The sun is out, temperatures are rising, and the beach vacations are booked—summer is officially here. Unfortunately, your days in the sun could harm your mani-pedi; UV rays and chlorinated water can turn strong nails into a chipped mess. If you want healthy nails all summer long, you’ll need to practice routine care and maintenance. Below, see the top five ways to keep your nails looking and feeling their best throughout the warmer months.
1. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Much like the rest of our bodies, our nails can be affected by the things we consume. If you’re not adequately hydrated or you’re lacking specific vitamins and nutrients, your mani-pedi could suffer. This summer, be sure to drink at least two and a half liters of water per day to ensure proper hydration. In terms of diet, you should try to consume calcium-rich foods, such as meat, milk, seafood, fish, cheese, and yogurt. If you follow a particular diet, like a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, equivalent options include tofu, leafy, green vegetables, and dried fruits. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients through your diet, speak with your doctor about daily vitamins or specific dietary supplements.
2. Develop A Solid Nail Care Routine
For long, healthy nails, develop a nail care routine and stick to it. The ideal regimen includes:
- Clean your nails. Use lukewarm water, antibacterial soap, and a nail brush to wash your hands and nails before using a gentle, acetone-free polish remover to take off any old nail lacquer. Once clean, use a towel to dry your nails thoroughly.
- Shape and file. Use a pair of stainless steel nail clippers and trim back your nails by clipping them three to four times and forming a natural curve. Then, use a nail file and gently shape your nails using long, smooth motions in one direction. This will help prevent breakage and promote healthy growth.
- Care for your cuticles. If you notice any torn skin or hangnails around your nail, do not pull them. Instead, carefully trim the skin and your cuticles, then massage cuticle oil around your nails to nourish the area.
- Moisturize. Once you have completed your nail care routine, massage a gentle, scent-free moisturizer into your hands and fingers.
3. Avoid Too Much Sun
It’s no secret that too much sun can be harmful to your skin, but we don’t always think about the effect it can have on our nails. To avoid damaged nail beds or a faded manicure, apply sunscreen to your hands and fingers every morning. You should also try using a non-yellowing topcoat or a polish that contains UV protection. If you notice ridges forming on your nails, then it’s time to limit your sun exposure and focus on your nail care routine. Increasing your water intake can also help keep your nails and cuticles healthy.
4. Always Be Prepared
Before heading to the beach or sitting by the pool all day, be sure to pack your emergency nail care kit.
Your kit should include:
- Nail polish
- Non-yellowing topcoat
- Nail file
- Stainless steel nail clipper
- Stainless steel cuticle trimmer
- Acetone-free polish remover
- Cuticle oil
- Hand moisturizer with SPF
- Cotton balls or pads
5. Give Your Nails A Break
During the hotter months, it’s essential to give your mani-pedi a break every now and then. Since your nails are porous, the summer sun can cause discoloration and breakage; having polish on your nails can worsen the issue. To avoid damage, remove your nail polish one day before repainting to give your nails a chance to breathe.
If you can’t live without perfectly polished nails, apply two layers of a strengthening base coat before your favorite polish, then apply a quality topcoat to block out UV rays. After your set is dry, use a nourishing moisturizer or oil that contains SPF and massage it into your skin.
Pro Tip: See a Professional Nail Technician
There’s nothing like the work of a professional nail technician. While the above tips are easy to follow, a nail tech from Genesis Career College can give your nails the proper care they deserve. Our dedicated professionals will not only use the best products and tools available to treat your nails, but they will give you sage advice on how you can care for your nails in between appointments.