Advice for when you haven’t quite nailed it.
We all love treating ourselves to a shiny new manicure or pedicure now and then, but just because your nails look good, doesn’t mean they are healthy underneath all that polish. Take the time to really evaluate your nail health, and follow our definitive guide to resurrecting your ragged nails.
Table of Contents
DO: Use acetone-free nail polish remover.
When it’s time to clean off your varnish or gel, make sure to use acetone-free remover (instead of peeling off the gel.) Acetone is a highly toxic ingredient that is bad for your body and is also very flammable.
DON’T: Use harsh nail care products.
Fast-drying sprays, harsh polish removers, and even harsh dish soap can all damage your brittle nails. It’s best to limit use of these products or pro-actively wear rubber gloves.
DO: Use moisturizer frequently.
Moisturized nails are happy nails. Make sure to use hand lotion often and rub it into your fingernails and cuticles in the process.
DON’T: Bite your fingernails at the cuticles.
These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection. No one wants that!
DO: Apply a protective layer before painting your nails.
Applying a nail hardener as a base layer and top coat is a great way to help strengthen nails. If you can go a few weeks without polish, applying a protective layer over natural nails will put you on the fast track to strong nails.
DON’T: Get acrylic or gel nails too often.
Wearing regular nail polish isn’t going to harm your healthy nails (although you probably should give your nails a break on the polish periodically.) However, applying gel or acrylic nails requires the use of direct UV light onto your skin, which is known to cause skin cancer. This type of nail application will also wear and tear your nails over time.
DO: Trim your nails regularly
Trimming nails regularly helps you to maintain healthy nails and helps to avoid snagging or breaking. Make sure to trim your nails every few weeks and then use a fine file to smooth out the edges of your nails. Just don’t do it in public – ew.
DON’T: Wear shoes that are too small.
Wearing shoes that are too small on you is not only uncomfortable, but also leads to problems like blisters, toenail fungus (yuck!), bunions and calluses. With comfy shoes, your toenail will have room to breathe, grow and stay in tip-top form.