Manicure Tips: 4 Ways To Ensure Better Nail Health

You know not to bite your nails (you do know this, right?!) but did you know that your weekly manicure could actually be damaging your nails (depending on your cuticles are treated and  your nails are filed) or even that your diet could be leaving you with nail damage?

To help us whip our nails into tip top shape, we asked Ami Vega, the creator of El Salonsito, a runway-ready fingernail expert, and the author of DESIGNER NAILS: Create Art at Your Fingertips, to share with us her best

4 Ways You’re Harming Your Nail Health

Cutting cuticles. Cuticles serve a purpose and removing them can affect nail health greatly. The cuticle (or Eponychium) protects your nail root and nail matrix, where your nails grow from, by keeping bacteria out of there. Cutting them results in opening these delicate areas to all sorts of germs and bacteria we deal with daily. Also, cutting them causes the new cuticle to grow back thicker. Pushing back your cuticles and cutting any skin that may be lifted, is the only way one should care for their cuticles.

Filing in a sawing motion. Most people are used to the idea of filing their nails by going in a “sawing” motion of back and forth. But that actually causes damage to the nail plate and can cause the nail to split. One should file going towards the center on each side. Right to center, left to center. This will minimize splitting or nail breakage.

Not eating right. It’s a common idea that one helps nail growth by applying various treatments directly onto the nail. But many do not know that true nail health is achieved internally. Eating right is vital to proper nail growth. There are a variety of foods that help in achieving healthy nails. Eating the following can promote healthy nails; bananas, salmon (fish), cashews, and apricots. All these foods, and more, help provide your nails with biotin, vitamin a, zinc and more nutrients to keep them healthy and strong.

Using pure acetone to remove nail polish. Some people often get frustrated with the removal of nail polish. From colors that stain, to glitter that won’t let go. That can sometimes lead them to want to use pure acetone for quicker removal. But that can lead to very dry skin and nails. On the market today there are various brands that offer removers with essentials oils and other properties to benefit the nail plate. Some of my favorites are ZOYA’s Remover+ and Cutex Advanced Revival. A great way to maintain the moisture in your nails is to apply cuticle oil after polishing your nails, or directly onto the nail plate if you are not applying polish after removal.

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