Imagine a world free of hangnails, chipped polish, and discolored nail beds. Where your fingernails are perpetually shaped to perfection and strong enough to combat breakage no matter how many texts you type or how many jars require opening. We're all in pursuit of perfect nails, yet achieving them is quite another story.
If you're like most of us and find it difficult to maintain perfectly-shaped digits and polish that doesn't peel, there may be a few bad habits responsible for why you don't have the nails you want. In addition to the usual suspects like nail biting and using harsh nail polish removers, there's a set of practices you may be engaging in that could be standing between you and perfect nails. On the bright side, these behaviors are fixable. The first step is recognizing what you're doing wrong and the next step is committing to changing your ways. Cut these no-nos out of your life to finally get the nails you've been dreaming of.
Keeping reading to see what bad habits to break today to get on your way to healthier, more beautiful nails.
You're Touching Them Too Much
Picking at your nails, peeling the skin around them, and even over-grooming can be keeping you from having beautiful hands. There's a psychological reason behind why nail picking is so addictive. It's a hard habit to break even when we know it's detrimental to our nail health (and attractiveness) and can even lead to infection. Relaxation techniques can help ease you out of the habit. As for over-grooming, meticulously cutting cuticles and snipping away hangnails can do similar damage, exposing your fingers to infections and actually exacerbating the problems you're trying to correct. If hangnails are a problem, moisturize as necessary with a hand cream and let your fingers heal themselves.
You're Overdoing It With Gel Manicures
Gel manicures are a godsend for anyone whose nails are prone to chipping. They're convenient and durable and make the results of your hard-earned money last so much longer than their simpler alternative. However, gel manicures are damaging to nail cells, stripping layers away and causing nail thinning. Those white patches you see on your nails? Those brittle ridges and uneven finishes? While gel manicures certainly beautify your nails while they're on, their aftermath is decidedly less appealing. If you get gel manicures regularly, switch it up with regular polish between sessions to give your nails a much-needed break. Invest in a cuticle oil to replenish dehydrated nails and better yet, take a full hiatus from nail polish for a while to let your nails recover.
You're Keeping Them Too Long
While long nails may seem glamorous and an indicator of health, the truth is growing them out can be counteractive. The longer your nails are, the more likely they are to snag and break. Additionally, there's more surface area for debris to get caught under the nail, putting you at risk for infection. It's significantly more sanitary to have shorter nails, and luckily, the look is in.
You're Not Eating Right
Your diet greatly impacts your nail health. The better you eat, the stronger and more attractive your nails will be. Dark, leafy greens can help cure brittle nails and vegetable oils like soybean oil and sunflower oil can counteract peeling.
Have any tips of your own for keeping your nails strong, healthy, and beautiful? Share your nail care no-nos (and musts) with us in the comments.