1. Don’t use nails as tools
It is undeniably hard to resist this urge. This is a bad idea because you risk bending the nail back, among many other things. When a pair of scissors isn’t within reach, you may use a nail or two to open up a letter or box. But poking, prying and picking can cause cuts to the cuticles and damage to nails. The white area, referred to as the stress area, will eventually weaken and break. So make a conscious effort to pay close attention to how you use nails.
2. Don’t bite nails
The next time you have the urge to bite your nails, think of everything you’ve picked or scraped with those fingers in the previous 24 hours. Disgusting! Not only can biting cause damage to the nail beds, it also exposes your mouth to all manner of dirt and bacteria. . If you get a deep nail tear, mend it temporarily with a clear adhesive tape until it has a chance to grow out. Work out that nervous energy on a yoga mat or find a quiet place and meditate instead.
3. Don’t pull off hangnails
Don’t Pull or tear hangnails as you can rip live tissue along with the hangnail, causing damage and risking infection. It’s sitting there like a hanging chad, just begging to be pulled, but resist! Pulling hangnails off can rip live tissue and expose the nails and hands to fungi and bacteria.
4. Don’t push the cuticle back too far
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and your cuticles are the end of the skin so they are meant to be there to act as a barrier for bacteria. Unless you’re a trained nail tech, you can cause more harm than good because cuticles form barrier that protects the nail. Trim only the part that has started to lift away with sharp, clean cuticle trimmers. Instead, apply a cuticle remover to soften and dissolve dry, overgrown cuticles. Then use a soft-tipped cuticle pusher to gently push back the cuticles.
5. Don’t use nail products with chemical
That pretty shade of pink or red nail polish that’s sitting on the shelf at the nail salon may be loaded with hazardous materials or chemicals. Using too much polish remover can dry out and damage the nails. It is recommended to use a chemical-free nail polish. Which means it should be free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalates, camphor and formaldehyde resin. Look at the label and really make sure that the product is free of chemicals.
6. Don’t peel off your polish
A nervous habit much like nail biting, polish peeling doesn’t just remove polish. It also removes layers of actual nail. Using too much lacquer causes polish to peel. Stick to polish remover for removing polish and find somewhere else to expel that nervous energy. If you apply very thin coats, letting the polish dry in between each layer so that the solvents evaporate, it will wear better and last longer. Wait at least a minute or two between each coat, and never skip base or top coat.
7. Don’t soak nails for long periods
A long, hot bath can be just what the doctor orders for anyone under stress, but soaking hands for long periods of time can cause the nails and cuticles to become engorged with water and weaken. Enjoy your bath, but occupy those hands with a juicy novel or the latest issue of magazine. Wearing gloves when working with any kind of cleaning supplies will also extend your manicure.
8. Don’t share your nail file
You know that leopard print nail file from college? Keep it to yourself. Bacteria and other microbes make their homes on nail files, so using someone else’s tools is a surefire way to transfer these nasty critters from the file to your body. Toss the old file and buy a new one to keep in your purse.
While filing your nails don’t saw nails back and forth. Nail shape trends are constantly evolving from oval to square to stiletto. Remember to look at your hands from every angle and to file from each outside edge toward the center of the nail. Never saw back and forth on the tip of the nail, as this will weaken nails. Instead, file nails from the corners towards the center in one direction. Don’t excessively file your nails as this can cause splitting. When filing, always go in one direction.
9. Don’t ignore inflammation, a strange growth, color or texture
Healthy nails should have a uniform color and consistency. Disinfect the skin as soon as you can with an antibacterial or antifungal agent. If you notice changes to your nail’s appearance or something that looks abnormal, have it checked out by a dermatologist, as it may be a sign of something more serious.
10. Don’t go barefoot
When the weather is warm, many of us throw caution to the wind and run around our houses or yards without shoes or socks. Liberating though it may be, running around barefoot is also an invitation to fungus and bacteria to join the party on your feet. Keep your guest list germ-free by keeping your feet covered.