Whether you're the type of person who religiously paints their nails as a form of self-care or someone who's constantly picking and biting at their cuticles, we all yearn for healthy, perfectly manicured nails. What you should be doing for your nails — but first, how can you tell if your nails are healthy? Here's what to look for.

Signs of Healthy Nails:

✔️ Nail plates are a pinkish-white color
✔️ Cuticles are existent (so don't cut them!)
✔️ Nails and white tips are even lengths
✔️ Prominent half-moon-shaped white section (called the lunula) at nail base

 

It's easy to neglect your nails — but taking some basic steps can keep your fingernails healthy and strong.

Fingernail care: Do's

To keep your fingernails looking their best:

🌟Keep fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning, or using harsh chemicals.

🌟Practice good nail hygiene. Use sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.

🌟Use moisturizer. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.

🌟Apply a protective layer. Applying a nail hardener might help strengthen nails.

Fingernail care: Don'ts

To prevent nail damage, don't:

🌟Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.

🌟Pull off hangnails. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails.

🌟Use harsh nail care products. Limit your use of nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-free formula.

🌟Ignore problems. If you have a nail problem that doesn't seem to go away on its own or is associated with other signs and symptoms, consults your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.

Take Good Care of Your Nails From Now