Winter is the season when we experience dry skin, rough edges and brittle nails .When it comes to taking care of your nails, getting a manicure is not the only option. In fact, you must take care of your nails on a daily basis to get healthy fingernails which are smooth,uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration. Your fingernails and hairs are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin and both needs equal gentle loving care .
Exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals like soaps, shampoo, detergents , use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips, constantly picking and biting at the cuticles and everyday wear-and-tear of life breeds dirt, germs, fungus and bacteria under your nails which are mainly responsible for common nail problems like breakerage etc
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With just a handful of incredible natural ingredients in your kitchen store cupboard , you can keep your nails in the best of health without all the nasty chemicals.
4. Avoid Harsh Polish
You need to be very careful while picking a nail polish. While wearing nail polish does not harm your healthy nails but typical nail polish are filled with toxic chemicals such as Paraben , diethyl phthalates, dibutyl phthalate which cause nail brittleness, dryness, and thinning and are bad for the skin surrounding it. Always prefer water-based polishes, which don’t last as long but are the safest option out there.
Try your level best to choose natural and chemical-free nail paints that are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Avoid eating with hands that have paint on its nails as bits of the nail paint can chip and fall into the food, which will eventually go inside your body and cause harm.
Pick a nail colour remover that contains vitamin A,C and E to treats conditions that adversely affect nails and cuticles.
The cuticle (skin surrounding the nail) should be kept soft and smooth. Otherwise, it sticks to the nail and gets dragged as the nail grows .
GLOVES FOR PROTECTION
Whenever you’re doing house hold chorus like cleaning with harsh chemicals, gardening, or doing anything that involves hot, soapy water dirtying your hand , always wear rubber, vinyl, nitrile, or plastic gloves — some of which have a cotton liner .It not only protects your polish but keeps anything harsh or drying in your cleaning solutions off your hand.
Similarly, wear a pair of mittens or gloves whenever you go out your home particularly in chilling winter months specially if you live in high mountains areas which experience regular snow fall as dip in temprature can be harsh on your nails leaving them dry and brittle . Choose from a range of hand creams, cuticle oil/creams /oils to moisturize them regularly to make them strong,shiny and healthy .I will recommend puttingh cocunot oil around the cuticles daily to moisturize your nails for strong , long , healthy nails
Regular handwashing or use of hand sanitizer can dry out the skin and nail bed quickly, so try to moisturize after every wash, if possible. Coconut oil is excellent for rubbing into your nails and cuticles.
It is advised to wash the hands with lukewarm water to help keep the hands and nails soft and smooth.
Keep a travel-size hand cream enriched with fruit extracts or cuticle oil bottle at every sink in your home
The health of your body is reflected in the state of your nails . Nail problems are a result of a lousy diet, and issues like brittle nails result from calcium deficiency.
If you wants strong and health nails then include omega-3 fatty acids and multi-vitamins in your daily diet to preven splitting and breaking nails .
If you have brittle nails, include adequate protein and calcium in your diet. Take skimmed milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish and sprouts. Follow a ten-day programme of taking gelatin. Dissolve one teaspoon gelatin in a little boiling water. Cool the water and add it to fruit juice. Have this daily for ten days.
Also add vitamin E, protein, iron, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium to your diet in the form of nuts, beetroot, soy, beans, lentils, whole grains, greens, etc. for healthier and stronger nails.
Nails indicates signs of health problems.
Condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health .The color on your nails can indicate your inner health and strength and can also reflect problem in any organ in the body . The white nails indicate liver condition , half pink/half white nails indicate kidney disease , yellowing and thickening of nails indicates lung disease , pale nail indicates anemia and yellow tinged nails with sligh blush at the base indicates that you are diabetic patient
A weekly manicure goes a long way in keeping the hands in good condition. You would need a small bowl, an emery board (wooden nail file); orange stick; nail clippers; cotton wool; cotton buds; nail varnish remover, nail varnish and hand cream. First remove old nail varnish with cotton wool and nail varnish remover. If required, cut nails with a nail clipper. Then shape them into ovals, using the emery board. Nails should be filed in one direction only and not back and forth. Put some warm water in the bowl, add a few drops of shampoo and soak your hands in it for 5 minutes. Use a soft brush on the nails to clean them. Never cut the cuticle. Push cuticles back gently using a cotton bud. Use cotton buds to clean under the nails. Wrap cotton wool around the orange stick and push back the cuticles gently. Avoid using a metal cuticle pusher, as this can injure the skin. If the cuticles tend to adhere, apply some cream and then try to push them back.
Apply hand cream on the nails and cuticles and massage it into the skin. Wipe off excess cream with a moist towel. Then apply nail varnish, from the base of the nails to the tip. Three long strokes should be adequate to cover each nail. First apply it in the middle of the nail and then on either side. Two coats of colour will be needed for an even finish. First apply one coat of colour, wait for it to dry and then apply the second coat. It’s a good idea to apply a transparent top coat, as this helps the nail polish last longer. If you have brittle nails, avoid frosted nail varnish. If you have any infection of the nails, avoid filing them and using nail varnish. Seek medical attention without delay.
To protect the nails apply a transparent base coat first and then apply the colour of your choice. To add shine to dull nails, they can also be “buffed.” This is usually done with a piece of chamois leather. It should be gently rubbed with the chamois leather. It helps to remove the yellow tinge and also makes the nails shiny.
To remove the yellow colour, add baking soda to water and soak your fingers in them daily for 15 minutes. You can also take pieces of lemon and rub them on the nails. Or dilute lemon juice with water and soak your hands in it for 10 minutes everyday.
The author is international fame beauty expert and is called Herbal Queen of India