Mani not holding up? Use these DIY manicure tips to liven up tired nails.
This season can be particularly hard on nails. Dry, cold weather and central heating all work to sap us of vital moisture, which takes a toll on skin, hair and nails, too. Brittle nails crack and break more easily and dried out cuticles can become torn and tender.
Special care needs to be taken to soften and strengthen nails in winter months. But before you run out to the nearest beauty supply store, take a look in your kitchen cupboard. “Soaking your nails daily in almond or olive oil strengthens the nails better than any conventional nail hardener,” says Julie Gabriel, author of The Green Beauty Guide. Simply soak for a few minutes, wipe hands and massage gently.
To moisturize and smooth hands and nails try a mixture of equal parts (a tablespoon or so) brown sugar and grape seed or olive oil mixed with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Scrub hands and cuticles gently then rinse under warm water and pat dry for an instant manicure. These should both be used on clean, bare nails and you should see immediate results.
As with any skin care, it is not just what you put on but also what goes into your body that keeps it healthy and functioning properly. Julie lists several foods we can eat to help keep nails strong:
- Raw and dried apricots, carrots, papaya, mango, watermelons, egg yolk, tuna and salmon all contain Vitamin A.
- Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, coconuts, currants, figs and salmon contain Zinc.
- Dairy products, broccoli, raisins, oranges, kiwis and mandarin oranges for Calcium.
- Dried plums, dried figs, tamarind and egg yolk are rich in biotin, a natural form of Vitamin B2.
And always drink lots of pure, filtered water to stay hydrated and ward off illness. Follow these simple steps and your tips (and even toes) will be summer worthy in no time flat.
More to read on healthy nails:
Image courtesy: kpwerker at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license.