nails

Even if you get a regular manicure, your nails may still be weak and brittle underneath all the layers. If you’re not taking care of your nails on a daily basis, during simple day-to-day tasks, it’s quite easy for them to succumb to the elements. I’m no stranger to frayed nails with jagged edges that ultimately end up catching onto my stockings or sweater, and chances are you aren’t either. The following 5 tips help you to maintain strong and healthy nails.

Especially if you are keen on growing your nails out long (and keeping them that way!), these tips will surely help you achieve your goal. And remember, pretty nails are healthy nails!

1. Get Your Vitamins

Beauty is more than skin deep, and what you ingest is an indelible part of your outward appearance, including that of your nails. Biotin supplementation has been shown to have a positive affect on brittle nails and may be useful for those with harsh-looking, dry nails. Vitamin E supplementation has also shown to decrease nail brittleness. When applied topically, vitamin E exhibited the ability to decrease yellow nail syndrome and improve nail growth.

2. Water With Care

Water may help to clean your nails, but despite their hard surface, they are quite absorbent and soften when under water. Directly after taking a bath or shower or washing your hands, be sure to allow your hands (and nails) to dry before using them to peel or pick at something, as they are more vulnerable to breaking and tearing when wet.

3. Massage

The nail is fueled by the cuticle, which requires healthy blood flow to operate properly. Massaging the nails lightly helps to bring blood to the cuticles, increasing circulation and ultimately improving nail appearance and growth.

4. Keep a Nail File Near

Rough edges on a nail is recipe for a disaster. Whether it snags your sweater or stockings or gets caught on your hair, a nail with rugged tips is quite annoying. Unfortunately, it can also be quite dangerous. Quick, aggressive movements could mean the end of your nail altogether. To avoid a fashion faux pas and potential danger, keep a nail file near, either in your purse or desk drawer. This way, you are ready to smooth your tips whenever the occasion insists on it.

5. Be Choosey when it Comes to Nail Polish

While applying nail polish helps to thicken and thus strengthen nails, don’t just grab any old nail polish. Some nasty chemicals found in nail polish include formaldehyde, which is typically used as a preservative, a sterilizer and to embalm bodies and is a known carcinogen; dibutyl phthalate, which is used to make plastics flexible and as been linked to reproductive issues and is even banned in cosmetics by the EU: and toluene, which is traditionally found in gasoline as an octane booster and is used to make TNT, and it negatively affects the nervous system.

Related on Organic Authority

How Toxic is Your Nail Polish Really?

What Your Fingernails Say About Your Health

15 Cool Ways to Reuse Nail Polish and Their Bottles

Photo Credit: Lydia Pintscher