Did you know you could actually be drying out your nails every time you do a load of dishes? Hot, soapy water can dehydrate nails so try wearing rubber gloves next time it’s your turn to clean up. Healthy, beautiful nails aren’t impossible, but they do require a few tips and tricks of the trade. Read on to find out the do’s and don’ts of nail care, and see the difference some TLC can make.
1- Do Trim Regularly
While you might love the long, pointy talons we see on celebrities like Kylie Jenner, they’re pretty unrealistic. They require a ton of maintenance and can be incredibly hard on your natural nails; instead, stick to shorter, healthier lengths by trimming regularly. This will help you avoid broken nails—is there anything worse??—and will help rid your nails of excessive dirt and germs.
2- Don’t Skip Your Nutrients
While you might be tempted by supplements that promise healthy, strong nails, all you really need is a well-rounded diet. Make sure your food is providing you with all the nutrients and vitamins you need (we can be surprisingly bad at this), and drink ungodly amounts of water. Not only will your nails thank you, but you’ll literally start to glow. Bottoms up!
3- Do Wear the Right Shoe Size
Healthy, beautiful nails include the ones on your feet! Ladies, stop cramming your feet into shoes a half size too small; let those poor, eager sales clerks finally measure your feet properly for once and let those puppies breathe! Shoes that are too tight can cause broken toenails, ingrown toenails, and a whole host of unsavory things.
4- Don’t Skip Polish Breaks
While most nail polishes these days are not damaging to your nails, especially trusted brands like Opi, it’s important to let your nails breathe every few polish cycles. Nail polish can dehydrate your nails which may cause yellowing over time, so rehydrating them for a week is crucial to happy, healthy nails.
5- Do Hydrate Your Nails and Cuticles
Just like your skin needs moisture, so do your nails and cuticles! This is one of the biggest differences between gorgeous, healthy nails and dry, chipped nails. Essential oils are your best friend when it comes to nail care; they hydrate, refresh, and leave a healthy glow that you simply can’t get otherwise. Pick up a nail and cuticle oil stat, or make one yourself at home! Try to apply every day or two before bed to really give it time to sink in.
6- Don’t Use Sharp Nail Tools
Ever had a manicurist dig painfully underneath your nails with some medieval-like torture instrument? That’s a hard don’t, ladies. Manicures should not be that painful, no matter how much dirt you have hiding under those nails. Skip the pointy manicure tools and stick to nail brushes to scrub away dirt gently and safely—the last thing you want is your nail fall off from an unsightly infection in your nail bed (and yes, that can happen).