Everyone has their own way of cutting, trimming, filing, and decorating their nails that it seems you couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong. Nails are just nails. WRONG! Nail health is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Neglect it and you will see the consequences.
Painting nails or enhancing them with acrylic has become a huge trend in the last couple of decades meaning more people want to keep their nails healthy and shaped to their perfection.
Here are the top 5 common nail health mistakes that you’re probably making.
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5. Filing back and fourth with a nail file.
If you typically find yourself sawing back and fourth to quickly file down or shape your nail, you should stop. This increases your risk of breakage. You should also use a smooth, fine nail file instead of a coarse one and file in one direction. If you want to go above and beyond to reduce the risk of splitting and breaking, buy a crystal or glass nail file. They have been proven to file much softer on the nail.
4. Cutting your cuticles affects nail health.
If you’ve ever been in a nail salon and had your nails professional manicured, you will have noticed they use a special tool to cut your cuticle away. It may give a more desired look, but by doing so can introduce bacteria into the nail bed much easier. Your cuticle plays an important role in nail health. It protects the nail root and matrix which your nail grows out of. Cutting this away removes any protection and can also cause your cuticles to become inflamed and red. Personally, when my cuticles would get cut they would eventually start to fray down my finger.
If you need to do something with your cuticles, push them back with a cuticle pusher.
3. Using acetone nail polish remover.
Acetone is incredibly drying as it strips the nails and can cause them to become brittle. It may seem like a hard habit to break as acetone is by far the most common nail polish remover product, but non-acetone products still work well!
The best non-acetone polish remover I have found is Mineral Fusion. It works well and has quickly become the only nail polish remover I use!
2. Washing hands too frequently and contact with chemicals.
Washing your hands too frequently can dry out your nails and cuticles to the point where they start to crack and bleed. There is such a thing as washing too frequently with soap and water. Try to keep it to a minimum or what’s necessary. At the very least, always try to use hand lotion or a moisturizer after washing. Also, if you’ve been making fun of your neighbor for wearing gloves when cleaning with chemicals or washing dishes, that’s what you should be doing too! The chemicals are terrible for your entire hands as well as soaking them in water. It’s safe to say that if the chemicals work great on grime, they probably work great on your hands and nails.
1. Frequent salon manicures with acrylic or UV curing gel.
There is no dispute that when it comes to “fake nails” they leave your real nails looking terrible after the 2 hour battle to remove. Remember mistake number 3? There are resins and formaldehyde in the acrylic product that can cause allergic reactions and if the salon is not well ventilated well you could be breathing in harmful fumes. Ever notice that a lot of nail techs wear face masks?
Nails are also meant to be flexible and bend. When you have acrylic nails they are amazingly stiff and if damaged can cause separation between the nail and the nail bed. This creates a warm, moist space for bacteria to grow causing an infection.
UV curing Gel
And if acrylic wasn’t bad enough for nail health, if you are someone who goes for a UV curing gel manicure you’ve got something else to worry about. The amount of UV radiation you’re exposed to while curing your nails isn’t much, but if you continuously do it over many years, the damage to the DNA in your hands and nails can build up potentially causing premature aging or cancer.
The best way to have beautiful, healthy nails while still having them polished is to simply use regular nail polish or a non UV alternative. Color Street is a great way to get that salon quality manicure while being able to do it from home away from any fumes and for a fraction of the cost. It is a 100% nail polish product without any adhesives and is a mess free, smudge free product. Curious about how Color Street works and want to learn more? Click here!
As a final suggestion; when in doubt, use cuticle oil or cuticle cream as much as possible. Keep those babies moisturized if you want the best and most beautiful nails!
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