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The Ultimate Nail Care Tips You Need For Healthy, Beautiful Nails

Nails are a rather overlooked part of our bodies. Unless it comes to manicures or polishing our nails or cutting them when they get impractically long, we don’t really think much about our nails, do we? Believe it or not, taking care of your nails is super important, because it reflects the overall health of your body. This is why you need to check out certain nail care tips, which go much beyond a manicure once in a while.

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Even though they might seem nondescript, your nails are a very important part of your body. The color, texture, nature of your nails can tell you a lot about the underlying problems that your body may be harboring. The nerve ending that are found in your nails are connected to places like your liver, pancreas, stomach, heart, lungs, etc. Strange discoloration, bumps, wrinkles or ridges, can be an indication of a much larger problem in your body. The whole point is- PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR NAILS!

Suggested read: Did you know your nails talk? Find Out What Your Nails Say About You!

On a lighter note, your nails are also an imperative part of your beauty routine, more so in recent times, when nail art and nail trends like gel nails and chrome nails and magnetic nails have taken over the market. However, you aren’t going to be able to flaunt these trends with ease and grace, unless you have a strong and healthy foundation to work on. When you take care of your nails, everything looks infinitely better, no matter what kind of style you have an affinity for.

Common Problems That Affect Nails

These were some of the reasons why you should take care of your nails on a regular basis. However, some other problems might also occur in your nails if you don’t take care of them, or because of other health issues. These require some serious attention.

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

 Examples of common problems and ailments that you might notice in your nails include:

  • Eczema and psoriasis in your nails
  • Ingrown nails
  • Infection
  • Brittle nails
  • Cracked nails
  • Yellowed nails
  • Nail fungus
  • Hemorrhage under the nail plate
  • Nail layering or onychoschizia
  • Vertical ridging
  • Hangnails
  • White streaks and spots in nails
  • Thickening nail

Simple Nail Care Tips You Can Practice At Home

I cannot stress the importance of taking care of your nails enough. Just like you take time out to care for your skin and your face and your hair, you also have to take time out to care for the nails on your hands and feet, not only to have healthy nails throughout your life, but also to maintain the standard of health for your body in general.

Thankfully, getting a manicure is not the solution to having healthy, bright and firm nails. You can do a bunch of things at home, which work better than a manicure. All the steps that I am going to jot down for you below are simple, easy, affordable and effective. Most of these pointers consist of simple and basic lifestyle changes that you can make, in order to not damage your nails.  However, do not be fooled by how simple these steps are. When you follow these steps on a regular basis, you could be doing your nails and your body an invaluable favor.

So without further ado, here are a few tips for nail care that you can practice at home, to get healthy nails, and keep diseases, infections and ailments at bay.

1. Clean and exfoliate

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Exfoliation is something that you usually don’t associate with your nails. However, it is a rookie mistake that you are making if you don’t regularly clean and exfoliate the area around your nails. Your skin is constantly shedding cells, as are your nails. These dead cells are often found in the dirt that accumulates in your nails and clogs the pores around your nails.

The best way to exfoliate your nails and the area surrounding it is by applying a small amount of mild soap to a toothbrush, and brushing your nails and fingertips with it. The soap cleans the area, while the toothbrush gets rid of any dead cells that might have accumulate in your nails and on your skin.

2. Take time out to dry your nails

Wet nails are more dangerous for the general health of your nails, than you realize. Wet nails cause problems such as brittleness, layering and yellowing nails. When water is accumulated under your nails, it also creates an environment conducive to the growth of germs and infection.

Use a cotton bud or a soft tower or a cotton handkerchief to dry out your nails after you have washed your nails, or after you have dealt with damp or wet things. Drying out your nails properly go a long way in protecting your nails from damage.

3. Clip your nails regularly

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

You have to prioritize the health of your nails, over the length. There is no point to growing your nails if they are unhealthy and unsightly. Just like you have to trim your hair from time to time to keep it healthy, you also have to take care of nails in a similar way, by trimming it regularly.

Make sure you use a clean clipper, every time you cut your nails. It is also best if your cut your nails straight, instead of in a pointy fashion (that’s out of style, anyway). That way, your nails will grow back infinitely healthier and stronger.

4. Wash your hands with lukewarm water

Inserting your hands in water that is too hot or too cold can have a disastrous effect on your nails. The vast difference in temperature from your body temperature can damage your nail tissue, and make it soft, brittle and vulnerable to attack from bacteria and germs.

If you are going to have to work with water which has an extreme temperature, try to protect your hands and your nails as best as possible, either by applying a base coat of protective polish on your nails, or by wearing gloves.

