Gel Manicures: Tips for healthy nails and cuticles

Natural nail care is important if you want to have strong and healthy nails. There are plenty of ways to nourish your nails the natural way. It is important that you learn the best ways to keep your nails healthy. Here are our tips for healthy nails and cuticles:

Nails are made up of a hard protein called keratin and they have a very important function. Nails protect the fingertips and toes from trauma and injury. The nails also are a good indicator of your overall health. If the nails are dry and brittle, it could mean a vitamin A deficiency. If there are hangnails present, that could be an indicator of a lack of folic acid, vitamin C or protein.

The best natural nail care you can do is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to get your daily allowance of foods from all of the food groups. Dont forget to drink plenty of water. Drinking at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day will promote healthy skin and nails.

Nail nutrients can be found in the food that we eat everyday. Sulfur is one nutrient that helps nails to be more flexible so they do not break as easily. You can find this nutrient in cabbage, garlic, onions, fish and dairy products.

Studies have shown that biotin can be instrumental in promoting nail hardness and nail thickness. Foods that are rich in biotin include brown rice, peanuts, eggs, oats and fish.

Essential fatty acids are important to have shiny and flexible nails. The more flexible the nail the less likely it is to break. You can find essential fatty acids in salmon and flaxseed oil. Essential fatty acids also have other health benefits, such as preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol.

When caring for your nails, keep them trimmed to a manageable length and make sure you keep your manicure tools clean. Avoid clipping the nail cuticles. If you are trying to achieve a more natural look to your nails, massage a drop of vitamin E into the cuticles and then buff your nails to a high sheen.

If you should develop a nail fungal infection, try drinking a few drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed in water. You can also rub a bit of tea tree oil into the nails to kill the fungus and keep it from spreading to the other nails.

Avoid using acetone based polish remover if you can. Acetone is too harsh to be used on the nails. It will cause the nails to become dry and brittle and lead to breakage. Do consider other gel remover products such as gel magic remover. Using a peel-off base coat is equally more gentle on the nails too.

You can find many natural nail care products in health food stores and some salons. Read the labels carefully to find all natural products. If the label on the nail care product has a lot of chemical sounding names, avoid that product.

Finally, here are out top tips for healthy nails:

  1. Keep nails clean and dry.
  2. Cut nails straight across. Use sharp nail scissors or clippers. Round the nails slightly at the tips for maximum strength.
  3. Keep nails shaped and free of snags by filing with an emery board.
  4. Do not bite fingernails or remove the cuticle. Doing so can damage the nail.
  5. Do not use your nails as a tool, such as opening pop cans.
  6. Trim toenails regularly. Keeping them short will minimize the risk of trauma and injury.
  7. When toenails are thick and difficult to cut, soak your feet in warm salt water. Mix one teaspoon of salt per pint of water and soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Avoid “digging out” ingrown toenails, especially if they are infected and sore. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, see a dermatologist for treatment.
  9. Wear shoes that fit properly. Also alternate which pair of shoes you wear each day.
  10. Wear flip flops at the pool and in public showers. This reduces the risk of infections caused by a fungus that can get in your toenails.
  11. Wear sunscreen. Before getting a gel manicure, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your hands to prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging. This will help protect your skin from the ultraviolet radiation used to seal gel nail polish to the nail. Another option is to put on dark, opaque gloves with the fingertips snipped off before your nail polish is applied.
  12. Don’t pick gel nail polish unless you are wearing a Peel-off Base coat that is designed to easily be peeled off without hurting the nails. When the color begins to come off, don’t pick at the polish or use other nails or tools to remove it. Instead, follow proper removal guide here.
  13. Take a nail polish holiday. Allow for one to two weeks or longer to give your nails time to repair.

Consult your dermatologist immediately if your nails change, swell, or cause pain, because these can be signs of serious nail problems. It is especially important to seek immediate treatment for nail problems if you have diabetes or poor circulation. We highly recommend to see a board-certified dermatologist if you have concerns at all.

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