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6 Tips for Stronger Healthier Nails

healthier-nails1. Be gentle.

It can be great to add a pop of color to one’s outfit with a nice manicure. However, many nail polishes and removers contain harsh chemicals that are not only bad for the nails. They are also bad for the overall health of the person using them and bad for the environment as well. Look for environmentally friendly products including non-toxic nail polish removers that are labeled “toluene-free” and “DBP-free”. Continually applying and removing polish can take a toll on the nails, making them dry and brittle. Using a few drops of tea tree oil on the entire nail plate once or twice a week can also help.

2. Consult a nutritionist.

Unhealthy nails can often be an indicator of poor nutrition. Consulting with a nutritionist or one’s doctor can help one sort out the dietary changes that can help. White spots under the nails and nails that are dry and brittle can often improve with a higher intake of Zinc. Foods that include healthy amounts of Zinc are dark chocolate, eggs, peanuts and milk. Particularly brittle nails can mean that the person is deficient in his or her iron intake. An increase in green, leafy vegetables can help. When the nails grow dark and are excessively dry, an increase in Vitamin B12 can sometimes help. It can be found in cheese, crab and eggs and also comes in pill form, as do Zinc and Iron.

3. Do not smoke!

A holistic approach to healthy nails means that what is good for the overall body, is probably also going to be good for the fingernails. The nicotine inherent in smoking cigarettes can cause nails to turn yellow and brittle. Cessations of smoking can, not only make one’s nails look better. It can also drastically improve one’s overall health almost immediately.

4. File in one direction only.

Keeping nails clean and regularly trimmed are important steps to keep them nice and healthy. Using a back and forth saw like motion to file nails can cause them to split and peel. Filing the nails in one direction only helps improve the quality of the nails by preventing splitting. The best time to trim and file one’s nails is after a bath or shower, when they are nice and soft, although care should be taken because wet nails break more easily than dry nails.

5. Wear rubber gloves.

Many household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can harm the nails and cause infections and other problems. For this reason, it is important to either avoid those household products altogether, or to wear rubber gloves when cleaning with them. It can help to moisturize the hands well prior to putting the gloves on.

6. Buff away!

Buffing one’s nails regularly with a manicure buff tool can help increase blood flow and oxygen to the fingertips. This can result in stronger, healthier nails. However, buffing too hard can thin the nails, so it is important to buff gently.

 

7. Take A Break From Nail Polish

 

Because nail polish covers the nails and prevents oxygen and light from reaching the nail bed, it is always a good idea to take a break from wearing nail polish from time to time. Using a natural nail polish can greatly reduce the chemicals you are applying directly to your body, but taking a day without nail polish at least once a week or twice a month will ensure that bacteria and viruses do not thrive in your nail beds.

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