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.