Strong, healthy-looking nails are something that every woman
wants, but when it comes to nail care, most women can’t think beyond a
manicure. Of course, getting regular manicures is important, but is it the only
way to care for your nails? We think not. In order to make them strong and
shiny, you have to adopt a few nail care habits and give up on a few others.
Whether you are someone who always has a coat of nail paint on or a person who
can’t stop picking and biting your cuticles, these tips will change your nail
game for the better.

Tips for healthy fingernails

Here are a few nail
care habits
 that you should begin doing right away! Plus, we have
included a pro tip with each habit to ensure your nails become healthy and
strong in no time! 

1. Moisturise your nails

Just like our skin, our nails also require external moisture
to stay healthy. In fact, your skin and scalp have some ability to produce oil
naturally, your nails do not. Frequent washing takes away whatever little
nourishment it gets. Therefore, the first nail care habit that you need to
adopt is moisturising your nails regularly, and if possible, each time you wash
your hands. If you regularly use sanitizer, apply a hand cream right after, and
focus on your nails as the alcohol in sanitisers can make both your nails and
hands dry.

Pro tip: Massage your nails with a few drops of
olive or coconut oil before going to sleep.

2. Maintain good hygiene practices

Regular and prolonged contact with water can lead to split
fingernails if they are not dried properly and the trapped moisture can lead to
infections. Therefore, don’t let your nails grow too long as bacteria and dirt
can easily accumulate inside it. Clean your nails at home regularly and
sanitize the manicure tools before and after each use. While cutting your
nails, trim them straight across and then around the tips to form a curve, this
prevents the dirt from getting pushed into the skin.

Pro tip: You can use natural disinfectants such
as tea tree oil which helps kill bacteria and keeps infections at bay.

3. Do not scrape off nail polish

If your nail polish has started to chip off, take a minute
out of your schedule to soak a cotton pad with remover and get rid of the
colour. Scraping off the polish from your nail is the worst nail habit out
there. It ruins the texture of the nail, removes its healthy, protective layer
and makes your nails excessively dry. As a good nail care habit, remove the
as soon as it loses its shine, instead of waiting for it to
chip or peel off.

Pro tip: Avoid keeping one nail paint on for too
long as it will ultimately result in chipped nails.

4. Use a base coat and a top coat

Whether you apply nail polish frequently or occasionally,
the chemicals and colours in these paints
can harm your nails
 and discolour them. An easy way to prevent
this, and ensure your nail paint stays on for longer is using a base coat and a
top coat. This is a simple nail care habit that every woman should adopt. After
cleansing your nails thoroughly, apply the base and wait for a few minutes.
Then apply two coats of your favourite nail colour, wait until it dries off,
then apply a top coat to seal everything.

Pro tip: Buy your nail products from a renowned
brand, as you cannot be sure of the ingredients in substandard ones.

5. Wear protective gloves when necessary

Certain chores can cause harm to your nails such as washing
utensils and gardening. The chemicals in the soap can cause your skin and nails
to become dry, and all the muddy work you do while gardening can collect and
remain in the nooks and corners of the nails for longer than you can imagine.
Wearing rubber gloves will prevent the chemicals and mud from coming in direct
contact with your hands and nails.

Pro tip: Wash your gloves thoroughly after every
use and air dry them in sunlight.

6. Opt for quality cosmetics

Just like you wouldn’t use any makeup or skincare product of
substandard quality, do not use nail products that can potentially harm your
nails. Whether it’s your nail polish, remover, top coat, base coat or cuticle
oil, invest in good quality products from renowned brands. Using low quality,
subpar products will not only ruin your nail but can also affect your health by
entering your body when you eat something.

Pro tip: Every bottle that claims to be natural,
is not all-natural. It is best to do your research and avoid using products
that contain harmful ingredients.

7. Avoid using acetone

Acetone may look like a quick and easy way to get
rid of stubborn nail polish
 and colours, but the truth is that it
is very harsh on your skin and nails. It makes them severely dry and prone to
breakage. A nail
 tip you should follow is to avoid using acetone or products
that contain acetone on your nails. In fact, a lot of nail
polish removers
 these days come with nourishing ingredients like
almond oil and vitamin E to prevent them from drying out your tips.

Pro tip: If your nail polish remover does not
have any nourishing ingredient, apply a few drops of oil after removing the
colour to restore moisture and health.

8. Trim nails regularly

Don’t grow your nails beyond a certain length, as this makes
them more prone to damage and breakage. That does not mean you have to keep
them really short, just long enough to look pretty. Like with your hair,
trimming nails regularly is a good nail care practice. Take some time out every
two weeks to maintain the shape
of your nails
 by cutting and filing them.

Pro tip: Cut them neatly using a clipper, first in a
straight line and then square or round at the tips, as you want them.

FAQs about nail care

Q. How often should I care for my nails?

A. Moisturising and cleaning should be done on a
daily basis if you want your nails to become strong and healthy, trimming can
be done once every two weeks.

Q. Can I apply petroleum jelly on my nails?

A. Yes, it is completely safe to use petroleum
jelly on your nails to prevent dryness. Rub a small amount of petroleum
jelly on your cuticles
 and the surrounding skin every night before
going to bed. The vitamin E in it will prevent your nails from getting dry and
also add a healthy shine.

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