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Nice Nails

By Gigi Steel

woman's hands holding nail polish being applied to her nails

Healthy nails are an essential element for a neat and attractive appearance. No matter what you are wearing, your nails will bring attention to your overall look. Nail care doesn’t have to be expensive, with a few good tips and habits, your nails can attract the right kind of attention.

It may sound counterproductive, but nails need moisture for strength and flexibility—which prevents breakage. After every hand-washing, use a moisturizer. In a pinch, waxy lip balm makes a nice substitute. Cuticle health is important to protect your nail bed and prevent infections. To keep your cuticles healthy, keep them moisturized and gently push them back with your towel after each hand-washing.

Eat healthy foods. Our fingernails are composed of protein and therefore need protein to grow strong.

Nuts, fish, and beans offer this important nutrient. Fruits and vegetables offer vitamins and minerals needed for healthy, smooth nails.

Don’t bite your fingernails! This habit can allow germs to enter your body as well as create unsightly nails. Don’t use your nails as a tool to scrape, pull, or open products. This can weaken and break nails.

Channel your inner June Cleaver for gardening and housework. Wearing rubber gloves will protect your hands and nails from chemicals and from drying out. For a spa-like treatment, slather a heavy moisturizer on your hands before slipping on a pair of rubber gloves.

While washing dishes, the warmth of the water will allow the cream to penetrate your skin and nails. When you remove your gloves, your hands will be soft and your nails will be nourished.

To avoid risk of infection, bring your own tools to a manicure appointment—especially polish. Although the tools are sanitized after each client, slip-ups happen. Nail polish brushes are not cleanable and can transfer bacteria.

File your nails in one direction to create a soft curve or a flat edge. Never “saw” back and forth. Begin at the outside edge and glide to the center. Choosing acetone-free nail polish remover will be less drying and harmful to your nails.

Now you’re ready! Don’t be surprised when you start getting compliments about your pretty nails.

young woman smiles happily about her nails


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