Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Key To Healthy Nails!

This started as a post just about OPI's Nail Envy, but I decided that it may be better to include more things that can be done to maintain healthy nails - or get healthy nails if you don't already have them.

During my first year of university I decided I wanted to become part of the 'acrylic club' and get my nails done at a cheap nail salon down the road from my halls. As great as my nails looked, after a few months I finally took them off and was horrified with the state of my natural nails!

I have never liked really short nails, I don't like how they look on me or how they feel against things (I'm not sure if this is just me being weird or if other people feel this way too!). But I could not grow my nails after having acrylic nails for soo long as they were extremely soft and brittle. OPI's Nail Envy was my saviour! It took some time, but after regular use of Nail Envy my nails eventually got into better shape. I apply two coats normally, or one coat if my nails are feeling strong already and I am using nail polish over the top. I honestly cannot recommend this product highly enough for people with problem nails. Even though my nails are healthy now, I still use mine regularly.

In addition to using Nail Envy, I made sure I was using something to ensure I had healthy cuticles as well. Most cuticle oils seem to have worked well, but two of my favourite products for my cuticles are Elizabeth Arden's limited edition 8 Hour Balm and Lush's Lemony Flutter. Hydration = Healthy!

Take care with how you shape your nails. When you file them, use soft strokes and try go mostly in one direction. Excessive back and forth filing can weaken your nails. Also, DON'T file the tops of the nail! It may be tempting if you have ridges or a nail polish that is difficult to get off but resist the temptation. For ridges, and perhaps the odd stubborn glitter polish, use a proper buffing tool. This is what I like to use.

It may sound silly, but your diet can play a role in the health of your nails. A healthy diet and supplements if needed can aid in strengthening your natural nails. I wouldn't say it is the most effective way of maintaining good nails, but it certainly doesn't hurt!

If you want nail enhancements, go for a soft gel/soak off product, OPI's Gelcolor is my favourite. They are not that good for your nails, but I wouldn't say that they are bad, certainly not as bad as acrylic. Just make sure that you (or the salon you go to) are using the right product when soaking off the gels. A lot of places may use acetone, this is used when removing acrylic and weakens the nails. OPI have their own soak off solution that is free of acetone; an acetone-free soak off solution will ensure minimal damage to the natural nail.

Also, when removing nail polish, use an acetone-free remover, like this. It is a harsh chemical that is not needed most of the time!

Do not put unnecessary strain on your nails. Avoid opening cans etc with your nails! When using cleaning products or washing up, use gloves. Chemicals from cleaning products and the process of washing the dishes are both things that take their toll on your nails, so whip out some marigolds!

I hope you have found this helpful. I know I could have done with a post like this when I was working out how to strengthen my nails after having acrylics!

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