10 Easy beauty hacks for dry, brittle nails
If you’re anything like us, you don’t pay enough attention to your nails. Sure, manicures are great. It’s fun to choose fancy colors, different designs, and indulge in a little TLC. But do you remember to pay proper attention to your nails on a daily basis? We didn’t think so – us neither. And getting manicures on a regular basis is expensive. That’s money that could be spent on more important things, like clothes and shoes! However, just like your hair, face, and lips, your nails need attention too (especially in the cold). We’ve put together a list of ten easy tips and tricks to bring your dry, brittle nails back to life, without breaking the bank.
Give your nails a breather!
No more gels or shellac, at least for a while. Just like you wouldn’t go to sleep every night with a face full of makeup, it’s bad to keep your nails in a constant rotation of different polishes and add-ons. Adding glues and gels to your nails is drying, causes discoloration, and the removal ends up stripping the top layers of your nail bed. The best way to start loving your nails properly is giving them a clean slate!
This one is so easy to do and makes a huge difference. Have some hand lotion handy? That’s a great place to start. Got any olive oil or coconut oil in the cupboard? Rub a few drops into your cuticles for some deep conditioning. If you’re worried that your nails are beyond the extent of regular household items, don’t fear: Burt’s Bees is here. Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream is unbee-lievable (sorry!) when it comes to reviving helpless nail beds. It’s luxuriously thick, and has a delicious, natural citrus scent. Apply to your nails liberally, and let the moisture do its thing.
Clip, file, and repeat!
You may absent-mindedly bite your nails, or pick at your cuticles from time to time. This is something that everyone does, and no one admits to (we’re looking at you, Lohan). It’s a terrible habit, and we all know it. There are methods floating around that can help you kick the habit, but we think the best option is prevention. If your nails are nicely trimmed and groomed, then it’s far less likely there will be an offending hang nail or dry skin to be picked at.
Use a nailbrush
Here’s our logic on this one. First off, who likes having dirt under their nails? It’s gross, and it looks almost as bad as chipped nail polish. More importantly though, if you don’t see dirt under your nails, you’re far less likely to pick, bite, or compromise the integrity in any way – the approach is similar to that of step three. Keep those nails looking fresh, and then forget about ‘em and let them grow!
Hire a maid
Okay, we’re kidding (unless you have the means to hire a maid, in which case, can we be friends?). What we really mean is: be incredibly careful to avoid letting your hands come in contact with cleaning products. The chemicals are incredibly drying and harsh – your nails will be holding a grudge against you for days afterwards. If you can’t avoid chores and cleaning (like most of us), wear rubber gloves to keep your hands safe and soft.
Biotin is everything
Even if you haven’t heard of Biotin, you’ve almost definitely ingested some (maybe even in the last few hours). Biotin is a natural complex found in eggs, nuts, legumes, milk, and meat. It contains fatty acids and vitamin E, which are fantastic for the health of your nails (and your hair and skin, as an added bonus). If you feel like your nails are still lacking in vitamins after eating all the aforementioned foods, then it might be time for the big guns. Invest in some Biotin vitamins, and get ready for nails of steel. Don’t worry…they come in cherry flavor!
See guys? It really all does tie back in to moisture. Keeping your body hydrated all day, every day will show improvements in your skin, hair, and yes – your nails. While keeping yourself hydrated on the outside is equally important (i.e. moisturizing) – you’ve got to make sure you drink water too. Carry a bottle around with you, refill it periodically, and don’t put it down until it’s empty!
Choose the right products
We know, we can’t keep you nail polish-free forever. When you do inevitably choose to wear nail polish and then remove it, make sure to look for nail polish removers that are soft on hands, preferably with aloe or vitamin E. Many stores also carry serums and polishes that are strengthening, or marketed for weak, brittle nails. Use these polishes to grow your nails out without having to worry about breakage.
Don’t forget gloves!
According to hand models, gloves are often overlooked but very important. In addition to moisturizing approximately 20 times daily, hand models claim to wear gloves whenever their hands are not in use. It’s a good way to prevent damages, scratches, broken nails, and dryness – and keeps you nice and warm, too!
Have you ever seen the relative age difference between Madonna’s hands and her face? So, okay, a little filler and surgery probably have something to do with it. But we’re willing to wager that Madonna’s hands would be in much better shape if she had known to apply sunscreen to them every day. Sunscreen will prevent age spots, wrinkles, and discoloration – and it’ll keep people guessing about your age for many years to come.