How to Maintain Good Nail Health

Photo from medplansolutions.org

Taking care of the body and health is very important. The most common parts of the body that people take care of are the skin, teeth and hair. However, there are other parts of the body that people tend to overlook is the health of nails. When it comes to nails, most people think of nail colors, designs and inspirations, but they don’t think of nail care. Nail health is a part of the body along with the skin, teeth and hair that more people should take care of. VALLEY will be breaking down recommendations for proper nail care and health. 

Biotin and Protein-Rich Foods

One of the ways to easily get stronger and healthier nails is to start taking biotin and start eating protein-rich foods. Biotin is a supplement that has the B vitamin that aids in nails growing stronger and healthier every day. According to Good Housekeeping, nails already have a protein in them called keratin, and by changing your diet, you can increase your keratin intake. Some recommended protein-rich foods are beans, fish and nuts. 

Recommended Biotin Product: Nature’s Bounty Biotin Supplement ($7.53)

Fewer Manicures

A simple way to keep your nails healthy is to aim for fewer manicures. By doing this, you are giving your nails a break and giving them a chance to breathe. This is the equivalent of letting your hair out of a tight ponytail or going make-up-free for a few days to let your skin breathe.

Photo from 100percentpure.com
Don’t Cut Cuticles

This may be a regular part of the nail regimen at the nail salon, but this can be bad for nail health. According to Good Housekeeping, the cuticle is the part of the nail that is like a seal of protection for the nail. By cutting this seal of protection, you are breaking that seal and making your nails more vulnerable and susceptible to harmful bacteria. Instead, VALLEY suggests moisturizing and massaging your cuticles with good cuticle oil to rehydrate your nails.

Recommended Cuticle Oil: Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Care ($20)

Wear Coats

When painting nails at home, it can be tempting or a regular routine to skip putting on a base coat. However, in the case of nail health, it is a really simple, great part of maintaining the health of nails. By putting on a base coat, you are protecting the bare surface of your nails from the nail polish helps in strengthening the tips of your nails, making your nails thicker and helping the polish more opaque. Additionally, it is also best to start what you finish by wearing a topcoat for the avoidance of chipping. 

Photo from Goodhousekeeping.com

Recommended Top and Base Coat: Seche Clear and Seche Vite, Base Coat and Top Coat for Nail Polish ($9.09)

Trim and File

Prioritizing nail health over length is very important. By regularly trimming your nails, you not only keep your nails short, but you also help your nails avoid any hangnails, snag or breakage. Another great tip would be to keep a nail file on hand. With having a nail file, you have a great tool to attend to your nails for any on-the-spot irregularity to your nails.

Recommended Nail File: Mont Bleu Premium Set of 3 Crystal Nail Files ($9.95)

Nail Brush

A nail brush is a brush that has the sole purpose of brushing away any bacteria and dirt from under the nails. VALLEY suggests using a nail brush over a pointy tool to get any dirt or gunk from under your nails. Using a pointy tool to get that dirt out will cause an increase in infection, so it is important to use a soft tool, like a nail brush, to gently get under the nails.

Photo from footwearnews.com

Recommended Nail Brush: Redecker Nail Brush ($11.99)

Wear Gloves

When dealing with cleaning the dishes, it is important to clean with either rubber, plastic, vinyl or plastic gloves. By wearing gloves while washing dishes, you can avoid the hot, soapy water weakening your nails when washing. 

Recommended Gloves: Playtex Rubber Cleaning Gloves ($12.96)

Nail Polish Ingredients

Checking for any chemicals or substances used in nail polish is crucial in nail health. According to Dr. Debbie Palmer of Good Housekeeping, you should stay away from nail polishes that contain toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. These chemicals can cause brittleness and the overall weakness of the nails.

Photo from Oprahdaily.com
Fewer Acrylics and Gels

Similar to fewer manicures, it is important to acquire as few acrylics and gel manicures as possible. Acrylic and gel manicures are generally really hard on the nails. Gel manicures are the most concerning as your nails get exposed to a UV light that can dry your skin and your nails. To avoid this it is recommended to get a few acrylic and gel manicures as possible. However, if you are a person that frequently gets these types of manicures, then it is highly recommended to wear SPF 30 or 50 sunscreen under UV light to help protect your skin.

Clean Hands

Lastly, one of the simplest ways to keep your nails healthy is to keep your hands clean. To go beyond just cleaning your hands with soap and water, try using acetone to get rid of any remaining nail polish on your nails. To take it a step further, put some soap on a toothbrush and use that to brush and clean away and dirt or dead skin around your nails. 

Photo from Muhealth.org

All of these steps will take you one step further in improving your nail health!

Have nail care tips? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter to share with us!

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