If you ever feel as though your nails never look as good as you’d like, then it could be that they need a little extra care and attention. We’re not talking labour-intensive or high-priced solutions, but little adjustments and additions to your regular regime that’ll make all the difference.
Everyone’s nails grow at different rates, with the average being about an eighth of an inch a month. They also tend to grow quicker in the summer months – ever noticed your nails growing faster on holiday?
If you want to achieve your healthiest nails yet, we have a few tricks from the pros you won’t want to miss…
Take care of your cuticles
Dry cuticles not only ruin any chance of getting a smooth manicure, but they’re also a good indicator when it comes to the health of your nail. If your cuticles are flakey you need to incorporate a little cuticle oil into your regime. CND Solar Oil, £12.95, massaged into your nails at night will nourish your cuticles and make them easier to push back away from the nail bed, which also has the effect of making hands look younger.
Moisture your hands as you would your face
Our hands go through a lot, but regular hand-washing and the elements can wreak havoc on how they look, which is why they can be the first to show the signs of ageing. Keeping them hydrated is no joke and will not only keep skin supple and more youthful, but will help keep your nails healthy too. Skinfix Hand Repair Cream, £15.99, is formulated with natural botanicals to protect hands from dry skin conditions, but crucially also protects and repairs the skin’s natural barrier that helps lock in moisture – hello younger looking hands – and keep out nasty irritants.
Keep them in shape
When you file your nails do you move the emery board back and forth in a sawing motion? Well, that’s not a good move. While it may be a quick way to file down your length all that friction actually frays the end of the your nail bed – thus damaging it. It might seem okay at the time, but that fraying can lead to peeling and breakage as the nail grows out. Instead take your time and file in one direction using a fluid motion from side to centre. A glass file, such as the Leighton Denny Large Crystal Nail File, £12.75, is the most gentle way to shape and if you do notice any feathering massage cuticle oil into the nail.
Ace of base
It’s tempting to see a layer of clear base coat as a superfluous step in your manicure, but that layer of base polish is actually the most crucial part of your manicure if you want healthy nails. A little like skincare, a lot of base coats have problem-solving properties that can deal with your nail issues while you wear them. Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat, £8.99, offers solutions like ridge filling, colour correcting and even have ingredients to help supercharge your nail growth.
You are what your eat
We don’t need to tell you the importance of a healthy diet, but if you want healthy, strong nails then it’s worth making sure you’re ticking a few dietary boxes. Make sure your diet is rich in protein and includes foods such as beans, fish and nuts. If you’re looking for supplements to support your diet make sure they contain biotin, vitamin E and are rich in Omega.