Over the years, I've talked to dozens of beauty experts and everyday women about various health and beauty topics. One of their most common complaints -- in addition to lackluster hair, fine lines and yellowing teeth -- is brittle nails.
From DIY remedies such as olive oil, ingested supplements and nail polishes that promise harder, stronger nails, some women have tried all they can to improve their nail health.
I do have a few suggestions to improve your nail's overall appearance and condition.
Avoid Harsh Nail Products
Many products contain chemicals, parabens and other harmful ingredients that are bad for both your nails and body. If you bite your nails, put your fingers in your mouth (or have a young one that may end up with one of your fingers in his/her mouth), this tip is especially worthwhile.
Fortunately, there are eco-friendly (and nail-friendly) alternatives out there. For example, Dr.'s Remedy
enriched nail polishes are made with tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, vitamin C and E and amino acid rich wheat. In addition to being quality nail polishes, you will noticed better-looking nails in a few weeks. They retail $15.99
and are worth every penny.
Another note-worthy brand is Spirit Beauty Lounge
, which sells all organic products, including non toxic nail care items. For example, their Acquarella Non-Toxic Nail Conditioner
($18) naturally strengthens and hydrates nails. As for their nail polishes
, "You can change nail color without the dreadful smell of chemicals since it's the world's only truly safe nail polish that is both water-based and non-toxic. Acquarella Nail Polish hydrates the nail, helping to prevent nails from chipping, peeling and yellowing commonly associated with harsh conventional nail products."
Take Care of Your Body
One of the suggestions above alluded to supplements, but I suggest taking it all the way. Eat a diet that consists of primarily raw foods and meet all your daily vitamins and mineral requirements. You can take additional supplements that target nails specifically. Most nail supplements also benefit your skin and hair.
Check out New Vitality's Hair, Skin and Nails Vitamin Formula
($29.95), Solgar's Skin, Nails and Hair Tablets
($17.60), Nature's Bounty Skin/Hair & Nails Tablets
($5.50) and Phyto's Phytophanere Dietary Supplement for Hairs and Nails
Avoid Salon Acrylics
I used to be a chronic acrylic addict and my nails took years to recover. The process includes filing down your actual nail, damaging it beyond repair (until it grows out) and can also lead to infections if they nick your skin or file the nail too low.
If you're someone who loves the look of acrylic nails (like me), there are safer, and ultimately cheaper, alternatives to going to the salon every 2 to 3 weeks. For example, you can buy fake nails
at most convenient, beauty and superstores, as well as online. I suggest going for nails that use nail glue
and using a nail debonder before applying to keep the glue from damaging your nails.
Another product that's awesome for faux nail lovers is Custom Nail Solutions
(starting at $139), nails that are custom made to fit your exact nail shape. If you think about how much you pay at the salon ($30 - $100 per visit), that price is awesome. They send you a kit that takes impressions of your nails and you choose the desired shape, length and whether or not you want French tips added, then mail them in. After a week or two, you get your custom made nails in the mail, along with various polishes, glue, removers, debonders, files, etc. Because they're custom made to fit your nails - and your nails only -- they'll look like the real deal.