6 Mistakes That Are Making Your Nails Dry, Brittle And Infected

You'll be so annoyed when you hear what you've been doing wrong.


Georgie Lane-Godfrey |

Dry, brittle nails? Don’t fret. You’re probably just overlooking something simple. Take a holistic approach by turning common mistakes into nail-boosting tweaks and tips…

Eat strong

Diet is the place to start if you want healthy nails. Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon), magnesium (almonds), zinc (beans) and iron (steak) are all fortifying foods.

Swerve the supplements

There’s little scientific backing for supps that promise to improve your nails. “Plus, you don’t really need them,” says dermatologist Dr Adam Friedmann. “A healthy diet will provide all the nutrients your nails need.”

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Be ingredient-savvy

“Look for products containing emollients rich in phospholipids, such as sunflower oil,” says Stern. “Alpha-hydroxy acids have also been shown to improve brittle nails.”

Sanitise safely

absolute-organix-hand-sanitiser

The alcohol found in many hand sanitisers dries out cuticles. Try an alcohol-free one, such as Absolute Organix Hand Sanitiser (from R36, Faithful-To-Nature.co.za) – it uses all-natural ingredients, contains no alcohol and is home-grown.

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Control the temp

Next time you take a shower, make sure the temperature isn’t too extreme. Exposure to piping-hot or freezing-cold water triggers the sudden expansion and contraction of your nails, which can turn small nicks into full-blown tears.

Nail no-no

sinful-shine

Next time your nail technician goes anywhere near your cuticles with a sharp instrument, swat them away. “Removing the cuticle can expose the delicate area below the proximal nail fold to irritants and allergens, which risks infection,” warns dermatologist Dr Anita Takwale. [Ed’s note: Speaking of getting your nails done, how cute are the colour palettes right now? Check out Dis-Chem’s catalogue – what’s your fave?]

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