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Green Nails (The Good Kind)

Nov 22, 2010 06:02PM ● By Cate Reynolds
If someone were to say they have green nails, you’d probably take a few cautious steps back. But nowadays they probably mean that they are taking a natural, non-toxic approach to their nail care.

Did you know you can help strengthen and grow your nails through your diet? Increasing your intake of silica (a trace mineral found in nuts, raisins, apples, cabbage, pumpkins, honey, oats and more) and calcium will help you grow stronger and smoother nails. Julie Gabriel, author of The Green Beauty Guide and Green Beauty Recipes, experienced peeling nails after her pregnancy, so she incorporated a colloidal silica supplement in her diet, which “tastes like rotten plastic, but you’ll see stronger nails within a week.” Beer also happens to be rich in silica, but we’re not going to get carried away with that one.

Having groomed cuticles can make your nails look all the more impressive. For a quick fix to chaotic cuticles, Julie suggests a make-at-home hand scrub. Simply mix one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of marine salt in your palm and rub your nails and cuticle areas against your palm. Then, rinse hands with cold water. “This is my emergency manicure when I need to look good in five minutes time,” says Julie. Add scented essential oils for a fragrant twist. For your feet, consider adding tea tree or eucalyptus oils to create an antiseptic mixture to guard against foot fungus.

When it comes to nail polish, things get tricky because some formulations contain harsh chemicals. When shopping, look past the oh-so-clever color names and look out for the ingredients formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate…and avoid them. Many popular brands have reformulated products without using these potentially harmful ingredients, thanks to pressure from organizations such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (

It’s also a good idea to occasionally go au naturel and give your nails a breather from polish. This will prevent yellowing nails due to a lack of oxygen which is needed to maintain a natural color.

It’s no secret that men are more metrosexual than ever. And why shouldn’t you be the best “you” there is? For example, one key to attractive, manly hands and feet is to keep moisturized. “It can be as simple as spritzing your hands with some olive oil from a can,” says Julie. You’ll have both groomed cuticles and smooth nails. A professional manicure shouldn’t be out of the question either. The women in your life will have a newfound respect for you, trust us.