No amount of color, shine, or glitter will ultimately conceal cracked or brittle nails. A manicure over a fungal infection may only make matters worse. Learn some of the easiest ways to keep your nails healthy.
A healthy diet is key to maintaining healthy nails. Your nails won’t thrive if your diet is deficient in proteins, healthy vitamins, and minerals. You should be able to get all the nutrients your nails need from a well-balanced diet. Vegans and vegetarians must pay special attention to getting enough protein in their diets.
If you’re eating well and still suffering from brittle, weak nails, ask your doctor to recommend a dietary supplement that may help. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is said to have beneficial effects for nail health. But never start taking any supplement without checking with your doctor first.
Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
Cuticles form a seal around the nail beds that protects them from infection. Don’t cut your cuticles, and don’t allow your manicurist to do it, either. Moisturize with cuticle cream, and push cuticles back with a wooden stick if you must, but don’t cut them. Doing so can break the protective seal and subject your nail bed to infections.
Protect your hands and nails by wearing gloves when when you wash dishes or dig around in the garden. Protecting your nails from the harsh effects of detergents and keeping dirt out from under your nails means you won’t have to resort to using metal tools to scrape away the dirt. Digging too deeply to get grime out from under your nails can cause the nail plate to separate from the skin. The only way to correct this condition, called onycholysis, is to cover the affected area with a bandage and wait for a new nail to grow out. Instead of scraping with a metal tool, use a nail brush to gently remove dirt from under the nail tip.
Use a Base Coat
Getting the proper type of base coat for the formulation of color you’ll be using on your nails is essential. Gel manicures, especially, require a specially designed base coat to get the gel to bond and to protect the nail beneath. Liquid Builder Gel from DREAM Gel is formulated as the correct base coat for DREAM Gel polishes.
Use Sunscreen for Gel Manicures
Many gel manicure formulations require “curing” under UV light. That’s the same type of light that can cause sunburn and skin cancer. Although your hands and nails won’t be exposed for very long during an individual manicure, cumulative exposure matters. Use sunblock or wear protective gloves that expose only the nails for curing.
Finally, remember to give your nails frequent breaks: save the fancy manicures for special occasions, and wear only a light, protective clear coat most of the time for healthy, beautiful nails.