How can I make my nails look better?
No doubt, nails say a lot about you and reveal your personality. Unfortunately, some people are unable to make such a good impression on others due to their unhealthy nails. These unhealthy nails may be the result of their personal ignorance or some serious health issues.
According to a study, 99% of people in the world are expected to suffer from nail issues.
Let's take a minute and examine our nails. Are they strong and healthy? Or are there any pits or grooves? If any problem is found, one must take good nail care as the neat look of the nails is a key element to maintaining good hygiene. But, how to take care?
Luckily, I have shared some excellent handy nail care tips in this article that one should never miss. Therefore, let's dive into it without any delay.
What are healthy nails?
Healthy nails are smooth, shiny, and uniform in color, mostly pink or mauve color. The cuticles seem to be existent, in addition to even lengths of nails and tips. Moreover, the lunula (curve-shaped white section) is prominent at the base.
What are Unhealthy Nails?
Unhealthy nails show various signs, some of them are given below;
- Small white spots appear on the nail surface which indicates nail biting.
- Red, swollen skin around the nails mostly because of pulling hangnails.
- Splitting of nails due to mineral and vitamin deficiency.
- Pits and grooves.
- Vertical ridges from the cuticle to the nail tips.
Why is Nail Care Important?
Nail care is essential for preventing unhealthy nails. Sometimes, nail problems are the result of some serious diseases, so they shouldn't be ignored. Let's discuss some common diseases that may lead to nail problems;
- When the nail bed appears spoon-shaped or concave, the situation is known as koilonychia. This happens due to the deficiency of iron in the body.
- If there are tiny dents along the surface of the nail, it might be a sign of psoriasis.
- Swollen skin at the fingertips might be a symptom of infection, inflammation, or lung or heart disease. It might also be due to nail biting.
- Brittle and splitting nails could be the result of thyroid fluctuations.
Hence, proven nail problems may be the result of some serious diseases.
10 Handy Tips for Nail Care
In order to keep our nails healthy, we should take good care of them. As a result, our nails will stay stronger and can do jobs effectively. Here are some handy tips for nail care everyone should adopt;
Keep Hands Clean and Dry
Keeping hands untidy promotes the growth of bacteria and viruses beneath nails. Therefore, it is recommended to keep hands clean by washing them frequently with soap or hand wash. Especially those who are fond of gardening should wash their hands instantly as they get free.
Furthermore, make sure to dry the hands after every wash or shower. I dry my hands for at least two minutes with a towel for complete drying. Wet or moisturized nails may result in split fingernails or fungal infections. Keeping nails dry is one of the best ways to make our nails healthier.
Protect your Nails with a Base Coat
The base coat is a magical remedy for nails. It not only provides even texture to nails but also acts as a barrier between nail polish and natural nail bed. It won't allow the chemicals in the nail polish to react to our nails. Additionally, it nourishes, strengthens, and repairs the nails as well.
Keep your Nails Hydrated
Like other parts of the body, nails can also become dry. For keeping them hydrated it's preferable to use cuticle oil. Alternatively, we can also go for petroleum jelly, castor oil, or olive oil. Castor oil contains a good amount of vitamin E which is the best moisturizing agent.
All we need is to soak a cotton ball in any of these hydrating agents and rub it on our dry nails. It is preferred to do so every night before going to bed. Whereas, if someone feels their hands super dry, she can use it anytime. I always keep the moisturizer jar in my bag, drawer, and car, so that I can access it anytime I need it.
Wear Gloves when Doing Chores
Women have to do various house chores, thus there are greater chances of exposure of their nails to bacteria or viruses. For instance, a dusting of house and gardening let their hands come in contact with dirt. Consequently, they may suffer from infectious nails.
Also, washing dishes let the nails wet and there are greater chances of breakage of nails. Therefore, to avoid such problems, it is suggested to wear plastic or rubber gloves before doing chores.
