Hydrating Your Nails
id you know your nails can absorb water at a rate 100 times faster than your skin can?
The flip side of this is that they can also dry out 100 times faster too.
Dry Nails Break More Easily
Dry nails are one of the most common nail problems. A dry nail loses flexibility and can soon become a brittle nail. Brittle nails are far more likely to break than a healthy, flexible nail.
Therefore one of the best resolutions you can make for healthy nails is to make sure your nails are hydrated.
Keep Your Fluids Topped Up
The best way to help your nails to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of fluids. The old maxim of at least two litres per day is as true for your nails as it is for the rest of your body. Water works a lot better than wine or vodka for this!
If downing large quantities of water doesn't appeal to you, you can also consider juices. Be careful with these as they can also be loaded down with sugar. If you go with a juice consider carrot or apple as they both have good levels of calcium. A little extra calcium gives your nails an added boost.
Using Oils and Moisturisers Can Help
Using oils and moisturisers helps too. The best time to apply oils and moisturisers is after your hands have been wet. Perhaps you could work this into your after shower routine. The advantage of using the moisturisers and oils at this time is that they help to lock in moisture to you skin and nails. Using these products on dry skin and nails is unlikely to have the same effect.
If you are using oils go with thicker oils or oils that come in butter or paste form. The idea behind this is so that the oils remain on your nails for a longer time. This gives the oils a much better chance of being absorbed than with thinner oils that stay in contact with your nails for a shorter time.
As with most things, finding what works for you is the key to successfully hydrating your nails. Your body is likely to work a little differently to other peoples. Therefore what you absorb may be different. Although a particular oil may work well for someone else it may not have the same impact for you.
Some people have reported that by using nail and cuticle oils over an intensive three to five day period they have seen a big difference in the way their nails look. If you would like to try an intensive approach, apply a small amount of oil to your nails and cuticles after every time you wash your hands. For best results take the time to massage the oil into your nails and cuticles.
This works best if you are not wearing nail polish as the oil stands a much better chance of working if it doesn't have to penetrate layers of polish, top and base coats first. Even so people have reported an improvement when trying this technique while wearing polish; although this is not something I have tried myself.
Products to Try
Oils and other products you can try using are jojoba oil, Argan oil or a specific nail and cuticle oil such as the bestselling Jessica Nourish