Do you have nail envy? You know, when you see a woman with perfectly manicured nails and they’re for real! For the rest of us, it’s a struggle to keep nails all the same length without breaking, splitting or discoloring. According to Dr. Ariel Ostad, a Manhattan-based board certified dermatologist, our nails are a reflection of our health. “Dark nails or thin, flat nails are a sign of iron deficiency, says Dr. Ostad. “Peeling nails can mean a diet lacking in vegetable oil and a diet low in iron can cause nails to become thin and easily broken. Finally, yellow nails may indicate diabetes.”
Dr. Ostad recommends daily moisturizing with creams containing lactic acid, avoiding the dangerous UVA rays at the nail salon, using non-toxic polishes and making sure you use a nail salon that practices safe sanitation. Below are some excellent products that promote healthy nails. And don’t forget to eat your green leafy vegetables and plenty of protein!
DRINK YOUR WAY TO HEALTHY NAILS
Nails grow slowly, but you can start down the road to gorgeous natural nails with NutraMix for Strong Nails. This orange-flavored drink mix includes nail-healthy nutrients like gelatin, vitamin C and biotin – a B vitamin that helps promote healthy nail growth by acting at the base of the nail. A box contains 14 single serve envelopes. Simply mix with water and enjoy the orangey taste. It’s available at pharmacies and supermarkets for about $14 or at http://www.naturesbounty.com/. If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor before using.
COFFEE FOR CUTICLES
Rich in magnesium and minerals, Espresso Hands is made with extracts of coffee to soothe dry and irritated skin conditions. The non greasy formula leaves skin feeling like silk while hydrating and healing dry and cracked cuticles. Best of all, it has the wonderful evanescent aroma of coffee and cream. Espresso Hands contains no animal ingredients or parabens and the company does not test on animals. It’s $16.95 from www.awakeningskincare.com.
Nail Recovery is one of the many items at the website NailAidCares.com. Their goal is to help restore and revitalize nails, whether they are chipped, yellowed, cracked or recovering from years of acrylics. They contain no formaldehyde or toluene. They have specific products to fill ridges, whiten nails, promote natural growth and stop splitting ends. Their products retail for about $6.50 for .5 fl oz. Check out all the choices at www.nailaidcares.com.
Barielle Clearly Noticeable Nail Thickener is a clear, quick-drying nail builder that instantly thickens nails up to 50 percent of their natural thickness in just one coat. Helps heal cracked, split, or peeling nails with vitamins and proteins. It’s formulated for use over bare or polished nails to thicken and encourage growth. This highly-rated product is available at http://www.skinstore.com/ for $16.
BE SWEET TO YOUR NAILS
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème is a low-priced, highly effective way to soften cuticles and fortify nails. Made with sweet almond oil, vitamin E, rosemary leaf oil, beeswax and cocoa butter with a touch of lemon oil, this creamy treatment smells wonderful and makes your nails appear clean and beautiful. Use daily for stronger nails and soft cuticles. A tin contains .06 oz. and retails for $6 at www.dermadoctor.com.
NOT JUST FOR HORSES
They may have started making products for livestock, but Mane ‘n Tail Hoofmaker brand now has a whole line of items for humans, including Hand & Nail Therapy. This protein enriched moisturizer protects against nail damage and maintains strong and flexible nails. It softens callused, rough areas and has a fresh pleasant scent. It’s reasonably priced at $6.49 per 6 oz. tube at www.SallyBeauty.com.
THE POWER OF NEEM
TheraNeem Nail & Cuticle Scrub is an all-natural blend of sea salts and other rich botanicals to pamper your hands and nails. Neem oil helps soothe rough, cracked, dry skin, while sea salts and spearmint oil exfoliate skin and restore discolored nails. This scrub, which also contains sweet orange, walnut, jojoba and avocado oils, is also excellent for dry, cracked skin. TheraNeem has a variety of products, including the handy Cuticle Pen. The scrub is $16.95 for 7 oz. at www.theraneem.com.
THE NAIL DOCTOR
Rejuvacote Nail Growth System is “guaranteed” to heal and cure your split, cracked and acrylic-eaten nails in a matter of weeks. Rejuvacote will force your nails to grow stronger, healthier and longer so you can enjoy the look and feel of strong, vital, natural nails. This boxed set is available for $14 from www.duricosmetics.com.
SEA SALT NAIL KIT
Save yourself the cost of salon treatments with any of the nail kits from Deep Sea Cosmetics. In this one, you get a long nail file, a rectangular nail buffer to remove stains, smooth the nail surface and buff them to a glossy shine. It will look like you’re wearing polish! Then massage in the Nourishing Cuticle Conditioner and apply the Hand Lotion. Deep Sea Cosmetics products are made with sea salts, which are great for rejuvenating the skin and nails. A variety of kits are available at $44.95 from www.DeepSeaCosmetics.com.
THE QUEEN OF NAILS
No discussion of nail care would be complete without including at least one Sally Hansen product. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Cuticle & Nail Refiner uses micronized diamond powder, shea butter and natural pumice to gently exfoliate dry, flaky skin to reveal fresh, more vibrant healthy looking cuticles. Cuticles appear more translucent and luminous. Nails are smoother and brighter. It’s available from http://www.amazon.com/ for only $5.60.