Fingernails add a lot to our appearance. Whether or not you paint or polish your nails or leave them natural, you can still use your nails to make a statement and add appeal.
The nails are made up of protein which keeps them hard and strong, to protect the sensitive tips of the fingers. Often nails become brittle, cracked and dry. They can also show horizontal lines, white spots or be prone to peeling or appear rubbery.
These common nail problems actually come from deficiencies in your diet. Dryness stems from not drinking enough water, so make sure you get six to eight glasses a day. Exposing your unprotected nails to hot water too much can also dry out the nails, so wear gloves when doing dishes, and apply moisturizer to the nails after hot showers or baths.
Vitamin A and calcium are also essential components of strong and healthy nails. Without enough of this vitamin and mineral, your nails will become brittle, and start to crack, break or split. If you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet, you’ll start to notice tiny white dots appearing along your nails. Lack of protein results in white lines and ridges that form along your nails.
Keeping your diet well balanced is the best thing you can do to keep your nails looking their best. You should also keep your nails protected while gardening or doing other household chores by wearing gloves. Keep your nails evenly trimmed and filed, and push the cuticles back with a bamboo (not metal) cuticle stick.
Applying a good hand cream at least once a day is great for your nails too. Dab a little on each nail and rub it in, especially around the skin of the cuticle. You can also give your nails a hydrating pick-me-up by soaking them in warm olive oil for about fifteen minutes once a week. Olive oil is deeply nourishing and enriching for the fingernails as well as leaving the cuticles soft.
You don’t need fancy colours or manicures to have fabulous nails. Proper care and diet will have your nails looking strong, healthy and glamourous even without nail polish.