10 mistakes that are destroying your nails


With more polishes than you
can count, we know that you’re all about those good nail days. But are your
nails really as strong and healthy as they could be? You don’t want your nasty
nails to ruin the outfit you took at least 30 minutes to pick out. Here are
some tips that will not only get your nails looking fabulous, but will also get
them them healthy.
Biting your nails

On a scale of one to
disgusting, biting your nails is pretty gross. If you think the worst thing
about gnawing down is your short little stubs, you’re wrong. The habit also
promotes bacterial transfer from your nails to your mouth, which can make you
super sick. It can even leave those little nubs vulnerable from the open sores,
which can lead to nasty infections. Want to kick the habit? A great way to quit
is by painting your nails. With your nails newly polished and pristine you’ll
be more hesitant to chomp on them and ruin your (or your manicurist’s) hard
Removing polish with your

Taking it upon yourself to
peel off your polish? Stop. Just stop right now. Forcing your nail polish off
is super damaging to your nails. You won’t only be stripping off your nail
polish, but also the top layer of your nail. Think of it like a face peel gone
wrong. Since nobody likes weak, flimsy nails, try to always take your polish
off with nail polish remover. Removing it on the go can be rough, so it’s a
good idea to carry around your favorite nail polish remover wipes. Many
different brands make them and they’re perfect for throwing in your purse.
Cutting your cuticles

No one wants crusty cuticles
messing up their beautiful manicure. However, picking at them or cutting them
is not the answer. You should put down that cuticle clipper, unless you want
your nails looking like Lays Ridges. Instead of clipping those crazies, you can
apply a cuticle oil. The oil will soften up your cuticles so that they’re nice
and pliable which will allow you to push them back. If you’re still not happy
you can try a cuticle remover. Combined with an orange stick, it will be nice
and gentle and you’ll get all those rough, nasty edges off!

Not eating healthy

Put down that pretzel stick
and pick up a carrot stick. Your nails feed off your blood flow, so if
everything is groovy inside of you, it will show on the outside. Anything you
put inside your body will affect the way your nails, skin, and hair look.
Drinking tons of soda (and alcohol) can ruin your previously beautiful nails.
The suggested foods are leafy greens – the darker the better. Still not getting
the results you want? Try some magnesium, calcium, or biotin supplements and
wash them down with plenty of water.

Getting gels and acrylics

While we can’t deny that the
click-clack of gels or acrylics are super fun, they’re pretty horrible for your
nails. In order to make the acrylic and gel stick on your nails, the technician
needs to buff them. Severe buffing can cause the nail to be extremely thin and
very prone to breaking. As soon as you take those bad boys off goodbye pretty
nails. Plus, in order to take the suckers off you need to soak your nails in
acetone. So, unless you want your nails looking like wooden boards, lay off
those trips to the salon.
Avoiding base coats

Are you wondering why your
nails are the same color as the last polish you painted them? It’s probably
because you’re not using a base coat. There are a ton of different base coats
on the market that do anything from make your nails stronger to allow you to
peel off your polish. Beyond nail polish, we don’t mean to go all WebMD on you,
but there are a ton of messages your nails could be telling you about your
health by their color. If they’re yellow, you should probably put the cigarette
down. If they’re black, you should probably see a doctor to rule out melanoma.
Sorry to all the hypochondriacs, but pay attention to what your body is telling
Drowning your nails

If you want your polish to
stay put, you should keep away from water, which will make them swell. We’re
not suggesting you just stop showering (gross). However, you can definitely don
some rubber gloves when cleaning the dishes. They come in different cute
patterns, if that makes them more enticing. In the words of dermatologist and
nail expert Dr. Dana Stern, “Water is constantly being absorbed and then
diffused back out by our nails. This […] weakens nails because the delicate
nail cells are in a constant state of contraction and expansion.” If your
nails are on the dry side, putting jojoba oil all over the cuticle and the nail
is a great way to get moisture back in them. Certain brands make specific
cuticle oils that come in tons of awesome fragrances. Oil takes longer to soak
into the nail bed (three days according to BlissKiss), but it’s much more
hydrating than water. If you need a quick refresh between polish applications,
leave it on for two hours then wipe your nails with some rubbing alcohol and
you’ll be manicure ready.
Using your nails for heavy

Similar to avoiding washing
dishes without rubber gloves, try to avoid using your nails to do anything
heavy duty. Whether you’re casually trying to open a soda or even just pulling
up the zipper on your jeans, make sure that you are using your fingers and not
your fingernails. Nails are easy to bend and snap, but if they do you won’t be
feeling as peppy as Elle Woods, so try to avoid using them to grab or separate
Polishing with harmful

We don’t mean to scare you,
but the ingredients in bottles of nail polish can be pretty frightening.
Formaldehyde (what they use to embalm dead people) can be found in a lot of
them! Luckily, there are exceptions such as Zoya, Sally Hansen, and many others
(see the full list here). These brands have taken the steps to remove those
nasty chemicals from their polishes. Black Cat Nails has an extremely helpful
article that explains exactly what 3/4/5 free means in the nail polish world
and which chemicals you should be looking out for in your polishes.
Constant acetone use

With your arsenal of polish,
we know it’s tempting to want to pick a new color for every day of the week. As
long as you’re using one of the nail polishes mentioned above without those
harsh ingredients, nail polish won’t do anything to harm your nails. The
problem is that the acetone you’re using to remove the color each time will.
Dr. Stern explains, “Nail polish remover is not your friend. It may help
remove that chipped manicure, but the ingredients, strong solvents, especially
Acetone, dry out your nails.”
Be smart about your nail

If you picked up one thing
from this article about nail health, it should be that cuticle oil is amazing.
And it should be in your purse. Otherwise, the rest of the tips are simple and
easy ways that you can improve your nail health. Avoid harsh chemicals, check.
Don’t use your nails to pry anything open, check. Steer clear of acrylics,
check. Eat healthy, check. By following these steps, you’ll notice a drastic improvement
in the look and feel of your nails in no time.

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.