Here at MAC’s, we love to give you our favorite tips on how to take care of your skin and keep it its healthiest, both at the studio and at home! But we felt it was time to shine a light on something just as important to care for- nails! Whether you are an avid acrylic/powder dip nail person, a simple gel polish gal, or even if you like to keep your nails bare, it is still important to give your nails the care and treatment they need! We wanted to share some tips on how you can keep your nails as strong and healthy as possible!
Keep Your Hands Clean!
This one seems self-explanatory and unnecessary to even be mentioned, but being sure to always keep your hands and NAILS extra clean will keep your nails happy and healthy as they are free of any dirt, debris, or dead skin sitting on or under them. One way to promote clean, shiny nails is using a toothbrush, or nail brush to gently scrub your nails and the skin and areas around them. This will gently exfoliate and rid the area of these unwanted particles or dead skin.
This goes for all steps or parts of your nail care and nail routines. Being too rough or aggressive with your nails, especially with the tools you use on them, can actually expose you to infection, which can affect your nail health and look even in the long term. In addition to this, if you do have acrylic nails or powder dip that is not removable with nail polish remover, it is SO important not to try to aggressively rip them off! This can do so much damage to your nails, and create a perfect door for infections to come in. Visit your nail technician to remove these nails, or research how to properly soak them off with acetone.
Trim Them Regularly!
Long nails may look pretty, but if they are excessive, or not trimmed properly, the wear and tear on the long nils can actually weaken them as a whole. It is recommended to trim your nails every two weeks. If you are starting to try to grow them long, be sure to still do this, and start with them short! This will build up the strength they need!
Get the Right Nail File and Use it Regularly!
The common emery board nail files can actually cause nails to snag and be damaged. Try a glass or crystal nail file for a gentler file that will create a perfectly even and smooth edge still.
Do NOT Remove your Cuticles!
As much as it may be a surprise, cuticles DO have a purpose! They seal and protect the area at the base of the nail. Removing them completely removes this protection, and creates a perfectly open area for infection to get in. To properly take care of your cuticles and groom them in a healthy way, push them back gently with a tool designated for this, or a small wooden stick after you shower, or after washing your hands in warm water. Massage the area with a cuticle oil afterwards.
Use Polishes and Products with the Right Ingredients!
Just like we have informed you in skincare products, not all nail care or polish products are made with the best or most healthy ingredients. Check out the products you are using and steer clear of products and polishes that contain harsh chemicals and toxins like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene. Ingredients like this can actually contribute to cracking, brittleness, and breakage. If you are using a shampoo or soap meant for oily hair or skin, this may be helping your hair and skin, but HARMING your nails! These products are designed to strip the area from oils, and when constantly getting rubbed into your nails while washing, this could be contributing to their dry, brittleness!
Moisturize your Hands and Nails Daily!
Another one that many of you likely do every single day! Of course we all know the benefits of daily moisturizing of the skin when it comes to keeping elasticity and preventing aging, but this also applies to the nails! If you don’t moisturize the cuticle and nail bed, your nails may become dry, brittle, and PRONE to breakage! A good way to do this is of course with hand lotions, but also those nail/cuticle oils!
Eat Protein-Rich Foods!
Your nails and hair are made up of keratin- a protein! Eating protein-rich foods like beans, fish, and nuts can promote the growth, strength, and clearness of your nails! Biotin-rich foods like coconut, lime, avocado, goat cheese, berries, and eggs will also help promote strong nails.
Vitamins and Supplements can Save the Day!
There are countless vitamins and supplements out there for your nail, hair, and skin health, but the most recommended supplement to take daily to promote strong, healthy nails would be biotin supplements- a member of the Vitamin B family! This supplement can help increase nail thickness and prevent splitting and breakage. Other vitamin supplements like Black Currant Oil, Krill Oil, and Vitamin C have also been proven to help nails grow faster, while staying strong, clear, and healthy. There are plenty of brands that carry their own curated supplements designated to helping you achieve your best nail health, such as our own Vital Proteins, as well as Halo Beauty, HUM, GNC Vitamins, and so many more. We do recommend that you talk to your doctor and do extensive ingredients before starting on the journey of taking a new vitamin or supplement.
We All Need a Rest and So Do Your Nails!
Lastly, as sad as it may be to nail salon frequenters, who love their acrylics and gel polishes, it is recommended that every once in a while, you let your nails breathe from all of the pressure on them as well as the intense shaping and tools being used on them. Even if you paint your own nails, sometimes it can really rejuvenate your nails back to optimal health if you stop putting harsh products, polishes, removers, and other chemicals that dry them out even for a week! Letting your nails breathe bare, trimmed, and moisturized for a while can literally help even the most damaged, dry, brittle nails! If your nails are in a healthy state but you want to promote their health even more by taking a break, you can throw a nice clear gloss on top!
These are just a few simple and essential tips we found that can help you get and keep strong, healthy, long, and beautiful natural nails, and who doesn’t LOVE that feeling?
Here’s to happy phalanges!
MAC’s Lash and Skin Studio