We take care of our skin and exercise, but one of the areas we tend to forget about – at least I do anyway – is our nails. And I’m not talking about going to the salon every week to get them done, but more natural ways to keep them looking fresh and clean, even sans color. Here’s what I’ve learned about overall nail health in case you’re interested…
Take care of your cuticles
A big part of nail health is making sure your cuticles are well taken care of. Moisturizing them frequently will help prevent hangnails (I love Vitamin E oil for a little DIY cuticle care), which I think we can all agree are so annoying. You also might want to avoid trimming them. Having cuticles trimmed can open them up to possible infection. At your next mani, ask your technician to trim up your nails and any skin, but avoid the cuticle.
Avoid chemical-filled products
Polishes and removers both can be filled with chemicals, so try to make more conscious choices the next time you get your nails done. If you want to whip up a homemade remover, all you need is one tablespoon lemon juice and one tablespoon white vinegar. For polish, you can try Pacifica or Zoya for natural alternatives.
Biotin is a well-known vitamin for hair and nail strength. You can find it in pill form or you can simply eat more foods known to naturally have it in spades. Eggs, almonds and lentils are all great foods to incorporate into your diet for tons of biotin. And speaking of your diet…
Check your diet
Nails are made out of keratin, which comes from protein. So to make sure your nails are strong and healthy, getting enough protein in your diet is a must. You can get this from eggs, salmon or a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts or brazil nuts. Antioxidants help too because they fight off free radical damage, which can affect all areas of the body. To make sure you get a daily dose of antioxidants, snack on blueberries once a day. Mmm!
Make an at-home strengthening treatment
If you’re looking for an affordable, natural treatment for stronger nails, skip the pricey salon options and just look in your pantry at home. All you have to do is use either olive oil or coconut oil, warm it slightly in the microwave and apply on your nails and cuticles with a cotton swab. Let it soak in for five to 10 minutes and remove. The nutrients in the oils, including antioxidants and antifungal properties, protect your nails and promote growth.
Anything else you’d recommend for a more natural nail health routine?