You may or may not realize just how much your nails can say about you. With just a glance at your nails, people may get an impression of how attentive you are to your appearance, what your sense of style is like, and even your personality. This is the reason it's so important to keep your nails in good shape.
However, many women don't have the beautiful, healthy nails they could have, simply because they're making one or more of the six mistakes in this article, without realizing it's a mistake. Read on to discover what these common mistakes are and how to avoid making them.
1. Don't Use A Back-and-Forth Motion When Filing Your Nails
The repetitive back-and-forth motion most people make with their nail files cause the edges of the nail to tear. This makes them more likely to peel, snag, and break.
When you file your nails, make sure to push your nail file in only one direction: from the outer edge of the nail inward.
2. Don't Over-Buff Your Nails
You're not sanding a piece of furniture here. Don't press too hard; a light touch is all you need. Also, just like when filing your nails, make sure to move the coarse side of the nail buffer in only one direction on the nail's surface.
If you feel the nail becoming hot when you buff it, you're buffing it way too hard. You might be making the nail plate thinner, which means it'll be more likely to break when it grows out, and it won't grow as quickly as a healthy nail plate would.
3. Don't Trim Your Cuticles
When you cut cuticles, you deprive the nail beds of their natural protection. Cutting cuticles can also lead to inflammation or an infection.
A better way to keep cuticles in their place is to use a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick to push them back. This is best done when the cuticles are moist, so do it right after a shower or after letting your fingers soak in warm water for a few minutes. Cuticle trimmers should be reserved for snipping off hangnails.
4. Don't Forget To Moisturize Your Cuticles
During the day, washing your hands over and over (which you are doing, aren't you?) can cause the skin to dry out. Hangnails and flaky cuticles are more likely to occur when the skin is dry.
Therefore, to keep your cuticles and the skin near your nails in pristine condition, you need to moisturize your cuticles and nails once each day.
5. Don't Skip The Base Coat
Nail polish should not be applied directly to nails - there should be a layer of base coat beneath it. If you regularly use nail polish without base coat, the nail polish is likely to turn your nails yellowish over time, and it dries out your nails every time.
To avoid these problems, take the time to put on a base coat, and make sure it's completely dry before you put on your nail polish.
6. Don't Leave Nail Polish On For Too Long
Even if you did apply a base coat, if you let your nail polish become pockmarked with chips and cracks and leave it on until it peels, you may be causing your nails to chip, crack and peel as well.
You can correct this mistake in one of two ways: by giving your polish regular touch-ups, or by removing and reapplying your nail polish about once every ten days (after moisturizing your nails, of course). You should also take a break from wearing nail polish for at least a week every several months, to give your nails a chance to breathe.