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September 19, 2023
Whether you’re a nail art enthusiast or prefer bare fingertips, having clean, perfectly groomed hands is an essential part of your overall look. Your nails are a reflection of your health and lifestyle. But like most of us, you’ve probably struggled on occasion with brittle, discolored, or peeling nails. Finding the right regimen can be overwhelming, especially when there are hundreds of products promising to deliver a flawless manicure. The good news? Taking care of your natural nails like a pro does not require a big investment — just a few easy steps and consistency. Here are proven tips to keep your tips in tip-top condition.
Trim and File
Regular nail trims are as important to your nails as they are to your hair. Yes, even if you’re trying to grow them out. Nails are less prone to peeling and breakage when the edges are smooth and even. To get the best result, trim your nails to your preferred length using a nail clipper. Then use a file to shape and even out rough edges. We recommend glass nail files, which have a lower grit than traditional emery boards and create smoother, snag-free edges. Emery boards can be too abrasive for natural nails, often causing microscopic tears.
Give Cuticles TLC
First and foremost, step away from the nipper. Contrary to popular belief, you should not be removing your cuticles as part of your nail self-care. Your cuticles have an important purpose and should not be cut or trimmed. They seal the area at the base of the nail and keep out germs and bacteria. Cutting or aggressively pushing back your cuticles can compromise the protective layer and increase your risk of nail fungus and infection. To keep cuticles healthy and groomed, soak your fingertips in warm water with a few drops of hydrating oil (avoid soap, which can be drying) to soften the skin. If you need to push back your cuticles, gently nudge them using a washcloth, then apply cuticle oil. Within a few weeks, even the most pesky, thorny cuticles will look smoother and hangnail-free.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
One of the most important things you can do to strengthen and protect your nails is apply cuticle oil every day. Just as you condition your hair to prevent over-drying, you should always keep your cuticles moisturized. Hair and nails are made of the same keratin proteins and are susceptible to dehydration. Daily activities like washing your hands and cleaning dishes can weaken your nails and deplete them of moisture. Invest in a pair of cotton-lined rubber gloves to wear during housework, and keep hand cream or cuticle oil on your sink next to the hand soap to make application convenient. The more you hydrate, the healthier your nails will be.
Take a Breather
Sometimes going bare and natural is just the thing that your nails need to stay healthy. Fingernails are delicate, so it’s important to give them a chemical-free break between manicures. Regular exposure to acetone polish remover can weaken your nails, and constant varnishing can damage or stain your nails. If you notice changes in your nails (discoloration, white spots, inflammation, or ridges), resist the temptation to cover them up with a coat of polish. They could be signs of underlying health issues, so visit a doctor if the issues persist.
Give Nails a Facial
Exfoliation might sound like something reserved for your face, but it’s an essential part of maintaining healthy fingernails. Mild glycolic acid nail treatments, like the one found in Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System, gently remove superficial damage and dead cells at the surface of your nails. This step also helps nutrients and moisture penetrate more effectively. Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System works in under 10 minutes, combining exfoliation, hydration, and strengthening ingredients to revitalize nails while delivering a shiny finish without polish.
Nail care is a simple yet important step to ensuring you have healthy fingernails that look great. Spending a little extra time on your nails is a worthwhile investment that will ultimately allow you to grow long, healthy, and beautiful nails.