Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have long, smooth, and strong nails at all times? However, vitamin deficiencies, manual work, and over exposure to moisture are all damaging factors. Additionally, it’s important to note that some commonly accepted nail care habits can actually end up damaging your nails. Here are some tips and tricks that will help keep your nails both beautiful AND healthy:
1) Stop Cutting Your Cuticles
One common practice is to trim or push back the nail cuticle (made of skin), for a better appearance. But the cuticle serves an important function: to keep fungus and bacteria (and everything else) out of the nail bed. Constant trimming can make them irritated, swollen, or even worse – the nail bed can become infected. Cutting cuticles hampers the fingernail’s growth and lead to ridges, white spots, and white lines.
2) Moisturize Your Cuticles
Because cuticles are made up primarily of skin, it’s essential to keep them moisturized. Suggested by The American Academy of Dermatology, petroleum jelly acts as an inexpensive and efficient way to care for the cuticles. However, given the fact that ointments like petroleum jelly are greasy and not practical, you could simply use your facial moisturizer. Whatever works for your face will work for your cuticles. The more frequently you moisturize, the better it will be. At night, try a cream for cracked heels, it works great and you’ll see improvement in just a few days.
3) Beware of the Well-Intentioned Manicurist!
If you treat yourself to a professional manicure, look out for the harsh chemicals they use, especially acetone polish remover. Acetone strips the nail surface and makes it brittle. In fact, in one study it has been found that women who had regular manicures were the most likely to have dry, brittle nails. That’s due to their exposure to more chemicals and harsher ingredients. Additionally, nail technicians aren’t always gentle with their manipulation of the nail and red spots may develop around the nails and the cuticle.
4) Forget Topical Nail Hardeners
What about the famous strengtheners and hardeners you apply to nails? It’s important to note that topical nail hardeners don’t genuinely improve the health of your nails. What we see on the surface of our nails now began long before those nails peeked out from behind the cuticle. There is a way to strengthen and harden the nails, and it starts from the inside. Nails are made of keratin, just like hair. Inside our bodies, we have cells that generate keratin (keratinocytes). As we age, these keratinocytes start working slower and less efficiently. The keratin they produce is of lower quality, and as a consequence, the nails become brittle and chip easily. For example, about 20% of all people and over 40% of women over 50 have brittle nails.
One compound known as choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA®), has been clinically proven to increase and protect collagen and keratin formation. A clinical study on women with rough, brittle nails was recently presented at the Italian Dermatology Society Congress in Bologna, Italy. All the women had brittle nails and 70% also had vertical nail ridges. In this 6-month study, 100% of the women taking two BioSil® capsules per day reduced the roughness and brittleness of their nails, while 83% reduced their nail ridges. The researchers felt all of the women taking BioSil improved the quality of their nails, determining 44% “completely improved” and 56% “much improved.”
For achieving the long, smooth, and strong nails, try taking two BioSil capsules or 10 drops a day!