One thing that I care about more than skincare is nail care. Nail care is so important to me, and it honestly always has been. When I was in middle school but mostly high school I would coordinate my nail color with my outfits. To me it was the cool thing to do. So since I was essentially polishing my nails every night I quickly learned that nails are fragile, and need to be taken care of.
The best way to take care of your nails is realizing what is harming them and how to protect them.
Not Applying A Base Coat
I know applying a base coat seems like an unnecessary step that takes more time, but it’s a very important step. Applying both a base and top coat protects your nail and seals off your colored polish to keep it from chipping.
Picking Your Nails
I get it. Once you see your nails start to split, or the paint starts to chip you just HAVE to pick at them. But I promise you it’s not worth it. When you pick at your nails you up your risk for weak nails when you decide to forgo the remover and pick at your chipping polish — a major no-no. The cells on your nail grow in a slanted direction, like fish scales, and pushing them in the wrong direction can cause breakage.
Overlaying Nail Polish
I’m not talking about the ridiculous “100 layers of nail polish” trend, what I’m talking about is all those times you have a little chip so you just quickly paint over it, to make your nails perfect again. All that build-up sucks the moisture out of your nails. So you’re better off just repainting the whole nail.
Friction. When filing your nails you have to be very wary of friction.Use gentle strokes in the same direction to stay away from separating the layers of your nail.
Nail Polish Remover with Acetone
Most nail polish removers contain acetone, which is great for cleaning off polish but awful for your nails. Buy an acetone-free remover and soak your nails in warm, soapy water before using it.
Some of us go overboard with our buffer trying to reach that perfect shine, but it turns out all that rubbing creates friction that weakens our nails. Grab a shiny top coat polish instead and choose one direction to go in when buffing instead of going back and forth.
Messing With Your Hangnails
Picking at hangnails is almost impossible to resist, but avoiding this habit is probably the best thing we can do for our nails. Messing with the cuticles around our nails makes us super vulnerable to infections.Cuticles need to be moisturized, DO NOT CUT your cuticles! Instead use cuticle oil with vitamin E on it until you can get the professionals to clean you up at the salon.
Getting A Gel Manicure
Gel polish might seem like the perfect option for you, but everything about it is bad for your nails. The acetone used to remove it dehydrates your nails, making it easier for them to break down while you dry your next coat with the UV light. Just letting your regular polish sit on your nails for too long is bad – we need to let our nails breathe!
Daily activities that damage our nails are often overlooked, like cleaning with chemical products and staying out in the sun. When I cleaning the kitchen every night I never put on gloves. And because of that my nails paid the price. So put on some gloves before scrubbing anything and apply moisturizer with SPF in it to prevent any harm.
The number one thing to do for your nails is eat a balanced diet with enough vitamins, minerals, and protein to nourish them properly. Make sure to drink plenty of water, too!