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Finger nails are a wonderful thing to have, very useful for picking up coins or scratching an itch. Your nails also make nifty little windows into your health; weak, peeling or brittle fingernails can often be an early sign of illness or nutritional deficiency.
Taking care of your nails helps you avoid problems like fungal infections and ingrown nails – and we’ve got 7 practical tips for keeping your nails healthy and nicely groomed:
1. Practice Safe Housework – Wear Rubber Gloves!
Whether you’re pulling weeds or scrubbing pots and pans, housework is hazardous to your nails.
Physical damage, dirt and harsh chemicals can all do a number, so keep your nails protected by wearing vinyl gloves while doing chores. Apply lotion to your hands before slipping on the gloves and you actually soften hands while you work.
2. File Your Nails The Right Way
Filing your nails incorrectly actually makes them weaker. Avoid filing “back and forth”; instead, always file in one direction. What’s more, avoid filing your nails after baths or showers; nails that are wet are weaker and easier to break.
3. Apply A Base Coat Before Your Nail Color
When doing your manicure, always take the time to apply a base coat before putting on your polish, especially with darker colors, which can stain nails yellow.
4. Use Acetone Free Polish Removers
When you purchase nail polish removers, take a look at the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain acetone – or formaldehyde, either. Both chemicals dry nails out, making them brittle.
5. Add A Glass Of Milk & A Hard-Boiled Egg
Have you noticed white spots on your nails? It’s a sign that your body is deficient in zinc. You can increase the amount of zinc in your diet by eating a hardboiled egg and drinking a glass of milk each day.
6. Keep Your Nails Hydrated
Much like your hair, nails need to be conditioned and kept hydrated. For nails, it’s as easy as massaging a small dollop of petroleum jelly into the cuticle every night right before bed. Or keep a small jar in your purse and treat your nails anytime you think of it.
If you don’t like petroleum jelly, you can substitute castor oil or vitamin E oil. Don’t have any of these? Just grab a bottle of olive oil from your kitchen; it’s another great nail moisturizer.
7. Take Care of Your Toenails, Too
You should always wear 100% cotton socks, as cotton does the best job at absorbing perspiration away from your skin – that helps reduce the risk of fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Air out your shoes after use; you may want to sprinkle talc inside to absorb moisture.
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