The Right Moves
We simply can’t escape the aging process – and it even affects our nails. As we grow older, our nails become ridged, brittle and weak. To prevent further damage, OPI Brand Expert Jenni Draper suggests to “avoid over buffing nails, this should be done just once a month.” Draper also advises not to ‘seesaw’ when filing: “The movement causes heat, which will cause the nail to split.” Instead, gently run the file across the nail in one direction. Beginning at the outside edge, pull towards the centre and repeat.
Not only will your nails look ghastly and feel sore, but all that nibbling will misshape your nail bed making it shorter and the nail-free edge (the white bit) look uneven and messy.
Up Your Iron
Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in the world, affecting 15% of the adult population. Iron helps form haemoglobin, a molecule that shuttles red blood cells loaded with oxygen directly into your nails, and a lack of it can cause nails to become weak and easily breakable. Without it, your nails will suffer from stunted growth, so it’s best to load up on iron-rich foods such as spinach, chickpeas and dark chocolate (win, win!) to speed up growth and strengthen your digits.
That budget remover from the pound shop is killing your nails. They’re cheaply made and require more effort to remove, which in turn can make them dry and reduce moisture. It’s vital to invest in a non-acetone remover from a trustworthy brand and not to use it excessively. If you’re wearing gels, though admittedly it takes some self-control, don’t pull, pick or scrape the polish off as this can remove the nail plate, causing them to weaken and peel immediately.
Seal In Moisture
You wouldn’t dare to start the day without using a face moisturiser (we hope!) and you should take the same care of your hands and nails. Get into the habit of slathering on a hand cream (or cuticle oil) when you remember. Keep a handy tube in your handbag, in your car and at your desk for little reminders. And remember, if your hands are wet you need to up the moisture even more. We love OPI Spa Nail & Hand Cream for a grease-free moisture boost.
Too Much Water
Washing up and bathing kids can all take its toll on your nails as the soaps and solvents from the liquid can have a drying effect. We should all be popping on a pair of gloves before doing any of our household chores, but let’s face it, we rarely do. Try and get into the habit of wearing gloves – it will protect your nails from bad chemicals, keep them from drying out and also keep your manicure looking fresh.
We’ve said it umpteen times, but if you’re not drinking enough water, your entire body will suffer including your nails. Up your liquids and you’ll soon see a difference in nail growth (not to mention your overall health).
It’s not just deciding on the colour that you need to consider but the brand of nail polish too. According to celebrity and fashion manicurist Deborah Lippmann, “avoid using polish that contains a significant amount of toxins such as Formaldehyde and Toluene”. These chemicals can be drying and cause yellowing to your nail bed once your polish is removed. For best results, try Lippmann’s Gel Lab polishes (available at netaporter.com) that are infused with ten active ingredients that protect the nail while giving talons a glossy long-lasting sheen.
Get In Shape
Yes, this is a thing. According to Susan Gerrard, the beauty entrepreneur that brought Jessica Nails to the UK, the best look for your nails is a ‘squoval’ – a cross between a square and an oval. By retaining the sidewall of the nail (which is its support) your nails are less likely to break.
We all know that phones are harmful, but did you know that every time you text or type you are causing trauma to your nails. Any constant trauma can weaken the nail plate over time. If you can hear your nails tapping against screens or keyboards, it’s time to file them down to prevent damaging them further.
Pop a vitamin
If your nails are brittle and breaking regularly, this may be a sign that you’re deficient in a vitamin or ten! According to Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc, the vitamins from the food we ingest are dispersed to the areas where your body needs it the most. Skin, hair and nails are the last to receive them. This is exactly what led Green to develop the NailKale vitamin-enriched nail range, that gives a burst of Vitamin A,C,E,F and H directly to the nail. It’s like a vitamin shot for your talons.
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