3 ways to take better care of your nails

Try these easy tips for your healthiest nails ever

New Idea Contributing Editor / August 19 2016

A fresh manicure can make you look instantly polished. But coating your nails in polish day after day, week after week, can lead to brittle, damaged nails that not even a lick of lacquer can save. No matter whether you’re a regular mani kinda girl, or a gel-all-the-way convert, or simply love to do-it-yourself, here’s how to take better care of your nails.


If you get regular manicures

You can help your nails look their best with a bit of TLC at home. “Massage cuticle oil into the nail beds regularly,” says Monika Carvalho, founder of The Nail Lab. Treating your nails to a massage helps stimulate blood flow to them and keeps hangnails at bay. Also, keep your hands well-conditioned by applying a rich hand cream throughout the day, like A’kin Unscented Intensive Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme.


If you get gel manicures

When you have gels on, the nail isn’t getting any oxygen and this can cause weakness and discolouration, explains Sally Hansen nail expert Alison Bowhill-Hayes. Plus, the removal process dehydrates nails, leaving them soft and damaged. Have a break in between applications (about a week every month), and use that time to put the moisture back into your hands. Bowhill-Hayes swears by this trick for dry hands and nails: “Stand your bottle of vitamin E oil in a cup of boiled water for one to two minutes, then while the oil is heated, apply to cuticles and massage in.” Try Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil.

"Never peel off your gel polish! Picking at your gel manicure will shred multiple layers off your natural nails, weakening them."
Monika Carvalho
The Nail Lab


If you don’t get manicures

Apply cuticle oil daily to ensure the nail area is hydrated. Each week, trim and file them into shape (we love Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Nail Care System) before you apply your next round of polish. Don’t try to cut your cuticles yourself though. “The cuticle is a protective barrier and, when intact, it prevents bacteria from entering the skin and damaging the new nail growth,” Bowhill-Hayes explains. Instead, push them back – the best time to do this is after a shower when skin is warm and soft.

For more beauty tips from New Idea, stop by newidea.com.au

Main image credit: Getty

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.