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Winter can be harsh on our nails. Winter is great for keeping our skin moisturized, but these dry, brittle nails can prove to be a real pain when it comes to keeping our toes and fingers looking their best. To help prevent split nails from happening in the first place, I spoke with Sonya Dakar, founder of, about seven important tips and tricks that can help keep your nails looking healthy and healthy.

Use A Hot & Cold Brush

Before applying nail polish, try using a warm or cold brush to brush out the polish. “This will warm the nail and deter breakage while drying the polish,” says Dakar. It’ll also remove dirt and impurities off your nails, making your polish less likely to chip.

Prep Your Hands Before You Apply Nail Polish

Keeping your hands hydrated before you apply nail polish is essential for healthy nails. “When you apply polish or your moisturizer to your hands before nails, the fluid will make the polish more resistant to moisture loss,” says Dakar. It’s important to reapply your moisturizer for a smooth, flatter finish.


Wear Airplane Skins

Airplane skins are extremely moisturizing and help keep the skin on your fingers and toes smoother and more protected. “On a plane, the smaller pores of the mouth tend to create particles that become drier and more susceptible to irritation,” says Dakar. In addition, flying takes its toll on the immune system, so one of the main things that can ruin your nails is irritation.

Use A Nail Polish Remover

Dakar recommends trying to use a nail polish remover with no petroleum — a petroleum-based remover will break off the nail varnish and cause a dry, cracked finish. Instead, Dakar recommends using a base coat to ensure your polish lasts until your next appointment.

Let Your Nails Fall Below The Line

Without proper hydration, dry, cracked nails will fall below the line. But before you know it, it’ll start to chip and split. “You want to give them as much time as you can before you do anything drastic such as using a nail clipper,” says Dakar.

Lock Your Shells Together

Next, keep your shells together and away from the skin. This will prevent a leaky nail of any size (like my problem “nails” that split one at a time), providing more heat protection for your nails and preventing an early breakage.

Use A UV Shower Gel

Do you ever have a skin cream or balm with sunscreen?

You should also apply a UV shower gel (like one from Laser Styling or Dermalogica) before getting into the shower to protect your face and, more importantly, keep your skin hydrated from above.

Use A UV Light Treatment

If you’re prone to breakouts, sunscreen is an obvious choice. But you should try one of these more “organic” sunscreen sprays to get the most protection. For example, try Earthshine ($35).