Nail Care Beyond Aesthetics: Maintaining Healthy Nails

nervous young woman posing with a towel on her head with a broken fingernail

Good nail care extends beyond aesthetics, it is a fundamental component of overall personal hygiene and health. Healthy nails are not just an indication of good grooming; they serve as a reflection of one’s overall well-being. Nails, like hair and skin, require regular care and attention to preserve their strength, appearance, and functionality. They serve as a barrier for fingertips, aid in everyday activities, and can signal warning signs of potential health conditions. Beyond cosmetics, maintaining strong, healthy nails helps prevent infections and injuries.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Nails

For women, men and children, a few fundamental practices can promote strong, healthy nails.

  1. Regularly trim nails to an appropriate length, typically just beyond the fingertips. It helps reduce breakage and dirt accumulation beneath the nails.
  2. Use an acetone-free polish remover and limit the use of nail polishes containing harsh chemicals.
  3. Periodically give your nails a break from polish to allow them to breathe, and to avoid discoloration or weakening.
  4. Protect the nails by wearing gloves when engaging in manual work or labor-intensive activities.
  5. Eat a balanced diet with an intake of essential nutrients, particularly protein, biotin, iron, and vitamins A and C. These can promote healthy nail growth.
  6. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  7. Avoid excessive exposure to water and harsh chemicals. Wear gloves while washing dishes or using cleaning products to prevent nails from becoming brittle and weak.

Related: 10 habits that are destroying your nails and how to break them now.

Caring for Fingernails

For healthy fingernails, keeping them clean and dry is important. Regularly trim them to a moderate length, and file them gently to smooth any rough edges. And don’t use nails as tools to open things.

Regularly wash your hands with mild soap and water to remove germs and bacteria that could lead to nail infections. Then moisturize hands after washing, especially during dry weather or when frequently exposed to water. This helps prevent the skin around nails from drying out, cracking and becoming prone to infection.

Caring for Toenails

Nails on your feet also require specific care. Wash your feet daily, and dry them thoroughly—especially between the toes. Wear clean, breathable socks and well-fitting shoes to prevent fungal infections and other foot-related issues.

Regularly trim toenails straight across and not too short to prevent ingrown toenails—a common and painful condition. Use foot creams or moisturizers to keep your feet hydrated and prevent dry, cracked skin.

Is Nail Polish Healthy or Unhealthy?

Nail polish is used to enhance the nails’ appearance, but its impact on nail health can vary based on the product quality and how it’s applied and removed. The primary concern revolves around chemicals found in some polishes, such as formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, which can cause nails to become brittle, discolored, or prone to breakage. Water-based and “free of” formulas, such as “3-free,” “5-free,” or 10-free,” are healthier options that exclude certain harmful chemicals and reduce the risk of damage.

Not giving the nails a break between manicures and pedicures can hinder the natural processes of the nail bed, potentially causing damage or increasing the risk of fungal or bacterial infections. Unpainted nails allow natural oils and moisture to replenish the nail beds and promote resilience.

Proper application and removal methods help, too. Applying a base coat before the colored polish can act as a protective barrier, preventing direct contact between the nails and the pigments. Using a gentle, acetone-free nail polish remover and avoiding aggressive scraping or buffing during removal can prevent damage to the nail surface.

Gel polishes can adversely affect hail health if applied or removed incorrectly. Use a protective base coat and follow the correct removal process to minimize potential damage.

Finally, using nail strengtheners, treatment polishes, and creams can be beneficial. These specialized formulas often contain ingredients like keratin, biotin, or other nutrients designed to strengthen and protect the nails by fortifying the nail structure and promoting healthier nail growth.

Professional Nail Care for Healthy Nails at Mira Spa and Salon

A spa experience at Mira Spa and Salon can contribute to fostering healthy nails through a combination of specialized treatments and practices, like professional manicures and pedicures aimed at cleaning, shaping and caring for the nails and surrounding skin.

Our trained technicians possess the skills and knowledge to properly trim and shape nails without causing damage or weakening them, and can offer tailored nail care to address specific nail concerns. Ask about our nail strengthening treatments, nail repair therapies and cuticle health regimes. You can also enjoy a relaxing hand or foot massage and the application of specialized lotions or creams to keep the skin hydrated.

The use of high-quality nail care products and tools further enhance treatment effectiveness, with nourishing ingredients and sterilization and cleanliness practices to ensure a safe, hygienic environment for nail care procedures.

Schedule Your Manicure or Pedicure at Mira Spa and Salon in Reston, Virginia

At Mira Spa and Salon, our commitment goes beyond traditional beauty and aesthetics. We believe in nurturing not only the outward appearance, but the health and well-being of our clients. Nails are not just a canvas for artistic expression, they are indicators of overall health and personal hygiene. We understand the role healthy nails play in our daily lives, and with our holistic approach to nail care, we help contribute to the strength, appearance and resilience of our clients’ nails.

Contact Mira Spa and Salon today at 571-313-8962 to schedule your beauty appointment. Or book your appointment online.

Sign up for our app to get a special discount!