Healthy nails require an investment of time, not money, simple habits and not expensive tools. Whether the care of your nails is a pleasure or simply ordinary maintenance, keeping your nails in perfect shape is a worthwhile investment.
First rule: to have healthy nails, do not eat them
This in fact weakens the nail as it damages the nail bed in order to prevent its regrowth, as the skin around the nail and its base can also form wounds and redness.
Second rule: Treat your nails as you treat your hair
Hair and nails are both composed of keratin proteins, so it makes sense that many of the same rules apply.
Nail polish removal, gels, and acrylics do on the nails what dyes and heat sources do on the hair. Just as hydration can help repair hair problems, so it can help improve your brittle nails.
Third rule: avoid prolonged contact with water
Always pay close attention on how you can reduce the time your nails spend in contact with water, because excessive contact can weaken the structure of the nail. For example, consider wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes or other cleaning work, so you can preserve your hands and nails.
The nail is like a sponge, it absorbs water 1,000 times more than the skin, and excessive exposure to water can put a strain on delicate nail cells (onychocytes), which can lead to breakage, cracking and peeling.
This is why wetting the nails before a manicure is not recommended, because it makes them more vulnerable and does not even allow the nail polish to adhere well or last for a long time. Instead, use a quality cuticle oil, perhaps rich in vitamin E. You will easily replace the natural oils and moisture you lose daily.
Just like taking care of your skin, nail care should start with a thorough cleansing.
The first step is to prepare the nails. Nail care is the basis of a manicure that ensures that your nail polish looks better and lasting. It is important, if any, that you remove any nail polish residues with a proper remover. You should use removal products that contain moisturizing oils and ingredients. Among the latest generation products, there is plenty of choice.
For cleaning the nail, you can use a delicate nail brush to rub the surface with a little neutral soap.
It is a widespread practice to cut the cuticles altogether, but in reality they are not the enemy. The cuticle is “the natural protective seal of the nail”, so you need to cut only the excess skin around the sides of the nail and gently push the cuticles back using a cuticle pusher.
Some people use nail files, while others prefer a combination of nail clippers and buffers to get the desired shape, but regardless of preferences you should always make sure that the chosen tool is in good condition.
If you prefer nail files, you have many options at your disposal, so be sure to choose the type that best suits your needs.
To keep your nails healthy, you should use a grit from 180 to 240, emery board are typically less abrasive than metal files, but they are just as likely to create tears or chips. If you decide to use a nail file you should bet on a glass or crystal to avoid cracking and peeling, although nevertheless, they can be harder to find and more expensive.
Nails should be filed slowly, evenly and in one direction, shortening and shaping them without destroying them.
If you do not intend to proceed with a complete manicure with colored nail polish, your manicure could simply end with a healing or strengthening nail polish to be used as a traditional one, alone or as the basis of a colored nail polish. In this case, there are many on the market with a natural base.
If you want a complete manicure, before starting, you must clean your nails with a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover; this will remove excess oil (and any nail filing dust) and create a smooth, even surface for the nail polish. Next, you need to pass on the nail a base coat that will adhere to the natural nail bed much better than nail polish.
It is important to always read the labels of the nail polish: among the ingredients to avoid mainly include formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, even if many formulations are now devoid of it.
The nail polish should be applied in three narrow passes: one in the center and one on each side of the nail. After a few minutes, you can apply a second coat with the same technique.
Finally, when the nail polish is completely dry, apply a transparent top coat to seal the color. Be sure to completely cover the tip of the nails, a good top coat seals the color and prevents chipping and breakage.
Also, the hydration is essential, especially during winter, not only of the hands but also of the nails. Too often the latter is overlooked, so when applying moisturizing hand lotion, also pay a little extra attention to your nails.