We love summer, but do our nails? Not so much.
Summer can wreak havoc on the condition of your nails. Below are just a few of the summer activities you may love but can destroy your nails pretty quickly.
- You might feel refreshed after a swim, but all those chemicals in pool water will weaken your nails and cuticles. Prolonged time in water can also expand your nails, which means damaged and chipped polish, too.
- Soil can also dry out nails, and working to make your yard beautiful can easily chip polish.
- Many people scale back on their beauty routines when they travel, meaning the nails are a little more neglected than usual. Air-travel also dries out your nail beds, so your nails can really suffer from a lack of moisture at these times.
- Too much UV exposure is bad for the skin, and it can also impact your mani by causing it to fade prematurely.
How to Look After Your Nails This Summer
Of course, no one is suggesting that you should forgo all your favorite activities and not have fun this summer. But, how do you look after the condition of your nails this season to prevent damage and keep them looking neat and pretty?
Here are five must-know dos and don’ts:
1. Do Invest in Cuticle Oil to Save Your Nails
Applying a good quality cuticle oil every night will work wonders in damage cure and prevention. As the first line of defense, it will moisturize not just the cuticle, but the skin around the nail, too. It will help restore nails back to health and also help protect the nail area against further trauma.
Applying cuticle oil stimulates good circulation in the area, too, which promotes healthy nail growth. And you’ll see a decline in hangnails — those annoying cracked and jagged bits of skin next to your nail. Keeping this whole area in good health will extend the lifetime of your polish, too.
Cuticle oil is only needed in tiny amounts. One small drop per cuticle should be enough. Apply and then massage in for a moment or two. Repeat once a day or night and you should start seeing, and feeling a difference very soon.
2. Don’t Neglect a Healthy Diet Over the Summer
For great nails, it’s also crucial you check your diet is full of nutrients that will promote their health. Brittle, flaky, rough or misshapen nails can be a warning sign that your regular diet is low on certain nutrients. Of course, you need to remedy this, not just for your nails but for your overall health, too.
While traveling over the summer or when you’re busy having fun, it’s easy to forget healthy eating. You may rely more upon fast food and eat less healthily. Treats are fine in moderation, but you still need to take care of your health, so you know your nails are getting the nutrients they need.
Here are five foods and drinks that are fundamental to good nail health (and good overall health, too):
Your body needs adequate hydration to ensure that all bodily systems are running efficiently, and your nails are no exception. Health and beauty experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses per day. If you regularly engage in physical activity, you may need to drink more.
Your nails are made from a type of protein called keratin. It, therefore, makes sense that you need plenty of protein in your diet to provide the building blocks for nail growth. Eggs are a great source of protein, selenium, and riboflavin.
Seafood or Meat
As well as providing protein, seafood and meat are both good sources of zinc. Zinc is vital for cell growth. And since the nails are constantly growing, they need a lot of zinc.
Nuts are packed with nutrition and are good sources of protein and zinc. They are the perfect way to ensure those with plant-based diets are getting plenty of these nutrients and are a healthy addition to everyone’s diet. Try almonds as a nail health-boosting snack.
Healthy fats are vital to your health and will help you avoid getting brittle nails. Avocados are packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids, as is oily fish.
3. Do Book a Professional Manicure
Manicures can be so much more than a tidy and polish. Seek out an indulgent salon manicure that will replenish moisture, condition your hands and nails, and leave you feeling super relaxed. The results of a good manicure will last a while, so it’s well worth the investment.
Here are some treatments for your mani wish-list:
Soothing Hand Soak
You should begin your appointment relaxing with a warm soak. This should contain ingredients that will soothe and begin to replenish moisture, such as oils, sea salt, and flower extracts.
Once your hands are softened from the soak, your manicurist can use a scrub to remove rough skin and calluses.
Moisture-Boosting Hand Massage
Your manicurist should spend plenty of time massaging your hands using a blend of moisturizers and essential oils. This will work the product deep into the skin and nails and will help promote healthy nail growth.
Deep Conditioning Treatment
Where you can, opt for an extra-hydrating mask for an ultra moisture boost. This will replenish moisture in every cell and should leave your hands feeling (and smelling) amazing.
Give Your Nails Some Summer Lovin’
All is not lost for this summer when it comes to your nails. If they are already suffering, take some time to book an appointment for a replenishing and moisturizing manicure, invest in cuticle oil, and try to add more nail-boosting foods to your summer diet.
Remember to take steps to protect your hands and nails, too. Wear gloves for house and yard work, and protect your nails and polish with an extra strengthening top coat when you know you’ll be out in the sun, or taking a dip in the pool.
Hillary Kozma is the Owner/Managing Director/Creative Director of Kozma & Kozma Salon. Having built the foundation of her skills with an apprenticeship under a direct protege of Vidal Sassoon, Hillary and her husband opened Glow American Salon in Qatar in 2007 before expanding to Dubai as Kozma & Kozma in 2016. Hillary is hailed by the media as a “pioneer in her field” for introducing new talents, concepts, philosophies, and techniques to the Middle East.