How To Keep Your Nails Healthy in Winter

Cold air is dry air: it’s just a fact. Cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. That thirsty cold air sucks the moisture right out of your skin, hair, and, yes, your nails. Dry nails can get brittle, peel, and crack. Even if you’re not into fancy manicures, it’s important to know how to keep your nails healthy in winter.

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Seasonal Changes vs. Possible Signs of Illness

Before we get into winter nail care, you should understand that nails grow more slowly in cold weather; that’s normal. But you should keep an eye out for unusual changes in your nails’ appearance. If you haven’t been using polish or polish remover and your nails look yellowed, white, or abnormally thick, check with your doctor, as these could be signs of a variety of health conditions.

How To Keep Your Nails Healthy in the Winter

Eat Well

Your diet has an important effect on nail health. Drink plenty of water, and make sure you’re eating foods that supply enough protein and B vitamins. Think lean meats, poultry, nuts, spinach, and fish.

Keep Nails Shorter

Brittle nails are more prone to snagging and breaking. Reduce the chances of breaking your nails into jagged edges by keeping them shorter during the winter.

Keep Nails Polished

We’re not talking a big, elaborate manicure here, just basic nail care. Keeping your nails polished in the winter helps them retain the natural oils that keep them moisturized. Just don’t cut your cuticles! Cuticles protect the nail bed, where new nail tissue grows. A basic routine for applying polish includes prep, base coat, polish, and topcoat.

You’re not done yet, though: keep your cuticles moisturized with cuticle oil or petroleum jelly. When you wash your hands a lot and when your hands get wet in the shower, your nails absorb water, which displaces the healthy oils your nails need. Polish protects your nails from water and helps them retain their important natural oils.

Use Hand Lotion and Wear Gloves

You really can’t use too much hand lotion in the winter. Avoid scented products, though, as those can contain drying chemicals. Use a heavier moisturizing cream at night, and wear night gloves to keep the cream on your hands so that they can absorb the moisture. Wear gloves when you wash dishes and clean the house, too. Many types of cleaning products can dry out your skin and nails.

When you learn how to keep your nails healthy in winter, you’re also learning techniques (eating healthily, drinking enough water, and using moisturizing lotions) that also benefit your skin and hair. Enjoy the winter season with healthy nails!

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