We take care of our appearance from head to toes. We want our hair to look good, our skin to be flawless and clothes and shoes perfectly clean and fashionable. What we often, however, neglect or not give too much attention to is our nails, even though, beautiful, healthy looking nails are mandatory for a fully elegant, well-made look.

The easiest thing we can do is go to a nail salon and have a manicure, a pedicure or both. This, however, requires money which we might not afford to spend. But, even if we can afford it, a nail salon isn’t always the best, and certainly not the only, way for beautiful, healthy nails.

There are things we should and can do and things we should not, to ensure that our nails are always at perfect condition.

The nail “Dos”

Moisturise frequently: Besides making your hands extra soft, frequent application of a hand or body moisturiser, especially around the cuticles, will hydrate the nails preventing them from chipping and flaking. Oils with aloe vera extract and added vitamin E are ideal for that extra kick of moisture.

If you have to wash your hands many times throughout the day, you need to moisturise several times a day. And, always wear rubber gloves when doing house cleaning or washing up, to avoid direct contact with the strong cleaning products.

Use acetone-based polish removers (moderately): There is a strong debate between acetone-based and non-acetone based polish removers. Reality is that acetone is a harsh chemical which dries out nails by removing natural oils from them.

remove nail polish According to scientists, however, it is slightly safer than the primary ingredients used in a non-acetone polish remover.

In addition, acetone is an instant remover, a single wipe is enough to remove most of the nail polish, so there is no need for excess rubbing on the nails, unlike the non-acetone based ones.

To avoid excess dryness, whether your nails are already dry or not, rub them and the cuticles. with olive oil before removing your nail polish and continue with a moisturising cream afterwards.

Note: acetone and any solvents and chemicals used in both types of polish removers are safe when used sparingly.

Take a beauty bath: If we paint our nails often, our nails gradually become yellowish from the dye of the nail polish. A simple way to help them bounce back to their original healthy colour is to give them a chamomile beauty bath:

Chamomile nail bath

  • 1 tablespoon of dry chamomile blossoms
  • 2 cups of warm (not boiling) water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Brew the chamomile blossoms in the warm water for 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and dip your nails in for 15 minutes (leave the chamomile blossoms in). Rinse with tap water and moisturise. Do this three times a week for beautifully white nails.

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Lab scientist, sharp dresser and cooking guru Maria is one half of the original alwaysladies.com founding team. She brings her opinions with earnestness and a smile, even when there are razor blades inside.

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