5. Don’t mess with your cuticles

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Your cuticles are the tiny bit of projectile skin that you find at the base of each of your nails. It is a very important part of your nail health and hand health, which people have a bad habit of fidgeting with. Doctors recommend that it is best if your leave your cuticles alone, because it serves vital protective functions for your nails. If you cut your cuticles, you dry out your nails and leave it exposed to attacks from infections.

From time to time, you can push your cuticles back after they have softened (usually after you take a bath) and massage it with cream or special cuticle moisturizers, to ensure they are healthy.

Suggested read: Want Stronger Nails? Here’s How!

Nail Nutrition

Apart from making lifestyle changes and taking care of your nails by not doing certain things, there are a few other things you can do to ensure that your nails are in top shape at all times. Sometimes, problems in your nails can occur not only due to external, environmental factors, but also because of the lack of nutrition in your body. Your nails are made of tissues, which require certain nutrients to stay in prime health, which is why I have compiled for you a list of nutrients that you need for the good health of your nails, and the common food items in which you can find these nutrients!

1. Biotin

Biotin is a type of Vitamin, which is also known as Vitamin H. it is responsible for the production of keratin in the body, which is the main constituent of your nails, your hair and your skin. It is a fibrous protein which you require in sufficient amounts, if you want healthy cells to keep replacing the dead and ineffective cells in your nails.

Biotin is present in abundance in foods like eggs, legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts, and a host of fresh fruit and green vegetables.

2. Protein

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Your nails are almost entirely made of fibrous proteins, which is essentially keratin, so consuming the protein found in food naturally not only helps increase the production of keratin in your body for healthier nails, but also makes your nails strong and resistant to breakdown and diseases.

Protein is naturally found in a number of food items such as milk and all other dairy products, chicken, eggs, seeds, green leafy vegetables, seeds, legumes and almost all nuts.

3. Nettle tea

Nettle tea has been used since ancient times to cure a number of health problems, and it is also known for strengthening nails to a great extent. Nettle tea is loaded with essential minerals, which are required for the proper growth and regeneration of your nails.

You can make nettle tea by boiling a tablespoon of dried nettle leaves in a cup of water, and consuming that every alternate day.

4. Tomatoes


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Tomatoes are a rich natural source of water, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and also Vitamin H and B17, which are also known as Biotin. All these are essential components required by your nail to function properly, and prevent diseases from attacking your nails.

Tomatoes are also useful for brittle and dehydrated nails, because the combination of high water content and minerals and vitamins makes it a wonder food for nails.

Nail Masks For Healthy Nails

We have learnt about general nail care tips and the various foods and nutrients you can consume when you want to take care of your nails. However, when we are eating stuff for our nails, and not doing certain things to our nails, it doesn’t really feel like an active initiative for nail care, does it?

There are a number of topical methods which you can make use of at home, which is like a natural manicure for your nails. These are wonderful natural things that you can apply directly to your nails for an immediately improvement in the quality and nature of your nails. Here are a few nails masks independent ingredients that you can use, when taking care of your nails.

1. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, and has important minerals which strengthen your nails. Massage your nails with tea tree oil, which you can also mix with a teaspoon of olive oil for extra strength.

2. Coconut oil

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

When it comes to restoring life to your nails, strengthening your nails, hydrating your nails and treating any underlying problems in your nails all at the same time, nothing works better than coconut oil. This tropical remedy is one of the most natural and effective ways of taking care of your nails, with minimal effort.

Simple massage your hands with coconut oil, and you will see the change from Day 1.

3. Lemon and olive oil

Both of these moisturize, strengthen and restore health to your damaged and discolored nails, and remove any residual buildup. Submerge your nails in a solution made of 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and let the solution work its magic.

4. Orange juice

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License

Orange juice provides your nails with a host of antioxidants, and it is also rich in Vitamin C, which helps improve the health of your nails drastically. Soak your nails in fresh orange juice mixed with a little olive oil or Vitamin E oil every day for 10 minutes to take care of your nails in the best way possible.

Suggested read: All You Need To Know About How To Do A French Manicure At Home

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar strengthens your nails and removes any microbes which have the potential to cause breakdown of nail tissue and other infections. Soak your nails in apple cider vinegar once a day, and see the difference within a couple of days.

The fingernail care tips mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the number of things that you can do to take care of your nails. However, the important thing is, you have to take care of your nails in the first place, and if you don’t know where to start, this should serve as an efficient guide!

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
The Ultimate Nail Care Tips You Need For Healthy, Beautiful Nails
Your nails are an important part of your body, and learning about these vital nail care tips are going to teach you the right way of taking care of your nails!
Aishani Laha

Aishani Laha

Bibliophile. Feminist. Unreasonable optimist. I am dangerously obsessed with the English language and the stage is my second home. I still believe in fairy tales and happy endings, and more importantly, that there is nothing that good music and a cup of coffee can’t fix.