Quarantine has not been kind to our manicures. Some people prefer clean and bare nails, which are versatile with most looks. But many salon regulars were caught without manicures and nail care. At the moment, your nails might be looking brittle, dry, flaky or yellowed. Don’t worry – we’re here to teach you about the ins and outs of strengthening your nails and making them look and feel healthy again.
1. Nail biting
This is a nasty habit that many people are guilty of, and often happens when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Apart from leaving you with uneven and stubby nails, doing this can transfer the bacteria on your hands to your mouth, as well as creating open sores on the fingers. Both of these things can make you sick. Our solution? Paint them. If you do a color, it’ll make you less willing to bite down and ruin your manicure. If you do a color, the flavor of that clear nail polish is sure to deter you.
2. Cutting cuticles down too much
Cutting your cuticles off is a common part of many manicures. But instead of using a cuticle clipper, consider pushing them down with the help of a cuticle oil, which softens skin and makes the pushing motion easier. Even using a cuticle remover is better for fragile nails – our cuticles are our friends, not foes!
3. Acrylic or gel manicures too frequently
They last longer, they look amazing, and hold up well for those who work with their hands. However, to make these materials stick, you need to buff them, which often thins out the nail to dangerous level. Plus, to remove them, you have to basically bathe them in acetone, which makes your nails look like stripped down boards.
4. Applying toxic polish
Nowadays you have to specifically request organic polish, because the stuff that’s in them nowadays can be scary. Amongst the ingredients on the back of your everyday bottle includes formaldehyde, which embalms dead bodies. If you can, always look for polishes that are 3/4/5 free (lacking certain chemicals).
5. Peeling off polish
Here’s a rule you should never break: remove nail polish only with nail polish remover. For many of us, it’s tempting to peel off your polish on your nails, but you’re actually forcing it off, which damages the top layer. This can lead to flimsy and weak nails. Consider investing in portable polish remover wipes if you can’t resist the itch to peel.
6. Poor diet
If you’re wondering why you have weak nails and you eat a lot of junk food, there’s your answer. Nails feed off your blood flow, so if you eat well, your hair, nails, and skin will glow. Consuming high amounts of sugar (we’re looking at you, soda and strawberry daiquiris) your nails will never be strong, no matter how many manicures you get. Instead, hydrate, eat lots of dark, leafy greens paired with a biotin supplement.
7. Relying on nails over fingers as tools
Nails are super delicate and not meant for heavy lifting. However, some people thing that it’s ok to open a soda tab, or pull up zippers with their nails instead of their fingers. Nails are bendable and break easily, so use your fingers. It might be hard to perfect this angle with a very long manicure, but you can start practicing now!
8. Not wearing gloves while doing dishes
Overexposing your nails to water makes them swell, which in turn leads your nail polish to come off faster. Not only that, but it weakens nails since the very fragile nail cells are constantly expanding and contracting. After showering, consider applying jojoba oil to the nails. And when doing dishes, always wear gloves.
9. Filing nails back and forth
File nails in one direction instead of swiping it across the nail both ways. This sawing habit actually splits the nails and causes it to break easier. Instead, sweep the file over the nail’s tip in one direction to shape. Hold the fail flat against the nail’s tip as you file.
10. Not moisturizing hands enough
Dry cracked hands lead to dry, cracked nails. To remedy this, carry hand cream with you and you’ll notice your manicures lasting longer and staying glossier. In the long run, this will create a protective barrier that keeps away both dryness and irritants.