They say your fingernails are one of the things people notice during a first impression — which isn’t good news for those of us who battle to keep our peeling nails in good health. It’s kind of hard to keep things looking perfectly manicured when our nails are splitting and polished crackles right off moments after it dries. Not only that, when it a brittle nails breaks off, it can be pretty painful, too.
If dry, peeling nails are your struggle, there are things you can do to get them back into good health. According to beauty experts, these at-home remedies that include good old-fashioned TLC and some nutrition tweaks could be your ticket to better nails.
1. Soak nails in olive oil
For weak, thin nails, soak them in extra virgin olive oil 10-15 minutes a day for a month, then twice a week thereafter. This inexpensive home beauty treatment will help fortify damaged, weak or peeling nails. Unlike creams, oils do a better job soaking into the nail bed and moisturize the structural toenail bed longer than creams and gels.
2. Use a cuticle cream
A soothing cuticle cream helps nourish dry cuticles and brittle, damaged nails with vitamin E. Massage the cream into and around your nails nightly before going to bed. Cuticles can dry out from repetitive hand washing and manicures, so if they are not given extra protection with a nourishing cuticle cream, they will crack and split, increasing risk of nail infection.
3. Don’t overuse your nails
Your fingernails aren’t intended to be tools to open soda cans. Instead, use a pen or other object rather than your fingernails to do these everyday tasks.
4. Wear gloves for chores
When doing the dishes, cleaning and gardening, wear gloves. Detergents and cleansers are harsh on your fingernails, causing drying, spitting and peeling. Soil and gardening can also cause damage to your nails.
Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap is very harsh; instead wash with a gentle cleanser, which will sanitize just as well as harsh products and a good moisturizer afterward to lock in the hydration. At night, a thicker moisturizer on hands with a rich cuticle cream will keep hands/nails looking great.”
5. Eat biotin-rich foods
Make sure your diet features foods rich in biotin, such as liver, cooked eggs, whole grains, cauliflower and avocado, among others. In addition to other health benefits, biotin can help strengthen and thicken nails. You can also take a supplement, if necessary.
6. Take a multivitamin daily
Vitamins are essential for your overall well being and can do wonders for your nails too. Lack of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium can cause dry, brittle nails. Be sure to take a multivitamin and calcium supplements daily. Also be sure to eat a protein and calcium rich diet.
7. Avoid traditional nail polish remover
Don’t use nail polish remover more than once or twice a month, if possible. And never use a nail polish remover that contains acetone, which can dry and damage nails.
If your nails have seen better days, taking a break from nail polish can help to support healing. To repair damaged nails, sunlight is sometimes the best answer. Using nail polish excessively prevents vital sunlight from reaching the nail bed and may prevent nails from fully healing and regenerating cells. Sunlight is vital to our skin and also to our hair and nails as well.
8. Actually massage your nails
Massaging your fingernails stimulates blood flow to the area, helping them grow longer and stronger. Use a moisturizing lotion and massage hands, cuticles and the nails themselves.
9. Drink a lot of water (no surprise here)
Just as water is for your overall health, that goes for your nails too. Drinking water can help hydrate dry, damaged nails, just like it does for hair and skin.