Your nails are considered ‘healthy’ if they are smooth and are uniform in color and consistency. Healthy nails do not have ridges, discolorations or cracks. There are a few simple steps that you can do to keep your nails healthy or get them back into shape if they are unhealthy. My nail care routine consists of 8 simple steps that will keep your nails healthy and visually appealing!
- Remove all of your polish, if you have any from a previous manicure before you begin. I use 100% pure acetone, which isn’t the greatest for your nails, so that’s why the proper nail care routine helps out and keeps my nails from becoming brittle and cracking. If you do not paint your nails as often as I do, I highly recommend using a non acetone polish remover.
- Trim your nails, I try to do this once a week. I love a square nail, so I use a Tweezerman nail clipper with a straight edge, to give me the square look before I even file. If your nails are hard (toes or fingers) you can soak them in warm water with a teaspoon of salt to soften them before cutting. If you are prone to breaks or cracks when trimming, I would moisturize your nails first which will help prevent any breakage while you’re trimming.
- I know I am going to get some heat for this one, because most everyone, including the experts do not recommend that you cut or push back your cuticles because you can damage your nail bed and increase the chance of infection.
- After the nails have been trimmed, this is where I would suggest filing any jagged edges and uneven lines to give yourself a uniform look. I use a glass nail file, that I picked up at Sally’s for about $2 and I swear by it but an emery board file will work just as fine.
- I take a nail buffer, it’s a small object rectangular in shape with four sides to it, each with their own step. 1. Nail File, 2. Remove Ridges, 3. Buff & Smooth, and 4. Polish & Shine. I use steps 2-4 on this nail buffer, skipping only the file because I have already done my filing with my glass nail file.
- Wash your hands in luke warm water and a gentle hand soap. Use a nail brush to remove any dirt that has built up underneath your nail.
- MOISTURIZE!! Moisturizing your nails is super important, especially after washing your hands. You should always be in the habit of using a hand moisturizer after your wash your hands and rub some onto your nails. Healthy nails require moisture, so you want to make sure your are giving it to them. I moisturize twice a day (morning and night) with a cuticle cream and nail strengthener, plus my regular hand lotion that I use throughout the day.
- (Optional) Pour some white vinegar onto a cotton ball and wipe down your nails, this will remove any oils or dirt that may be left over and will get you ready for polish. I use this before applying any polish to my fingernails.
- (Optional) Protein! I always use a protein treatment and apply it my nails before using any polish, to help keep my nails strong underneath the polish. If your nails are mostly healthy you can skip this step and go straight for your polish.