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How to Keep Your Nails on Point

I have an unhealthy relationship with my nails. It’s a little obsessive, a little abusive and a lot volatile.

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with making sure my nails are clean. I hate to feel like I have anything under my fingernails. I hate hang nails (who doesn’t?). I get nervous or bored and pick at my cuticles. I’ve never been one to chew my nails. Instead, I “trim” them by ripping them off at my desired length and by “cutting” them using other nails. That, of course, damages those nails.

Earlier this summer, I decided I would end this madness and just get acrylic. Long story short, it couldn’t last forever. My bad habit came back. After a few rounds of “fills,” I started picking at the acrylic. I didn’t have the patience to soak it off. It chipped off unevenly. Some parts didn’t come off. I tried to paint over the rough nail beds. It didn’t hide the imperfections.

My nails still look awful weeks later. I’m worse off than when I started. My nails are paper thin. They’re too weak to even break. They just bend and tear.

All this got me thinking. I’ve been on this roller coaster ride with my nails forever. Sometimes they’re super durable. Sometimes they’re flaky. Sometimes the paint looks good for weeks. Sometimes my cuticles are a wreck. What is going on? What can I do to keep my nails consistently presentable? (How to quit obsessing over them is probably a different solution.)

How to Keep Your Nails on Point (or Squoval)

  1. Wear gloves. Address the issue at its core — protect your nails from the elements completely!
  2. Apply lotion often. Brittle nails can be caused by exposure to water and chemicals that dry out your nails.
  3. Use cuticle oil. Same idea here: keep your nails and nail beds moist.
  4. Paint your nails. This one might be counterintuitive, but WebMD says the paint helps lock in moisture.
  5. Drink more water. Can’t hurt, right?
  6. Don’t overuse polish remover. More than once a week is too much for your nails to handle.
  7. Soak in sea salt. This is another counterintuitive one, but I’d be willing to try this tip from Top 10 Home Remedies.
  8. Eat foods rich in vitamin B. Dr. Luiza Petre, nutrition expert, says eating tuna, eggs, and whole grains, to name a few, can help promote healthy cell growth to keep nails their natural pink and white color instead of dull or brown.

I can’t believe I didn’t research this any sooner. Most of this seems completely doable. Though it’s probably the most effective tip, I’ll probably have to skip wearing gloves in most cases.

What do you do to keep your nails healthy? — Megan 

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