Brittle nails that appear cracked, chipped, split or are prone to peeling can be attributed to aging, health deficiencies like anaemia, hormones, genetics, seasonal weather changes or the long-term use of nail polish and remover or frequent exposure to water/moisture. Unfortunately is doesn’t take much to damage your nails as they’re even more absorbent and delicate than your skin.
To help improve or ‘fix’ the condition of your nails start with preventive care such as wearing gloves when you’re washing up or tending the garden, moisturising your hands and nails after they’ve been in water, keeping your health in check, having nail polish ‘breaks’ and opting to use acetone-free nail polish remover; then give them some TLC.
Here are some of our suggested home remedies and over the counter treatments to get you started.
Simply massage Vaseline* (we also like Lucas’ Papaw Ointment) gently on to your nails daily or apply a good dollop before bed then slip your hands into a pair of manicure gloves for an intensive treatment and faster results while you sleep.
Tip: Wearing manicure (cotton) gloves at night is an ideal way to get the most out of any oil/cream based hand/nail treatment.
*Best buy from supermarkets.
2. Olive Oil & Lemon Juice
This blend is also great for brightening discoloured nails.
Mix 2-3 drops of lemon juice with1 teaspoon of olive oil and massage* this mixture into your nails 2 days or more a week.
To take this treatment to the next level heat up a 1/4 cup of olive oil then mix in your lemon juice – 10-15 drops. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and place one over each of your nails securing in place with tin foil as you go. Then chill out with your silver tipped fingers for 10-15minutes. After removing foil and cotton balls massage in any excess oil.
*A massage improves blood circulation, making your nails stronger and healthier, promoting growth.
3. Beer Bath
Ingredients: beer, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Warm a 1/4 of a cup of olive oil, then add a 1/4 of a cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 a cup of beer and mix together. Now dip your nails into your beer bath and leave them to soak for 15 minutes.
Over the Counter Care
- Dr Hauschka Neem Oil
- Dermalogica Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment
- Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment
NB: Nails are slow growing so patience is required – it can take 3-6months before you see significant or total improvement.
**If your nails became extremely brittle suddenly it could be a sign of a health issue that may require medical attention…so visit your doctor.