There are quite a few different problems which can occur with our nails. Uncared for nails can easily become brittle, split and white spots can often appear.
It can be hard knowing how often you should care for your nails and what you should do. However, with a little time and effort you will notice that looking after your nails really does not have to be overly hard.
How Often You Should Look After Your Nails:
As a general rule, your nails should be looked after every single day. Simple hygiene such as using a nail brush and mild soap and water daily is not really a chore and it only takes a few minutes of your time. On top of that there are also other things you can do weekly including:
Removing any old nail polish by moistening a cotton ball with nail polish remover. Press the cotton to the nail for just a few seconds to soften the polish and prevent any rubbing of the nail. In one firm movement move the cotton from the base of the nail, right up to the tip and then repeat until the polish has all come off.
Next shape the nail by using an emery board. It is better to file the nails from the corner to the centre, though you should not file the actual corner itself. It is important to not run the file up and down the nail as this can cause ridges and other potential problems with the nail.
The next step is to soak the hands in warm water for up to a few minutes, in order to remove any built up dirt and bits of nail from the filing that was just done. Use an orange wood stick to clean under the nail.
Many people like to push their cuticles back but generally it is better to leave the cuticle where it is. If you are unsure as to where the cuticle in the nail is, it is basically the skin which grows from the finger onto the base of the nail. Not pushing the cuticle back helps to prevent infections.
Although you can buy different top coats and base coats, it is thought that a clear nail polish does exactly the same job and so it is cheaper to just apply clear nail polish first. Next choose whichever color you want for your nails and apply. Leave them to dry and then apply another layer of clear nail polish as a topcoat to seal the color in and to prevent chipping.
It is recommended that you visit a professional manicurist every six weeks in order to keep your nails extra healthy. Some good tips for caring for your nails include not using nail polish remover more than once a week. Nail polish remover can cause the nails to dry out and crack and split. Also, after washing your hands always apply lotion or moisturizer to the nails in order to keep them well lubricated and protected.
White spots often occur on the nails and they are generally nothing to worry about. Whilst they can indicate a problem with nutrition, most white spots are caused by rough manicures and too much force applied to the nail. In this case they should grow out on their own and you should make a note to yourself to be extra careful with your nails in future
Also ridges are another common problem which are usually caused by too much pressure on the nail. Some ridges are also down to hereditary factors and these can only be controlled by smoothing them down using a buffer. If the ridges have only just occurred they can be a symptom of anemia and so it is always better to consult your doctor.
Overall, looking after your nails need not be a chore. It does not take long to scrub under the nails with soapy water using a nail brush, and having a manicure once every six weeks can actually be quite fun. So, look after your nails daily and you should not have many problems!
By: Louise Forrest
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