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Beauty / Tamsin Salfrais

How To Get Best Nails Of Your Whole Damn Life

Sponsored by Nails Inc

We file, we buff, we paint, but we don’t always give our nails the TLC they need. I mean, with gel effect polishes and chrome varnishes, there’s no doubt they look absolutely fabulous, but with our nail art could we be unintentionally masking symptoms that point to other health issues? Don’t just paint over the problem; take a closer look in between manicures and see if your nails are trying to tell you something.

Problem: Brittle nails

Nails can become weak as a result of external factors, such as excessive exposure to water (which explains why we can never maintain the perfect mani on holiday), strong cleaning products, or when the humidity is extra low. Nails can also split because of a deficiency in vitamins A and C.

Solution: Wear washing up gloves and get eating!

Firstly, if you get lumped with washing up duty – thanks, guys – don those marigolds. Well, after complaining that you actually cooked too, of course.

Once the dishes are clean, be sure to chow down on foods high in those missing vitamins; kale, citrus fruits and bell peppers are great. A cheeky cheat: Nails Inc Nailkale nail polishes mean you can wear the superfood while you eat it.

Problem: White marks

Often said to indicate a lack of calcium, white marks on the nail can actually allude to a lot more. From a delayed reaction to an injury (like shutting your finger in a door) to a lack of zinc in your body, white marks can even be caused by fungus or an allergy, too!

Solution: Find the source, then attack.

If you’ve had a recent trauma to your fingertips, be less clumsy – duh! Of course we’re joking; sometimes lack of balance and coordination can even be due to our periods. If pain is prolonged, or there are other symptoms, visit your GP.

Get some zinc in your blood stream by eating lamb and spinach, and snacking on pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. If you suspect you are suffering from a nail fungus, you can buy medicated serum over the counter. Ensure you follow the instructions and complete the full course of treatment.

If none of the above apply, you could potentially be allergic to a product you’re using on your nails. Try swapping out your nail polish remover and base coat, and see if it makes a difference.

Problem: Hangnails

Hangnails are those little bits of skin that pop up around the nails. Like papercuts, the smallest problems cause the biggest sting – those things can hurt. The main cause of a hangnail is dry skin.

Solution: Moisturize

Firstly, don’t pick or bite off the hangnail. Get massaging with hand cream on a regular basis: after washing your hands, whilst sat at your desk and before bed. Bonus points for the use of cuticle oil (but not before you paint your nails as the polish won’t hold properly). Nails Inc Gel Effect nail polish – available in this month’s Pink Parcel – has a conditioning flower extract, so you can achieve an extra hydrating manicure.

Problem: Yellow nails

Yellow nails can be the result of your nail art habits: the polish itself can stain your nails, while a lack of oxygen to the nail can leave them a little discolored. However, yellow nails can also indicate a more serious health problem, such as diabetes or issues with your liver or kidneys. Psoriasis is another potential cause.

Solution: Oxidation and GP visit

To remove stains, a soak in lemon juice and baking soda can work a treat, while a clear base coat can let your nails breathe a little (but enables them to still sparkle). If you’re worried about the more serious symptoms, it’s best to take a trip to your local GP surgery for a chat.

Problem: Ridges

Vertical lines on your nails are completely normal; it’s generally a sign of aging. However, issues come with any horizontal ridges – those that seem to appear naturally, and not as a result of growth after acrylic nail removal – as this can indicate something a little more serious.

Solution: GP visit

If your nail has not experienced recent trauma or injury, it’s best to get checked out by your GP. The lines could be the result of an illness, or you could be suffering from malnutrition, which affects the growth plate of your nail. Once you’ve addressed the issues, your nails will not only look great, but will be healthy from the inside too!

Nails Inc Gel Effect nail polishes are available in August’s Pink Parcel, online and in most beauty retailers.

If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.


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