Tips for Healthy Holiday Nails
By Dr. Phoebe Rich
Everyone would like to have beautiful festive nails around the holiday season. As we enter the season of orange pumpkins, red and yellow turkey feathers, and green Christmas trees, the creative nail options are endless. How do you limit the damage done to your nails among all the hustle and bustle though? It is possible to be festive and still keep your nails healthy! Here are some tips to protect your nails during this holiday season:
1. Wear gloves outdoors in cold weather to minimize excessive exposure of your nails to the harsh elements of winter. The winter is generally hard on nails. Cold and dry climates tend to make the nail more brittle and subject to breaking.
2. To help protect your nails, moisturize them along with your hands. Use a heavy moisturizer on your nails several times a day to help protect them. Try to keep the moisturizer on your skin and reapply after washing your hands.
3. Limit polish changes to no less than 10 days. It is tempting to change your polish frequently to match your holiday outfits. Removing and reapplying nail polish too often subjects your nails to dehydration and its associated problems. Using a light or translucent nail color allows for touch ups of nicks and chips without full removal which extends the duration of your pretty nails.
4. Salon nail finishes are fine, however, try to avoid any filing or buffing of the surface of the nail plate. This removes a layer of nail cells and ultimately results in a thinned nail plate over the 6 months that it takes to grow a fingernail from the cuticle to the free edge of the nail.
5. Keep nails a bit shorter in the winter to minimize breakage.
6. Most people think that they want hard nails, but hard nails are actually brittle and fragile. Strong and flexible nails on the other hand, are more desirable. Hydration of the nails is what allows it to flex rather than break. Keeping the nail moisturized will minimize the dryness and fragility that is seen more often in winter. Overall, nails grow slower in the winter than in the summer, so it takes longer for the nail to replace damaged nail tips with healthy regrowth.
7. Eat healthy and get your protein! Nails are made of keratin which requires amino acids derived from dietary protein. It’s easy to indulge in sweet holiday treats at the expense of a balanced diet during the holidays. Try to maintain a healthy diet with adequate protein during the holiday season to keep your nails strong and healthy.
8. Make a New Year’s resolution to wear gloves for all your cleaning and household chores, especially those involving wet products, to protect your nails (and hands). Hands may become chapped due to excessive hand-washing, cold and dry air, or overexposure to heat. Although nails do not become chapped, these same conditions that cause chapped hands in the winter will impact the health of nails.
Follow these 8 tips to healthy nails during the holiday season and you’ll be sure to dazzle all of your friends and guests at your next holiday party.