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Tips for Better Nails as You Age

Apr 27, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
While we may be more aware of how to treat the telltale effects of aging on our skin, our nails may not be getting the attention they deserve. Here are a few tips to keep your nails from telling your age.

1. Exercise regular nail care at home.

There are many ways we can incorporate healthy nail care habits into out daily lives. Nails actually act like skin in the sense that they require hydration, like the rest of our bodies.

The most prevalent complaint about older nails is that they become more brittle and break more often. One step that we often overlook is that nails require moisturizing, just like the skin on our hands does. This should be done to both the nail bed and cuticle area on a regular basis. This can be a simple as massaging your regular hand cream into nails before every polish application and in between whenever possible. Ointments such as petroleum jelly also do the trick.

Research shows that dry, cracked nails may be kept at bay by adding a 2.5-milligram daily dose of Biotin to your diet.

2. Have your nails professionally attended to from time to time.

Like the skin on our hands, our nails change with age, as well, says Cindy Lam, owner of Avalon Nail Spa in Crofton, so manicures should take a more important role in your regular beauty regimen. Those changes can include, thinning nails, brittle nails, vertical ridges, slower growth, discoloration, and white spots.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the issues that come with older nails, Lam says.

“We take the time to thoroughly examine each client’s nails, and then use extra care and finer grit files, moisturizer, and extra gentle buffing.

3. Remember the nail no-no’s

What either seemed like such a good idea at the time or a “no-brainer” approach to better nails has now proven to be counterproductive. One such practice is adding gelatin to the diet or soaking nails in it. Research over time has proven that these practices have little to no effect on the strength and quality of nails.

You’ll also find there are many products on the market to “harden” nails. Some of these products contain ingredients that cause more harm than good to nails over time so they should be used sparingly, if at all.

The acetone found in most nail polish remover formulas is enemy #1 when it comes to making nails brittle. Opt for the non-acetone formula of remover whenever available.

There is no specific scientific evidence to support that supplements or nail products containing yeast, calcium or fluoride help provide healthier nails either, so these can be avoided, as well.

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