So what can you do to get your nails in top condition? Here are a few healthy nail basics that will get you on the right track.
- Keep your hands out of your mouth. Biting and chewing on your nails is not only unattractive, but it can actually cause damage your nails. Biting nails can also leave rough, jagged edges that can easily catch on clothing and tear.
- Moisturize hands and nail beds every day. Olive oil is great for this. Just take a little oil on a cotton swab and wipe it over your cuticles. Let that sit for a minute or two and then massage into the nail beds. Add some of your favorite hand cream to top it off.
- Avoid cutting your cuticles. If you're moisturizing daily, your cuticles will soften and be easy to push back with one of your other fingernails. Leave cuticle cutting to the professionals since it is a very delicate area and you can damage the nail bed if you're too aggressive with the cuticle tool.
- Use a gentle soap and natural bristle nailbrush for cleaning. Even though most nail clippers come with a tool that can be used to dig dirt out from under the nail, you can easily damage the sensitive tissue in this area. A much better option is a gentle scrub with soap, warm water and a nailbrush. Natural bristles in the nailbrush will be softer than synthetic bristles.
- Always file your nails in one direction. Filing back and forth can cause damage and leave you with rough spots. It's also important to buff nails from the bed to the tip. Do not buff with a back and forth motion.
- Use a non-acetone nail polish remover. Removing polish is a harsh treatment, so the non-acetone remover is your best option. Many brands also include additional oils that help replace some of the moisture the remover takes out.
- Treat your body well by getting a balanced diet, plenty of water and additional vitamin E. Your nails are a good indicator of your overall health, so be kind to yourself and eat well. It's essential that you get plenty of protein and vitamin E. Both are great for your skin, hair and nails.