Unless you’ve been living in some kind of cave for the past 20 years, chances are you’ve experienced the inevitable frizzing and dryness that inevitably follows a new, confident look on your nails. Well, we’ve got the news for you — the best tips and tricks to achieving naturally strong nails.
According to Dr. Cat Spery, founder of the Wonder Nail Spa in NYC, healthy nails are the ultimate confidence boosters. The expert beauty expert will give you the goods on how to treat your nails each day to keep them looking so lovely.
Here are Dr. Spery’s top tips to keep your nails supple, hydrated, and so much more.
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“Signs of an infected cuticle or an open wound include dry, cracked, and peeling nail polish and calluses on the nail bed,” Dr. Spery says. “Approximately half of all nails are infected each year, and over 75 percent of those infections are not treated correctly. Your goal is to minimize your infection risk as much as possible, and prevent risk by following the advice of professional nail technicians.”
To protect yourself against contagious nail infections, we suggest using a pH-balanced nail gel.
Prevent toxic substances
“If you are unsure as to what nail polish or other nail products can potentially cause poisoning, ask about safety regulations,” Dr. Spery says. “In addition, ensure that all nail products are properly labeled.”
A lactic acid solution, like Sencia Silver + Perley Rosso Nail Greens ($30, nordstrom.com), will help to counteract the lack of natural lactic acid in nails and keep them strong and healthy.
[…] even if your nail polish or other products aren’t toxic, this will also keep your nail strong and protect you from nail fungus.
Aloe vera can also help to strengthen your nails. “Try using aloe vera gel or saline baths, especially at night before bed,” Dr. Spery says. “Aloe vera has been around for thousands of years and has healing and hydrating properties.”
Protect your nails
To keep your nails from scaling, you’ll want to make sure they’re getting sufficient Vitamin C and hydrating vitamin E. “If you’re not getting enough of these ingredients in your diet, make an extra effort to make sure that you include both in your daily routine,” Dr. Spery says.
Speaking of your diet, a 2007 study conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC found that super rich diets containing foods like tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and nuts can help repair and strengthen nails.
Creams are also recommended to help restore color and hydrate your nails. Remember, quality is key: Look for a product with a heart-shaped design and textures that will help natural oils soften the cuticle and make your nails appear thicker.
Check in with your stylist
“Regularly ask your nail stylist about your nail health and their optimal application of in-salon products,” Dr. Spery says.
If your stylist is not a professional, inquire about weekly nail services at salons around your area that are certified by or have been certified by the American Academy of Professional Nail Designers (AAPND). Professional nail professionals are on the forefront of nail health and treatment, and many support the use of concentrated ingredients to keep nails vibrant and resistant to infection.
Treat damaged nails
The good news is that the holidays are only around the corner. And as you’ll no doubt be wearing a lot of winter fashion, you can always keep your nails looking beautiful with these hacks.
“Try daily deep cleansing with your loved one’s favorite cleanser and rinse,” Dr. Spery says. “The cleanser should be an antibacterial, vegan option and unique to your skin type.”
You can also use OPI Emerald Mist ($17, drugstore.com), a rose-petal eye shadow concealer that’s suitable for all skin tones.
To keep your nails from chipping, make sure they’re adequately hydrated. Alcohol-based products can lead to premature nail development and chipping, so instead, opt for a hydrating non-drying polish that’s gentle on the skin.
Barry M ‘s polishes are also a natural way to hydrate your nails and prevent chipping. A few polish-only tips include using an opaque nail varnish that allows you to remove the polish without affecting the nail structure. “This type of polish is non-drying, non-toxic, and can be pressed together by hand,” Dr. Spery says.
Or try a new brand like Frankford Nail Polish ($17, amazon.com),