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Nail Boot camp!

Nails make it easier to pick up small things, to clean an oven, or to scratch an itch. They also provide an external sign of your health, with weak, easily broken nails often signalling a nutritional deficiency. Ignore your nails and you could end up with painful ingrown nails or annoying fungal infections... So, let’s avoid all of that, and follow these great tips for not only well-groomed, but healthy nails on all your fingers and toes!

  1. To keep your nails hydrated, rub a small amount of petroleum jelly into your cuticle and the skin around your nails every evening before you go to bed or whenever your nails feel dry. Keep a tub of it in your purse, desk drawer, your car - wherever you might need it.
  2. Wear rubber gloves whenever you do housework or wash plates. Most household jobs, from gardening to scrubbing the bathroom to washing up are really murderous on your nails. To protect your fingers from dirt and harsh cleaners, cover them with gloves whenever it is time for chore. For extra softness, apply hand cream before you put on the rubber gloves.
  3. Trim your toenails straight across the top to avoid ingrown toenails. This is particularly imperative if you have diabetes.
  4. Air out your work boots, shoes and gym shoes. In fact, keep two pairs and switch between them so you’re never putting your feet into damp, sweaty shoes, which could lead to fungal infections.
  5. Wear 100% cotton socks. They’re best for absorbing dampness, therefore preventing fungal infections.
  6. Make your nails as strong as they can possibly be, and take 300 micrograms of the B-vitamin ‘biotin’ 4-6 times a day. A few decades ago, Swiss researchers found that people who took 2.5 milligrams of biotin a day for 5.5 months had firmer, stronger nails. In a U.S. study, 63% of people taking biotin for brittle nails experienced an improvement.
  7. Add a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg to your daily diet. Rich in zinc, they’ll do wonders for your nails, especially if your nails have with white spots, a sign of low zinc intake.
  8. File your nails correctly. To keep your nails at their strongest, avoid filing in a back and forth motion, but only go in one direction. And never file just after you’ve gotten out of a shower or bath as wet nails break more easily.
  9. Polish your nails, even if it’s just with a clear coat. It protects your nails, but if you prefer color, use a base coat, two thin coats of color, and a top coat. (Colour should last at least seven days but should be removed after ten days)