Hello Beautiful Souls!
How are you doing today? Would be great to know.

Today I want to talk to you about nails.
We all dream to have beautiful, long and healthy natural nails, don't we?
They are easily noticable so it's important to take care of them. There are many things that demage our nails daily.. We paint them, we get gel or hybrid manicure, we wash dishes, clean our homes etc.
But there are also many easy things you can do to prevent your nails from becoming fragile and brittle.

Here are some tips on how to help your nails become strong, healthy and beautiful.

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⦿ PREVENT THE DEMAGE

⋙ 1. Go without polish 1-2 times a month to let your nails breathe.
Wearing nail polish every day will dry out your nails for sure, it can also make them brittle, turn them yellow, and over time, even weaken the structure of the nail..
So it's really important to let them breath and rest for at least few days every month, so they can regain their strenght.

And at times you wear polish, it's a good idea to always use a protective base coat and apply your polish in thin layers.
Applying base coat will not only protect your nails from being stained by the polish, but also help the color look more saturated and opaque.

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⋙ 2. Limit professional manicures. Choose nail tips over full extensions.
It's more than certain that any nail expert you'll ask will advise you to stay away from acrylic or gel manicures.
Yes, I know they look amazing and they last 2 or even 3 weeks - but as long-lasting and convenient as they are they're also very hard on the nail.

But if you love having that kind of manicure, there are also some ways to minimalize the demage:

- apply the sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 before the procedure,
- try to use special gloves that expose only the nails themselves and shield your hands from the harmful UV rays.

ALSO:
If you must wear nail extensions - opt for just tips. They can cause problems too, but their potential for damage is smaller since they cover a smaller area.

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⋙ 3. Leave your cuticles alone!
Cuticles have a really important job to do! They seal the area at the base of the nail and protect your nails against fungi and bacteria.
So when you cut or remove them you leave yourself vulnerable to bacteria and the possibility of infection. You should really take care of them instead.

But if you're dead-set on messing with your cuticles then you should try to gently push back the cuticle once a week with a wooden orange stick after getting out of the shower and then massage them with a thick and creamy lotion.

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⋙ 4. Use your own manicure tools only!
Sharing files, brushes, and other tools is really NOT A GOOD IDEA. Why you ask? Because it can spread infection, and lead to puffy red cuticles and weak nails.

It's really important to disinfect your nail tools just as regularly as you clean your make up brushes - the best way to do that is to wash metal tools with soap and water and then whipe down with rubbing alcohol.
Also remember to regularly replace disposable tools like emery boards! They're easy to find and not expensive, so there's really no reason to continue using a tattered tool.

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⋙ 5. Take care when removing polish - avoid acetone-based polish removers.
It has been documented that acetone in nail polish removers strips the nails, causing them to become brittle. So if you already have brittle nails - it's best to stay away from any remover that has this particular ingredient in it.

Remove your nail polish carefuly! - never chip or peel off the polish, instead always (I mean ALWAYS) soak it with a nail polish remover until you can easily scrub it away.
Removers tend to dry out nails so moisturize afterward with nail cream, thick hand cream or olive oil.

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⋙ 6. Avoid rough emery boards.
They're old-fashioned and too harsh for nails - useing them can cause small fissures and cracks. So instead - use smooth and fine file. (Best choice? Glass nail file - just saying!)
Also try not to saw back and forth! It's better to file in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.

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⋙ 7. Switch nail polish brands.
Nail polishes are just like any other skincare or makeup products - not all brands are created equal. So try to read the labels to make sure you're buying and using a good product.

Avoid polishes containing toxic chemicals like:
dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene.
(they're toxins that can cause brittleness, splitting, and cracking).

Quick-drying formulas and nail hardeners can cause demage too! They dry out nails - so it's another thing you should avoid.

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⋙ 8. Change your shampoo.

I have to say I was suprised to read about this too!

But it's true, we pick shampoos that match our hair and don't really realize they may not agree with our nails.
And the detergent shampoos or those for oily hair are designed to strip lipids and other natural oils from the scalp - so additionaly they also strip oils from our nails and make them dry.

Though let's be honest here: do you think it's possible to find a shampoo that matches both our nails and hair type? I think it would be a miracle..

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⋙ 9. Wear gloves when doing dishes - limit contact with cleaning chemicals.
Wear rubber, vinyl, nitrile, or plastic gloves (some of which have a cotton liner) EVERY TIME you're cleaning with harsh chemicals, gardening, or doing anything that involves soaking or dirtying your hands. Cleaning dishes in hot, soapy water without gloves can weaken the nails.

Also remember to wear mittens or gloves when the weather outside is chilly, since cold air and wind can undo the effort you put into moisturizing your hands and nails and leave your skin dry, flaky and scaly.

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⋙ 10. Don't use nails as tools!
Let's be honest here we all used our nails as tools at some point, because we were in a hurry and the right tools weren't near by.. like for example we opened the letter or a box with them because we didn't have the scissors. Or we type on the keyboard useing nails when we should type with the pads of your fingers.

