Taking good care of your fingernails is important for reasons other than just making them look good. Proper nail care is necessary to eliminate germs that cause flu and other health problems.
Fingernails grow from living skin cells in the fingers. Keratin, a hardened protein also found in the hair and skin, is the biggest component in nails. With these five nail care beauty tips, anyone can have stronger, healthier nails.
Keep Nails Trimmed to Avoid Breakage and Snagging – The portion of the nail you can see is composed of older skin cells that are compacted as they grow out from the matrix underneath. Nails grow approximately 0.1 mm per day, but the rate varies according to age, sex, time of year, and individual factors that are unique to each person.
Nails grow faster during the summer, in young people, and in males. Fingernails on the dominant hand grow faster than they do on the opposite hand.
Nails are easier to clean when kept short with just a small portion of the white part on top. Clean the clippers with rubbing alcohol before using them to kill any germs that may be clinging to the blades. When cutting, position the clipper on one side allowing the curve of the blade to follow the contour of the nail. Follow the curve when clipping. You should need to make two or three clips to trim the entire tip.
Use an emery board or file to smooth the edge. File in one direction. Never saw on the nails with a back and forth motion. Trimming nails when they are dry can cause them to crack. Eliminate the need to soak nails first by trimming them right after a bath or shower when they are pliant.
Take Care of the Cuticles – Push back moistened cuticles with a cuticle stick or orange stick after clipping the nails. Use a gentle push and avoid jabbing them. Cuticles protect the nail bed against fungal and bacterial infections. This is why you should never cut them. If they are dry and cracked, massage in a small amount of oil after bathing or showering.
Polish, acetone removers, glue, and hardeners can cause contact dermatitis. If your cuticles are peeling, swollen, or red, apply an antibacterial ointment and avoid using any of these products until the cuticles are back to normal. You can exfoliate the cuticles with a solution made of oil and sugar. Massage the mixture into the cuticles using a circular motion.
Moisturise the Nails – Nails are prone to dehydration. This is especially true if you regularly polish your nails and use polish remover. There is no need to purchase a special beauty product to moisturize your nails. You can use the same moisturiser that you use on your face or body. Simply massage in a small amount to keep nails moist and healthy. This will also keep the cuticles from drying out. Dry cuticles can let bacteria reach the nail bed where they can cause an infection.
Adopt a Healthy Diet – A nutritious diet is just as important for strong, beautiful nails as it is for overall health. The same foods that promote strong, healthy hair growth will provide the same benefits for your nails. Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, can keep nails strong and strengthen weak nails. Get your recommended daily dose of biotin by adding beans, eggs, peanuts, bananas, salmon, and cauliflower to your diet. Protein is an important building block for carotene.
Protein is found in many different foods, but the healthiest options are whole grains, lean red meats, nuts, soybeans, chicken, low-fat dairy products, and eggs. Zinc plays an important role in the body in the production of hundreds of necessary enzymes. Some of those enzymes regulate the production of the proteins found in nails. Foods rich in zinc include green beans, lobster, soybeans, cashews, lean beef, and oysters.
Use the Proper Tools – Do not attempt to cut nails with scissors or any other sharp tools. Clippers should be sharp enough to cut through the nails with one snip. If they are dull, you run the risk of tearing the nail instead of cutting it. Fingernail clippers have slightly curved blades making it easier to create an oval shape. Toenail clippers are larger and have straight blades. Avoid sharing implements with other people to prevent the spread of fungus and disease.
Messy nails are more than just unattractive. Failing to care for the nails properly puts you at risk of infections and other serious health problems. Following these tips will ensure your nails stay in great shape.
For more on nails visit http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/nails/