This is based on what worked for me. This information should not be taken as medical advice and if you are noticing issues with your nails, please seek medical advice from your doctor.
I am the kind of person who’s nails are always short, broken and plagued with hangnails, but that has recently changed for me. I believe this massive improvement comes in combination of a lot of changes I’ve made. That all being said, my nail painting skills have not increased much yet, but I imagine over time they will.
The first part is nutrition. Yes I know this is the most common advice available when it comes to skin and nail care, but there is a reason for that. Reducing and eliminating junk foods and massively increasing my water intake has done wonders for my nails ( and my skin! ). In short, I gained some weight during this period of self isolation and I had to make some changes to my diet which has led to positive changes in my health and my appearance.
The second part is consistent nail care. I do not buff my nails and I avoid cutting them. I much prefer file my nails every second day or so to stop them from reaching a breaking length. I do get acrylics every Christmas and every year I regret it because they file the nail so thin that it takes weeks after removal to have strong nails again. I keep my nails painted with a base coat to protect them and often add some colour for fun. My favourite base coat is shown above. It’s the Sally Hansen Strengthening Base Coat and it is my current favourite. I’ve used the Essie base coats and the Revlon ones but this one has been taking good care of my nails.
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I avoid soaking my nails in water as it makes them soft and they tear very easily when they have soaked in water. To avoid this I keep my hands dry as much as I can while taking a bath, dry my hands thoroughly after washing and while doing the dishes I use a scrubber to keep my hands out of the water. It is not always possible to keep my nails dry, which is why painting over the tip of the nail with the base coat is very important to me, as it increases the time before my nails saturate with water.
I stopped cutting my cuticles. This has changed my fingers so much. I use an orange stick and the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ( as seen above ) and it has changed my fingers from tender, rough and a little bloody to smooth and strong. I chose the Essie oil because it was inexpensive but if you know of any other great nail or cuticle oils, please let me know in the comments!
I file broken nails. As much as they have improved, I do sometimes still break a corner which leaves that sharp broken edge that drives me insane. To avoid me biting the nail off, I file down the broken area until it is smooth and re-paint the nail. This alone has saved my nails more than anything else. It does require keeping a nail file in your purse, but it is much better than me ripping my angry nail off.
I am very happy to have “pretty” nails for the first time in my life and hope to keep them healthy for a long time. I do keep my nails fairly short to avoid breakage as I am not always the most careful individual, but they are actually longer than they have ever been before.
As always, if you have tips or tricks you want to share, please do so in the comments!