Start on the Inside
Your diet greatly affects your skin and nails. While you can’t change your entire lifestyle for one small area, you can add a supplement. Forget generic-brand combined supplements though, think simple, and go straight to the source. Flaxseed Oil (try the organic and local Waihi Bush range) is high in Omega 6 and 9 and is perfect for encouraging healthy nail growth and flawless skin. Just don’t expect results overnight, it takes 12-14 weeks for new nail growth to make its way from the cuticle to the ‘free edge’ so persevere!
Nurture New Growth
Your nail is essentially comprised of dead cells. Once you can see it, that’s it, it’s not going to repair itself from damage or lack of care so it’s up to you to keep it in the best condition possible. Apply a Cuticle Oil twice daily to feed new nail growth and keep your visible nail plate flexible and healthy. Try not to cut or tear dry skin around the nail too, as it will only get worse. Cuticle Oil will prevent hang nails and overgrown cuticles from happening in the first place.
Water is the Enemy
When your natural nail gets wet, it expands. When it dries, it contracts. The more often it goes through this process, the more brittle it becomes, and the more likely it is to break. Think of a newspaper that has been left outside in the weather and how the pages literally crack away when you touch them. Nails are the same, right down to the layers they are made of. The skin on your hands is just as susceptible to water damage – hot water takes away sebum, drying out your hands while cold water can lead to redness by causing a constriction and then dilation of capillary vessels. The best way to combat all this? Use gloves whenever you are cleaning or doing the dishes and ALWAYS moisturize after washing or sanitizing your hands (in lukewarm water!).
Speaking of Enemies – How About that Sun?
Apply sunscreen to your hands every day as part of your morning routine. Your hands are the one area of your body that is almost never covered up and so sun damage becomes more visible, and at an earlier age. Don’t worry about your fortnightly Gel Manicures though. High-quality LED Lamps emit only the necessary UV wavelengths required for your manicure. A full application is equivalent to going into the sun for 17 seconds – with only your hands exposed. Not such a big deal after all!
Treat Yourself to a Weekly Manicure
This doesn’t have to be a pricey salon appointment. File your nails, carefully push overgrown cuticle off your nail plate, and apply a mask such as the Provoc Manikit Collagen Treatment. It doesn’t hurt to pop into the salon every now and then either as there is nothing like a professionally trained eye to make sure your nails are in great condition.