And this kind of practise is really bad for our nails, because there's a big risk of bending the nail back, among many other things. The white area of the nail will eventually weaken and break. So next time make a conscious effort to pay close attention to how you use nails.

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⋙ 11. Watch your nails for signs of health problems.
Most of the time nail problems are caused by environmental assaults - general physical abuse (typing or excessive use of fingertips), exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals or use of drying nail products.

BUT sometimes the condition nails can reflect a problem in overall health - here are some warrning signs:
> Yellow-tinged nails with a slight blush at the base - diabetes.
> Half pink/half white nails - kidney disease.
> Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate - lung disease.
> White nails - liver condition.
> Pale nail beds - anemia.

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Less serious signs of unhealthy nails
> Horizontal grooves - could be from stress, high fevers, or jamming your finger.
> Tiny white spots - you're either biting your nails or painting them too often.
> Peeling or splitting nails - could be dryness or the result of vitamin deficiency.
> Red, swollen skin around nails - could be from removing or biting cuticles.
> Spoon-shaped nails - could be a sign of iron deficiency or anemia.

Nails are super visible, so it's easier to tell if an issue arises.
If you suspect any health problems, discuss your findings or concerns with your doctor.

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⦿ STRENGHTEN YOUR NAILS

⋙ 1. Clip your nails regularly.
You trim your hair regulary so they become stronger - and the same goes for nails. It's important to takce care of them and find time to clip them every two weeks. Adjust it to more or less often once you see how your nails respond.

⋙ 2. Prioritize health over length.
I know, I know.. long nails look so beautiful, but if you ever struggled with with snags or breakage - you should keep your nails short at least for a while.
Shorter style with a rounded edges is a lot easier to to manage and looks neater. You'll be able to focus on building strength without worrying about anything else.

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⋙ 3. Moisturize!
Dry nails are prone to breaking, chipping, cracking and splitting, - it's the firis and the biggest sign they need moisture.
To reduce it moisture the nail bed, it will make cuticles look better and help protect nails.
It's best to use a mix of almond and avocado oils, olive oil or a moisturizing cream and rub into the cuticles daily. You can also use petroleum jelly or a thick, greasy hand lotion - it should help too.

⋙ 4. Eat a healthy diet.
Just like you can improve the clarity of your skin and the shine of your hair by eating a healthy and balanced diet, you can also improve and strenghten your nails too!
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals from food should be enough to avoid nail problems. Try eating more of protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts.

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⋙ 5. Consider taking biotin supplements.
Biotin may not have much of an effect unless you have severely brittle nails - but it may be worth a try. BUT it's really important to talk to a doctor first before you start taking any new supplements!

When it comes to biotin suplements the daily dose that is enough to strenghten nails is: 30 mcg. (but some people a much larger daily dose of 2.5 mg)

You can also increase your biotin intake naturally by eating more: eggs, almonds, sweet potatoes, and other dietary sources of this B vitamin

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⦿ FOODS TO EAT FOR STRONGER NAILS

⋙ Lean meats - like turkey, chicken, and beef.
They're rich in protein wich helps build strong muscles, but also does wonders for your fingernails.

⋙ Fruits and berries - especially blueberries, strawberries, grapes, kiwis, and bananas.
They're rich in nutrients, vitamins (like vitamin C, A and B6) and antioxidants.

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⋙ Dark leafy greens - like spinach, broccoli, and kale.
They'll provide your body with enough iron, folate and calcium to get nails back into amazing shape.

⋙ Other veggies - like sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

⋙ Nuts and seeds - like almonds and sunflower seeds.
They're rich in hefty dose of healthy fats that your nails might be needing.

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⋙ Milk - wich is rich in calcium and vitamin D that are needed to build strong, healthy nails.

⋙ Eggs - they contain B12, vitamins A and E, iron, and biotin (also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, and a part of the B-complex vitamins). So whether you like them scrambled, poached, fried or in an omelet - they'll give your body so much good stuff.

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⋙ Salmon - it's not only rich in protein, vitamins B6 and B12, but also biotin and omega-3 fatty acids, wich can keep your nails from splitting and breaking.

⋙ Beans and legumes - like lentils and lima beans.
They contain lots of protein, biotin and essential vitamins like for example vitamin B. They're also a perfect choice to nutrish your nails if you're a vegetarian.

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⋙ Whole grains - like brown rice and oatmeal
Brown rice is an amazing source of biotin, silicon, and cysteine, which all keep your tips in their healthiest state.And oats contain micronutrients like copper and zinc, manganese, silicon, and B-complex vitamins that are important for healthy fingernail and bone maintenance.

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And hat's all for now! Hope you're having a great summer!
Wish you all great weather and beautiful and healthy nails!
See you soon! xoxo

Check out my latest summer atricles here:

And my other articles here: