It is very common for us to ignore our nails while we spend copious amounts of time and money on skin care. Nails create an impression about your hygiene and personal care habits and so it is wise that you invest some time to take care of them.
These dos and don’ts will help you have not just beautiful nails but nails that are healthy.
But before that here are 4 terms related to nails that we must know:
• Nail matrix is where nails are formed. The white semi-circle that you can see is the edge of the matrix.
• Nail bed is the pink area under the nail. It contains blood vessels and nerves.
• Nail plate is the actual fingernail and is made of hardened keratin protein.
• Cuticle is the dead skin that overlaps your nail plate at the base to form a waterproof seal.
1. Moisturize the cuticle area to prevent cracking and peeling, which can be very hurtful. Cuticle oils are the best option. If they do get injured, apply antibiotic creams till the skin is healed.
2. Wear gloves to protect nails and cuticles while washing clothes and dishes. The harmful cleansers can irritate the nails and cuticles as can the extended contact with water. Nails should be dry as much as possible.
3. Make sure your beautician sterilizes the manicure/pedicure equipment if use and throw ones aren’t an option.
4. After removing the nail polish, moisturize your hands and nails immediately. You just stripped away the oils from them.
5. Give breathing space of at least a few days every 2-3 weeks in between applying nail colours. This will prevent discoloration.
6. Clean the undersides and sides of your nails to control the yucky-smelling nail jam. Use a cleaning tool and cotton dipped in antiseptic liquid.
7. Take zinc and biotin supplements to promote strong nails.
8. Use acetone-free removers. Acetone is extremely drying and harsh.
9. Apply polish remover before applying nail polish regardless of whether there is old polish on your nails or not. This removes any grease on the surface of the nail giving extra life to the nail polish.
1. Avoid nail products that contain formaldehyde or toluene as they pose health risks.
2. Don’t use fingernails as tools to open things or scratch surfaces. I know how tempting it can be knowing they are the handiest things (no pun intended: P).
3. Don’t soak nails for long periods. Nails and cuticles that absorb a lot of water can weaken easily.
4. Don’t push the cuticle back too far. Cuticles protect our nail matrix from water.
5. Don’t bite nails. It injures the nail bed and transmits bacteria into your mouth.
6. Don’t file nails when they are wet. Make sure they are completely dry.
7. Don’t saw your nails back and forth. It can weaken the nail’s edge.
8. Don’t overdo it with the hand sanitizer and soaps. They are extremely drying.
9. Don’t scratch chipped polish. It will destroy your nail bed. Remove it as soon as possible as it looks extremely unappealing.
Over time, your nails will thank you for the timely TLC that you provided them when they start looking as fresh and new as a newborn’s .