We love winter for its open fires, snuggly duvets, and warm, wine-flushed evenings inside, but, as we all know, it can really do a number on our skin and nails. Dry, brittle, cracked, and even peeling nails can be a small but constant winter tragedy that’s actually surprisingly easy to avoid.
Because we just can’t stand to see you sad, we’ve put together five tips to help you get through winter with a happy set of nails.
1. Moisturise your nails
Ok, so this one’s probably pretty obvious but it can easily be forgotten while you’re rushing around on your daily grind. Using a good quality, natural nail oil will lock in moisture, strengthen your nails to stop chipping and prevent your cuticles from hangnails and splitting. Get the best results by applying the oil to damp nails, so you maximise the moisture. Nail polish also helps keep your nails moisturised by creating a protective seal that stops them drying out. Yes!
2. Clip while wet
Nails are made up of layers of the protein Keratin, which are held together by natural oils. Cold winter winds, lots of indoor heating, and daily activities like hand (and dish) washing with harsh soaps can whisk away your natural moisturiser and leave nails brittle and dry. Clipping dry and brittle nails can split their natural layered structure. Wet your nails before trimming to soften the structure and make them more flexible. Don’t forget to file off the rough edges to further reduce any chance of catching and splitting the nail.
3. Skip the acetone
Many nail polish removers contain the chemical acetone. Acetone is a harsh solvent that is particularly drying to your lovely nails. With regular use, you can find yourself with brittle, splitting, peeling, and broken nails. It also dries out your cuticles, essentially priming them for hangnails and upping the chance of splits on the nail surface. You can achieve the same results by picking or scraping off your nail polish, so please don’t do that either! An easy way to prevent this potential nail disaster is to use a water based nail polish remover like Kester Black Water Based Nail Polish Remover.
4. Don’t forget your hands
Beautiful, soft hands are awesome but well cared for hands also protect the health of your nails too. They help your cuticles stay soft, supple and healthy so they can perform the important function of protecting your nails from infection. For all the reasons we’ve already listed (handwashing, wintery weather, busy lives!) the skin of our hardworking hands can really suffer during winter. We highly recommend keep a lush hand cream somewhere you’ll see it and use it! Suggestions include on your desk, next to the sink, by your bed, in your bag, in your car – or all of the above. Anywhere that it will easily become a subconscious part of your routine.
5. Think about your diet
Ah, comfort food, how we adore you. Winter is the perfect excuse for comfort eating, but make sure to choose hearty, warming whole foods rather than, say, doughnuts. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, fish and natural oils will provide the building blocks of strong, healthy nails. You can throw in a supplement that contains biotin to encourage nail growth, but with a healthy, wholefoods-based diet you can achieve the same results.
These five tips will have you waving goodbye to your winter nail woes once and for all.
Courtesy of the Kester Black blog