Clean and Disinfect Nail Tools Regularly
Cleaning and disinfecting nail tools is another crucial step for maintaining healthy nails. Whether these tools are used in some nail salons or at home they must be cleaned before every use to get rid of harmful microorganisms. Now, the query is how to disinfect them.
The simple way is to rest the nail tools in alcohol for at least 30 minutes. However, if the isopropyl alcohol is not available, the metal nail clippers, nail files, and callus removers can be boiled in water for about 20 minutes.
Clip your Nails Regularly
Short nails are less likely to break and allow easy cleaning. Hence, if they are clipped regularly, there will be fewer chances of damage. It's favorable to trim the nails after taking a bath or shower, as they are pretty softer at that time. After clipping my nails I always file the edges for better safety.
Leave Your Cuticles Alone
Cutting cuticles excessively is not safe for the nail's health. They should be trimmed as lesser as possible. This is because they protect the nail intersection and skin. If they are over cut it may cause severe pain and hangnails. Even when applying fake nails I push my cuticles slightly back with a wooden cuticle stick.
Give your Nails a Break
After removing the artificial nails, especially acrylics it’s highly suggested to give the nails a break. During this time avoid using nail paints and other fake nails to allow rehydrate. Also, if there’s some kind of damage it will be repaired.
Moreover, the use of cuticle oil in this period may prove beneficial for fast healing.
Ask your doctor about Biotin
Consulting your doctor for biotin is a great decision. Typically, biotin is a B-complex vitamin that is responsible for promoting nail cell growth and strengthening. According to studies, taking 2.5 mg of this supplement can increase the thickness of nails by up to 25%. It also prevents the splitting and breaking of nails.
One of my friends took it for 6 months and the results were pretty satisfactory.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
As we know our nails are made up of keratin protein, therefore adding protein-rich food to our diet may improve our nail's health. Generally, leafy vegetables, eggs, beans, nuts, and salmon are preferred for this purpose.
On the contrary, vitamin E and fish oil may also help. Moreover, magnesium intake helps in preventing vertical ridges in nails.
5 Things You Should Never Do
The following are some things you should immediately avoid;
Don't Bite Your Nails
Unfortunately, nail biting is a pretty difficult habit to break, yet certain steps may help as you can't ignore its side effects. As we know our mouth has germs that may enter our nails. Also, the skin around the nails is damaged by nail-biting.
However, painting a thick layer of gel will make it difficult to bite nails. On the other hand, using bitter nail paint also avoids taking them to your mouth due to its bad taste.
Don't Use Harsh Nail Polish
Some nail polishes in the market are quite harsh as they contain ingredients like formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Such ingredients tend to weaken and crack the nails. Further, using bold colored nail polishes may turn the nails yellow. That's why I mostly prefer nude-colored nail paints.
Don't Pull off Hangnails
Hangnails are small pieces of skin that are torn or hung next to the nails. Often people pull off these hangnails, which in return cause infection, pain, and tissue inflammation. Even I used to pull them as they irritate me whenever I saw them. But, since I came to know that it's not a good practice, I stopped pulling them.
Don't Ignore Nail Problems
Most probably, most of us ignore our nail problems which is not a wise act. Instead, we should immediately treat it if possible. If the problem is not curable, one must consult a dermatologist for better treatment and recommendations.
Don't Remove Artificial Nails Roughly
The Acrylic and gel nails are quite tough and strongly bonded to the natural nail bed, thus they shouldn't be removed roughly. There are greater chances of nail breakage and popping off when removed roughly. Usually, it is suggested to visit a nail tech for the removal of acrylics and gel nails.
In a nutshell, taking good care of nails is beneficial for nail health. The above-mentioned tips must be followed for avoiding unhealthy nails. Moreover, never ignore nail problems as they might be the symptoms of serious health issues. Cleaning and hydrating the nails is a must step to avoid infections.
Nail care is the crucial parameter for maintaining healthy nails. Keeping nails clean and hydrated is the best tip to make our nails look better and healthy.