This is yet another post that I have been meaning to write for the longest! I feel like I've written this post a hundred times, but every time I look at my drafts its still there and empty! What gives?!
Anyhow, let's get to it! Nailcare, just like skin and haircare are very important. All too often we don't give our hands the TLC they need. In recent years, I have been pretty gun-ho about taking care of my nails, even thoughout my rigorous military training. I'll say that I grow my nails out good and long about 4 times a year. Once I grow them out, I usually wear them long until I break one and them its like a dominoe affect and they all break! I do take a prenatal right now, which is really good for hair, skin, and nails, but even before I became pregnant I took a multi-vitamin and hair, skin, and nails one. I will say that while the vitamins make a difference, the major thing that I do to enhance and maintain nail growth and health is a good diet, keeping them filed, and coated with a protective, strengthening polish of some sort.
I file my nails at least once if not twice a week and apply a protective top coat at least once a week. Right now I'm using the Sally Hansen Triple Strong.
I really like it, although it tends to be a little more pricey than some of the other Sally Hansen products, its good stuff. It has Epoxy, Calcium, and Titanium and is in essence an advanced nail fortifier. The con of this product is that even though the bottle says two coats, you really only need one, because as the product ages it gets thick. Also, after the product has dried, it doesn't create a longer wearing surface and lent tends to get into it. This product also doesn't wear for very long at all, if anything no longer than 72 hours and then it needs to be removed and reapplied. Now I know this sounds like a lot of cons, but the pros of it outweigh the cons. I find that my peeling-prone nails tend to not peel as much and feel much stronger with using this product. They also seem less prone to breaking and are overall stronger.
So for me, I keep it pretty basic, a nail file and some clear top coat. I do occasionally paint my fingernails, and when I do I always use a base. I do two layers of base coat, then two layers of polish, and then a top coat. If I use Triple Strong as my base coat, then I do one layer of it and keep the same routine for the polish and top coat.
I do my toenails about once or twice a month, and keep the maintenance on them minimal. I clip my toenails, sometimes file them, do a base coat, two or three layers of polish, and a top coat. I have a little bit of left over fungus on my right big toe, so every so often I use a little bit of Lamisil. Its been clearing up recently and I let my feet air out a lot to keep them dry. My toenails grow extremely fast, like werewolf fast, so I typically have to do them twice a month. Its a little harder while pregnant, but I get it done. I mean come on now...it is summer and I have to keep my feet right!
As far as cleaning and moisturization of both finger and toenails, I wash (of course!) and moisturize daily. My hands are always getting washed, so in turn they are always getting moisturized. I moisturize my feet after showering and most nights before bed. In the winter time, my feet have to be moisturized before bed, because I hate getting in bed with dry feet. Ugh...it gives me the heebie geebies! In the summer, my feet tend to sweat, so I lighten it up on the moisturizers overall, so not every single night I moisturize them if I don't shower that night. However, if I shower or soak my feet then they get moisturized.
One last thing, I never buff my nails. Even though I don’t do it, I felt it was important to cover the topic…at least from my perspective. The only time I have had my nails buffed is at the salon and when I use one of those four-sided nail file/buffers. I recommend using one of the four-sided buffers, unless you have very rigid nails or nails that peeled a lot. Even though my nails tend to peel, I don’t like sanding down my nail beds. Of course you can choose to just buff the part of your nail that is rough or peels. I like the four-sided buffer, because oftentimes you can get a really nice shiny polished finish that will last you a few days, especially if you don’t have time to apply a clear coat or prefer not to.
These will typically run you around $4-$8. A lot of times you see people selling these in kits at the mall. You know those little kiosks in the middle? Yep, they run out and try to grab your hands to demo on and then tell you it’s a miracle product, charging you $20-$30 for the kit. All you really need it some lotion, cuticle oil (or any type of oil, olive or coconut is good), and one of these files. Should cost you half the amount they try to sell it to your for.
My nailsSo if anything to take away from my post, its maintenance and consistency. If you dedicate just a few minutes once or twice a week to your nails, then they will not only look good, but be strong and healthy. Keep in mind that if your nails are week, seem to break easily, not grow, or have white spots on them, this can suggest a vitamin deficiency, so you should consult your physcian. It might just be that you need to change your diet, adding more protein into it and increasing your water intake. I’m not a doctor, so I’m just speaking off of what I know. Your doctor would be able to pinpoint exactly what’s going on with you and give you the correct guidance to improve your nails. Oftentimes, your hair, skin, and nails tell a story of your overall health, so pay attention to all three and consult your physician if something seems off or not quite right.
Hope this was helpful!