Even if you have brag-worthy, baby bottom smooth nails, keeping them strong and in tip-top shape is a completely different story.
Sure, your fingertips might not feel brittle or dry to the touch, but that certainly doesn’t mean that nail care should be placed on the back burner.
After all, you wouldn’t skip your daily skincare routine just because your acne isn’t flaring up, right? Well, the same applies when caring for your nails. Regular nail care is of the utmost importance to keep chips, dryness, and breakage at bay.
Here are nine awesome tips to help nourish and strengthen your nails.
1. Trim Your Nails Regularly
Just as your gorgeous locks need a trim to be healthy and grow, so do your nails. Keeping your nails on the short side helps prevent chips, cracks, and splits because there are fewer exposed edges to snag and tear — especially if you use a nail file, too.
There’s quite a bit that can be left up to your preference when cutting their nails. Still, if you want to keep yourself from getting stuck in an unhealthy situation, most experts generally recommend trimming your natural nails every one to two weeks.
2. Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
You might think that if you can see your cuticles, you should remove them, but it turns out this thin tissue that grows tightly over your nail is best to be left uncut. Why?
Because the cuticle is the natural protective seal to bacteria, fungus, and irritation — and once you breach that, protection is lost. This won’t only leave your cuticles looking far worse, but it may also land you a not-so-wonderful infection that can harm your nail bed and cause permanent damage.
If you don’t like the look of your long cuticles, simply push them back gently instead of snipping them away entirely. Trust us; your nails will thank you later!
3. Drink Plenty of H2O
Just as hydration directly affects the overall health of your skin, the amount of H2O you drink also influences your nail strength and health.
Without adequate moisture, nails can become brittle and peel easily. Drinking plenty of water helps them to retain water, stay healthy, and keep dryness at bay.
Oh, and did we say moisturize?
Moisturizing your nails will help to keep them strong, especially if they are prone to dryness, flakiness, and irritation. Opt for hand creams and lotions, moisturizing cuticle oils, or vitamin E oil to keep your nails and cuticles healthy.
5. Bump Up Your Biotin
Studies show that brittle nails prone to peeling, cracking, and breakage could be a sign of biotin deficiency, so bumping up your biotin intake could prove to be beneficial for the health of your nails.
While there’s no hard-fast rule as to how much biotin should be taken daily to reap the benefits of this essential B vitamin, one study found that folks taking 2.5 mg of biotin a day experienced a 25 percent increase in the thickness of their nails. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about consuming biotin.
6. Cut Down on Gel and Acrylic Nails
There’s nothing we love more than some cool nail art, but if you’re seeing your manicurist for acrylics or gel on the reg, it’s time to give your nails a break. Why? Because frequent acrylic or gel manicures can cause your nails to peel and chip, ultimately causing them to weaken in the process.
The UV light used to dry gel nail polish also carries a potential risk for both premature aging and skin damage. With this in mind, experts recommend applying sunscreen to the hands twenty minutes before an appointment at the nail salon as a preventative measure.
7. Bump Up Your Iron Intake
Did you know that approximately 10 million people in the United States are iron deficient? Yup, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s estimated that one-third of all women of reproductive age are anemic.
While many things can lead to unhealthy nails, if yours are becoming concave and look scooped away from the finger, they could be trying to tell you that you’re lacking in the iron department.
To give your body the iron it needs to keep your nails strong, load up on healthy foods that are rich in the essential nutrient, such as:
- Dark leafy greens
It’s always best to get your nutrients through healthy whole foods, but eating a complete diet can sometimes be much easier said than done — especially if you have kids or a busy work schedule. To ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your nails need to stay strong and healthy, you may want to consider a good quality supplement such as Daily Love Multivitamin + XOmegas™.
A multivitamin for women with extra support for immunity, managing stressing stress, food cravings, and PMS, our Daily Love supplement is packed with a ton of total body nourishing nutrients, including iron, to keep your nails chip-free and healthy.*
8. Ditch the Acetone
Believe it or not, acetone (the solvent responsible for dissolving nail polish super fast) is really harsh on fragile nails and can dry them out in the blink of an eye. This can cause chipping, flaking, peeling, and those pesky white, mottled marks.
So, to keep the integrity of your nails intact, your best bet is to go acetone-free. These formulas might be gentler and require a little more elbow grease to eliminate polish, but don’t underestimate their ability to leave your nails squeaky-clean. If needed, ask your dermatologist for advice on which nail polish remover might be best for you and your #NailGoals.
9. Load Up on Collagen
Your nails are made up of keratin, so it’s crucial to ensure that you get your fill of keratin-building amino acids — such as collagen.
While many supplements contain this essential protein, we recommend Call Me Collagen. This unflavored grass-fed collagen peptide powder is clinically proven to not only support nail growth and strength but also improve hair thickness and skin surface structure.*
A Final Word
Weak, brittle nails can be a total buzzkill, but there are plenty of things you can do — like staying hydrated and taking Call Me Collagen — to bring your nails back to life.*
That said, if you’ve tried various remedies without any luck, see your dermatologist as there could be an underlying culprit throwing a monkey wrench in your nail health. A doctor can run some tests and lead you in the right direction to healthy and strong nails.
At Love Wellness, we’re on a mission to bring clean, female-friendly products to the masses. Whether you’re looking for gut support or something to strengthen your nails — you can always count on us!
Biotin – Health Professional Fact Sheet | ODS
Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation | NCBI
Ask the Expert: Are the UV Lamps in the Dryers at the Nail Salon Safe to Use? | The Skin Cancer Foundation
Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease | PMC