Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Repair Damaged Nails

Welcome to another Manic Makeup Monday article lovelies! Over the weekend, The Makeup Examiner received quite a few emails from readers who were asking questions about nail damage and overall nail health. Due to the shear volume, I though it a good idea to address the issue of nail care in the column.

The history of nail care and nail art can be traced back as far as 5000 B.C. India, when both men and women used henna to dye their nails. You’d think after so many years that nail care and healthy nails would be second nature to us. But, with many women having a strong desire to have those oh so pretty nails that can be had via acrylics, our passion wins over our sense for healthy nail care.

The Makeup Examiner has been very guilty of going the acrylic nail route. Aside from aggravation of maintenance, pain of removal, and the great potential for nail fungus; I grew rather concerned about the toxicity of acrylics when it occurred to me that the manicurists were donning facemasks. I can relate to “it hurts to be beautiful,” but I’m not willing to go toxic any longer and this is perhaps where you need to start.

While dry, brittle nails can have hereditary factors, lifestyle is a much greater contributor to unhealthy nails. It’s time to move away from fake nails! So, once you wean yourself off of your weekly visits for fill-ins, you can begin to take steps to get naturally beautiful nails.

Here are a few tips to help prevent and repair nail damage:

Hot Oil Treatment - One of the easiest and most inexpensive treatments can be found in your kitchen. Try an olive oil soak for your nails. Grab a glass bowl, add olive oil, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds and there you have a healthy, hot oil treatment for your nails. Remember to do this to polish free, clean nails.

Re-hydration – A fabulous, inexpensive product is Waxelene. I’m in love with this non-petroleum based stuff. Waxelene has a multitude of uses, one of which is it’s a fantastic nighttime treatment for your nails. Massage Waxelene into and around your nails at bedtime to get hydration back to your nails and cuticles.

Grab the gloves – I used to laugh at my mother for wearing rubber gloves when she did chores, but mom was smart to do so. Water and detergents do an amazing amount of damage to our nails. So, grab the gloves and apply moisturizer to your hands and nails.

Get off of the chemicals – Switch to non-acetone polish remover and try a water-based nail polish. Another absolute favorite product of mine is Acquarella. This water-based, non-toxic nail polish is odorless and since I switched from solvent-based lacquer to Acquarella, my nails are in amazing condition. 

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