Having healthy, strong fingernails is important to maintaining your appearance and to feeling good about the way you look. Even if you don’t have regular manicures, you still want your nails to look healthy and strong. Like your skin and hair, your nails are subject to damage from lots of environmental exposures like sun and dry air as well as the effects of age,
and if you don’t take extra steps to care for them, they can easily become dry, cracked and brittle. Plus, regular hand-washing saps even more moisture and nutrients from your nails and cuticles – and if you wash dishes by hand without wearing gloves, that damage is compounded.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent damage and protect your nails. Here are a few “best practice” tips to help keep your nails looking their healthy best:
- Wear gloves when you do dishes. Even if you just do a quick “pre-dishwasher” rinse, it’s important to keep your hands protected from harsh detergents and hot water that can leach nutrients and moisture from your nails and cuticles.
- Use cuticle cream regularly. Rub it in to the base of each nail at least once each day. The cuticle is vital to nail health, and massaging it with a special moisturizer keeps it supple so it’s ready to support nail growth.
- Take biotin. Biotin is a B vitamin (although some people refer to it as vitamin H), and it’s been shown in studies to help prevent brittle nails. While it won’t make your nails grow any faster, it can provide important nutrient support to prevent nails from cracking, splitting and tearing while they’re growing.
- Moisturizers like Lac-Hydrin that contain lactic acid can be especially effective in preventing nail splitting, cracking and breakage. Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that provides a healthy dose of natural moisture. Massage it into the nail beds and cuticles throughout the day, and especially after exposing your hands to soap and water, to get the most benefits.
- Wear insulating gloves in the winter to protect your cuticles as well as the rest of your hands from harsh, dry air.
Healthy nails deserve good-looking hands; if your hands are starting to show signs of aging or you have age spots or sun spots, we can help. Give us a call today and find out about all the options for caring for your nails and hands so you can look and feel your best.