish which adds xylene and parabens to the list of mixed ingredients and contains nourishing biotin and green tea to aid in strengthening, or you can go for a three-free (meaning free of dibutyl phthalate or DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde). A majority of nail polish brands like Essie, OPI and Sally Hansen fall under this category.
- Skipping Moisturizer.
Well-moisturized nails are not as rigid, which means they are likely not to break. Just as you wouldn’t wash your face without applying a moisturizer, you should always apply a hand lotion after washing. The best way to go about this is to always keep a travel-sized cream or cuticle oil bottle within reach. Easy access is key when adding a step to any routine. Oftentimes, out of sight truly means out of mind. A very good handy moisturizer is the Essie Apricot Cuticle oil.
- Picking Off Gel Polish.
It can be tempting to peel away a gel manicure instead of soaking them off which lifts the colours off so effortlessly! But according to Saunders, this is a horrible idea as “It removes an unnecessary amount of nail layers.” The best thing to do is either to make a salon appointment to have it properly removed, or try a specialized at-home remover kit like the Sensationail Gel Polish Removal Kit.
- Going Barefoot In Hotel Rooms.
Think about it, you wear flip-flops or sneakers or whatever footwear you like at the gym, so why not hotels? Make sure you slip something over your feet when walking around the room to protect both soles and toenails from picking up a strange fungus.
- Doing Chores Without Protection.
Wearing gloves may make you feel like a cartoon housewife from the 1950s, but it’s still a wise choice. It maintains your polish while also preventing any harsh or drying components in your cleaning solutions from getting on your hands.
- Using Your Nails As Tools.
You already know, that using your nails to open soda cans or scrape off labels isn’t a great idea, but it can be difficult to resist the urge to use them when they are so useful. However, Dr Baumann and Saunders issue a warning about this as it is the quickest way to weaken your nails and cause them to chip!
- Not Getting The Right Nutrition.
Your body’s health is reflected in the condition of your nails. So if you aren’t eating a well-balanced diet, you’re doing yourself more harm than good in multiple ways. Have you noticed your nails aren’t as strong as you’d like, but you’re unable to include one more leaf of kale in your diet? Think about incorporating a daily vitamin or supplement. “Omega-3 fatty acids and multivitamins are great for nails,” explains Saunders.
- Picking and Cutting Cuticles.
In addition to being unattractive, chopped cuticles might make you susceptible to infection, according to Dr Baumann. Consider using an orange stick wrapped in cotton to simply push the cuticles back rather than using cuticle cutters.
- Not Being A Member Of Club BYOT (Bring Your Own Tools).
Using files and clippers that have been used on people can leave you vulnerable. Dr Bauman says “Every time you have a manicure or pedicure, you run the danger of developing a fungal infection due to either dirty foot spas or insufficiently sterilized tools.” One misstep can get you into trouble, even if you’re heading somewhere nice. To minimize your risk, it’s advisable to bring your own tools. A manicure set to pickup is Sephora Collection “Tough As Nails Deluxe Manicure & Pedicure Kit.”
- Using a sawing motion when filing.
Although trimming and filing your nails may seem pointless, Lippmann cautions that if done incorrectly, it can actually weaken and break your nails. She cautions against using a “saw” motion on the nail’s tip. Rather, she recommends gently pulling the file across the nail from edge to center while moving the file in one direction. Then proceed to the opposite side. Lippmann says, “If your nails are thinner and have the tendency to peel or break, be extra cautious while filing, instead of keeping the file flush with the nail, tilt it to the underside. This enables you to observe your actions clearly. It works to prevent doing too much.”