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How to Best Care for Your Nails

Chipping, breaking, jamming. Nails are frustrating! Here are some tips to keep your nails healthy and looking like-new.

Whether you are female or male, the importance of caring for your nails is not to be undermined. First impressions count for everything, and when you extend your hand for an introductory shake, the last thing you want is to scratch the other person with your unkempt nails. Likewise, having a great manicure or a freshly buffed set of nails can lend you a clean, orderly appearance that is sure to boost your confidence and affect the way you interact with others. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay salon prices to maintain your mani/pedi game. Follow these tips to learn how to best care for your nails yourself.

Healthy Vitamins

Are your nails as healthy as they can be? Do they ever flake, peel, or break? Are you concerned about their strength? Wouldn’t it be nice to stop having to deal with nail issues? If your nails aren’t looking their best, it’s more than likely that your vitamin, mineral, or nutrient intake is suffering in one or more areas. In order to alter the appearance of your nails while giving your body the nutrients it craves, there are a number of vitamins and supplements you can take for strong and healthy nails.

B vitamins are a godsend for unhealthy nails, with B-complex vitamin biotin ranking high on the list of beneficial vitamins for nail health. Iron is another essential element that both your nails and bones require in order to prevent them from getting brittle and easily breaking. Magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and zinc are all beneficial nutrients you can turn to for nail health. Try consuming foods that contain these healthy elements, or consider purchasing supplements from your local vitamin shop.

Dealing with Damage

While the best method for avoiding brittle, breaking, and unhealthy nails is prevention, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be done about nails that are currently suffering. Let’s say that you have a big event on the horizon and it is essential that you look your best as soon as possible. Due to a nutrient-deficient diet, you accidentally tripped and ripped off a good portion of your toenail. There goes the perfect pedicure you were going to slide into your open-toed shoes! Not so fast. There are ways to help with your toenail growing back.

Though there is no quick fix for a broken nail growing back, there are certainly steps you can take to speed up the process. Have patience and understand that the fastest way to see a positive growth turnaround is to keep your nails in a clean, dry environment. Be sure to change the dressing on your nail regularly to keep the area clean. In addition, you should load up on the aforementioned healthy nail vitamins because diet plays a huge role in growth. To avoid any infections that could deter growth progress, consider talking to your doctor about anti-fungal or antibiotic cream to prevent fungal infection that could compromise growth.

Everyday Care

While what you eat plays a huge role in nail health and it is possible to speed up severe nail damage, many simply seek to see their nails marginally improved. Perhaps, your nails aren’t breaking and peeling everyday, but you recognize that there are areas in which your nail care routine could change. Consider following some general tips for healthier nails. For starters, leave your cuticles alone. Your cuticles are there to protect fungus and bacteria from entering your body. Cutting them or pushing them back, or having a manicurist do this, can affect appearance and compromise your health. Don’t make it easier for infections to enter your body.

Instead, treat your nails with gentle care. Moisturize your cuticles and nail beds regularly to improve appearance. If you regularly paint your nails at home, be sure to avoid using acetone-based nail polish removers. And give yourself a pat on the back, because professional manicures should be limited to reduce the likelihood of dry, brittle nails due to harsher ingredients and chemical exposure. It’s also beneficial to limit your hand contact with chemicals, such as those found in cleaners, and to avoid rough hand washing. Lastly, be sure not to overdo it with the emery board, and to instead, be gentle with your nail care.

Remember to always treat your body with love and kindness. Just because your nails don’t hurt (or at least they shouldn’t!) when you cut them doesn’t mean they aren’t a part of your body. In order to keep your nails healthy and attractive, it’s essential to stick to a nutritious diet and cut out any damaging practices that could interfere with proper nail health.

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