We joined forces with Colorescience and skin expert, Patricia Boland, to bring you the ultimate guide to keeping your fingers and nails healthy — no matter how hard you work your hands.
Nails can be our worst enemies. When each nail finally reaches the perfect length and we find time to file and paint them, an entire evening avoiding any activity that could result in smudging can pass. But after hours of commitment, it takes merely one hour of gardening or a day at work before your beautiful new nails begin to split and break.
Fear not; we have expert advice from Colorescience that tells you how to grow and maintain beautiful nails.
Lack of iron
Weak nails can be caused by low levels of iron or anemia. Iron helps form hemoglobin, a molecule that shuttles red blood cells loaded with oxygen directly into your nails. Without this, your nails will suffer from stunted growth. It’s best to load up on foods that are rich in irons such as spinach, dark chocolate and white beans.
If you’re not drinking enough water your entire body will suffer — especially your nails. Dehydration is a major factor in many cases of brittle nails. It seems obvious, but if you want quick results, it’s best to avidly drink the correct amount a day which is around nine cups, or two litres.
Bad nail polish remover
Avoid supermarket own-brand nail polish remover. Not only will it require extra effort to remove the polish from your nails, it also reduces moisture which results in brittle and weak nails. If you are using nail polish remover, avoid those with acetone and always be sure to invest in a trustworthy brand. It might cost a little more, but the results are worth it.
Lack of moisturiser
Frequently apply moisturiser throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water will help nails stay healthy, but for strength, you need to maintain moist cuticles and finger tips. Keep some handy in your bag or desk at work and try to moisturise after handwashing for best results.
Here, we mean water that touches your hands from an external source — e.g. washing machine, sink, vase, loch, or fountain — not the water you’re drinking. Soaps and solvents from washing up liquid can have a drying effect on your nails. A simple solution to the household chore side effect is to pop on a pair of fabulous gloves that will protect your fingers from the bad chemicals and keep them from drying out. Think Kim and Aggie-style fur trims and bright colours — why not make the washing up fun?
Too many manicures
If you’re a nail fanatic, it can be hard to cut down on how many manicures you get each month. If you ‘re constantly powering your nails with acrylics or gel extensions, then severe damage can be inflicted to your nail beds, leaving them brittle and weak.
Always ensure you take a few months break between each treatment and use a hardener instead to build your nails back up to their natural state.
You pick your nail polish off
Peeling off polish and gel can remove the top part of your nails, causing thinness and spliting. It can be easy to do especially as your manicure starts to chip but if you do this an excessive amount it can take months for them to grow back in a healthy condition. If you see your nails starting to chip away, take them off with remover as soon as you can, so the temptation isn’t there.