Our nails are not only a canvas for self-expression but also a reflection of our overall health and wellbeing. However, achieving and maintaining healthy nails goes beyond a simple manicure.
Nail care is a holistic practice that extends beyond aesthetics. Nurturing your nails with proper care and attention contributes to both their appearance and their health, leaving you with a confident and healthy foundation to express yourself through vibrant nail art and designs.
In this article, we delve into essential nail care practices, and highlight the things you should avoid. With these tips you’ll be on your way to cultivating strong, beautiful nails.
Say no to cuticle snipping
Understand cuticle function
Cuticles are the thin layer of skin at the base of your nails. They play a crucial role in protecting the nail matrix—the area where new nail cells form. Cutting or snipping the cuticles can lead to infections, inflammation, and may even compromise the nail’s growth. Cuticles grow back faster each time they are cut, so cutting them is a common tactic used by salons to get customers to come back sooner. Instead of cutting them, opt for gentle pushing and trim any loose hangnails to promote healthy cuticle maintenance.
Moisturise, don’t manipulate
Regularly moisturising your cuticles helps keep them soft and pliable, reducing the urge to pick or snip them. Applying cuticle oil or a rich hand cream will not only nourish the skin but also promote healthy nail growth.
Beware of damaging UV treatments
UV nail lamps: the hidden risk
UV nail lamps, often used for gel manicures, emit UV radiation to cure the polish. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can potentially damage the skin, increase the risk of skin cancer, and accelerate skin aging. To minimise the risk, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to your hands before using UV lamps, consider opting for LED lamps that emit less UV radiation or wear fingerless gloves.
Hydration and recovery
Frequent exposure to UV treatments can cause nails to become brittle and weak. Counteract this by consistently moisturising your nails and cuticles. Using cuticle oil and a moisturising hand cream can help prevent excessive drying and maintain nail health. You could also opt to use less damaging nail polish, such as a dip powder manicure.
Essential nail care practices
Healthy diet and hydration
Nails benefit from a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Biotin, vitamin E, and zinc are particularly beneficial for nail health. Staying hydrated also contributes to strong and resilient nails.
Regular trimming and filing
Trim and file your nails regularly to prevents them from becoming too long, reducing the risk of breakage and snags. File in one direction to prevent splitting and weakening of the nails.
Gentle nail polish removal
When removing nail polish, opt for acetone-free removers to avoid excessive drying and damage. Use a gentle touch and avoid aggressive scraping, which can weaken the nail plate.