Get lovely nails
Not all of us are lucky enough to have knockout nails. Dr. Beatrice Wang, a dermatologist and assistant professor in the faculty of dermatology at McGill University, says nail fragility is often genetic, but external factors can also contribute to cracking, peeling and splitting. Still, a basic home-care regimen can keep yours in decent shape.
“It’s a good idea to keep your nails on the short side,” says Wang. Longer lengths are not only more prone to splitting, they can also harbour bacteria. Besides, they’re not even on trend: Lisa Postma, a Los Angeles-based celebrity manicurist with OPI who has worked with Renée Zellweger and Cate Blanchett, says the nails should extend just slightly past the end of your fingertip. Trim straight across to create a squareish shape and then file-in one direction only-to smooth edges. (Removing too much around the corners can cause breakage and ingrown nails.) Occasional gentle buffing is a good way to make nails look shiny without polish.
Apply cream or lotion often and rub it into your nails and cuticles. If your nails are brittle, take a break from nail polish, since it and polish removers-even acetone-free ones-can make nails drier.
“Nutrition is important for good overall health and may also be important for nail health,” explains Anneke Vink, a registered dietician at Dani Health & Nutrition in Victoria. She recommends six to eight glasses of water per day and eating a balanced diet.
Here are five common nail woes, plus tips to get yours in shape: