Applying the nail care tips below will help you maintain your fingernails in prime condition.
As our fingernails are so noticeable and convey a message about us to everyone we meet, it is essential we take just a little time and educate ourselves on how to care for them well.
What follows is a list of nail care tips divided into do's and don'ts:
Nail Care Tips: The DO'S
DO drink plenty of water each day. It's good for your general health and a well hydrated body contributes to healthy nails. Cracked nails may indicate the need for greater fluid intake.
DO apply varnish remover before applying nail polish. This removes any grease on the surface of the nail and gives extra life to the nail polish, so make sure you do this regardless of whether there is old polish on your nails or not.
DO take vitamin supplements unless your doctor advises otherwise due to other health considerations. Vitamins A, C, E, and B12 are especially important. Additionally, calcium, zinc, iron, protein, and folic acid will help avoid white marks appearing on the nails and prevent nails from becoming brittle. Research the foods you need to provide you with these essential vitamins and supplements.
DO use a good quality buffer preferably once a week, no more than twice a week. Be sure not to buff too vigorously and not for too long to avoid damaging the nail. Just a brief gentle buff before applying nail polish can help prevent the polish from peeling due to a rough or uneven surface on the nail.
DO use a soft nail file rather than an emery board. Emery boards can be too rough and damage the nail easily unless used with great care. Better to use a soft cushion nail file and wash it regularly for repeated use. It almost goes without saying, metal nail files are a definite NO NO!
DO wear protective gloves when doing any work that requires the hands to be submerged in water or come in contact with chemicals. Preferably use gloves with a cotton lining so they remain dry inside. Fungus loves a moist environment.
DO give attention to the cuticles regularly, using a moisturizing cream often to avoid the cuticles from drying out. Overgrown and ungroomed cuticles can adversely affect nail growth.
Nail Care Tips: The DON'TS
DON'T file backwards and forwards as this can cause splits in the nails which become even worse if water penetrates after hand washing. Rather use a gentle one way stroking action with the file along with a little patience.
DON'T file the corners of the nail as this can weaken them and make them more susceptible to breaking. File straight across in a way that produces a soft, oval shape. Pointed nails break easily.
DON'T file nails when they are wet. Make sure they are completely dry.
DON'T use varnish remover and reapply nail polish more than once or twice a week. Preferably select a varnish remover that contains moisturizers to avoid the nails drying out.
DON'T use your nails to scratch hard surfaces, pick at an object, remove staples, or serve as a digging tool. Just take a minute to get a proper tool for the job and avoid sacrificing your nails!
DON'T over manicure the cuticles as this can damage them causing them to thicken and overgrow.
DON'T ever cut the cuticles or use metal or sharp objects to push them back. Purchase the proper tool for the job, an Orange Stick. Hold it at an angle and gently push the cuticles back without damaging them. Using a cuticle remover first will help make the job easier and avoid damaging this sensitive skin.
After a nail care session, conduct a little test. To see how smooth your nails really are run them down an old pair of tights or pantyhose. Any snags will help you locate the nail that needs further attention.
The nail care tips listed above require some time and effort and perhaps initially a small investment to obtain the necessary professional tools. However, once you have them and get into a nail care routine, the benefits will make it all worthwhile.
You will feel confident and flash your nails with pride.
By: Mike Jones
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