Natural Beauty Care Guide

Nails

Manicure

Nails require constant care too. They chip, crack and discolour due to harsh treatment. Nails are horny extensions of the skin and are made from the protein called Keratin, like the hair. If the nails are in a poor condition then rough treatment is only a partial cause. Poor or careless nutrition affects the health of nails. Lack of vitamin B and C makes the nails hard and brittle and causes them to crack. An average nail grows by about one millimetre per day. A good diet and sunshine promotes healthy nails.

Nails need to be constantly cleaned, moisturized and buffed to keep them looking healthy. The way you look after your cuticles, the manner in which you file your nails, all these go a long way in promoting a well manicured look. Nails can be irreparably damaged due to cuticle infections, or other damage from housework or use of poor quality soaps and detergents. The cuticles also tend to harden and spread out beyond the nail bed area, further damaging the nails. All these are just due to carelessness and can be overcome by a proper nail care routine.

A nail takes approximately 16 weeks to grow from its root to the tip. Nails cannot miraculously grow overnight, nor can the texture of the hard, yellow, brittle nails change so quickly. A deliberate, patient nail, care routine, combined with the right diet can indeed work wonders and give you perfectly shaped, finely textured nails.

Your nails need to be cleaned gently: Take a sponge soaked in warm water. Squeeze soapy water on your nails and rub on the nails, under the nails, and draw out the dirt. Dry brittle nails should first be soaked in a solution of warm water, olive oil and lime juice. Soak your nails in his solution for 10 minutes, constantly massaging and cleaning your nails, while gently pushing back your cuticles with your fingers. After this cleaning routine, scrub your nails with some good moisturizing cream or lotion.

While nail polish does protect the nail and is a good make-over for nails, you should keep your nails free from polish at least once a week, and let them 'breathe' in the air, sunshine and moisture.

Nails need protein to keep them strong. Thus you must take a protein rich diet to prevent them from getting brittle or develop cracks. They should also be kept as dry as possible, and manicured every few days. They should always be kept trimmed to the right length and the cuticles softened and gently pushed back.

Use an emery file (sandpaper) rather than a metal nail file. Do not file away the sides too deeply as one can injure the nail bed. The colour of your nails is an indicator of good health. Healthy nails are transparent and look a little rosy too. Pale nail beds often indicate anaemia. Yellowing and thickening of nails along with a slow growth rate may be due to illness or lung disease.

Concave nails indicate iron deficiency, while white patches on the nails indicate calcium deficiency. Your diet must be rich and nutritious with plenty of vitamin B as well as calcium, found in whole grains; meat, cottage cheese, green leafy vegetables. Eat garlic daily to keep the nails healthy. A capsule of vitamin E strengthens nails as well.

© Copyright Natural Beauty Care Guide 2006 - 2009