Fingernails can reveal a lot about your health, so it’s important to keep them healthy and hydrated. Fingernails that aren’t properly hydrated are more likely to break or split, which can be painful.
A lot of people think that fingernail hydration is something they have no control over, but this isn’t true at all. There are several easy ways to keep your fingernails healthy and hydrated for life if you follow these simple steps:
9 Ways to Keep Your Fingernails Hydrated
1. Include oils in your diet
Oils are a good source of fat and an important part of a healthy diet. The best way to include oils in your fingernail diet is by using them as cooking oil or drizzling them over salads, soups, and other foods.
The recommended daily intake of fats is 25-35 grams per day for men and 20-30 grams per day for women. It’s easy to meet these goals by consuming one tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil or canola oil each day. If you want something with more flavor or if you’re concerned about how much fat is in some oils you can use flaxseed or sesame seed oils instead.
2. Change your nail polish
If you want to keep your nails healthy, we recommend changing up your nail polish every few weeks. This is because the chemicals in some nail polishes can dry out the nails so much that they start to crack and peel. The best way to avoid this is by using a moisturizing base coat underneath your regular color (and removing it with a natural remover).
You can also use a nourishing product, which helps nourish the nail bed as well as protect it from becoming too brittle. If you have lots of time on your hands, you can also try out a DIY treatment like this one. It uses ingredients like olive oil and vitamin E to help strengthen the nails without drying them out.
3. Use cuticle oil as much as possible
If you’re going to be using cuticle oil, it’s important to keep your nails moisturized and hydrated. When applying the oil, use a cotton swab to get it on your cuticles, and then let it soak in overnight. You can use any kind of oil that you like, but we recommend jojoba oil because of its high vitamin content.
When it comes to conditioning your nails, you have a few options. You can use a cuticle oil or an all-in-one nail treatment that contains moisturizers and vitamins. If you’re looking for something more affordable, we also recommend using coconut oil as it’s very cheap and works just as well as other oils.
4. Take Biotin and/or a multivitamin daily
If you’re looking for a way to grow your nails faster, taking Biotin is a great place to start. Biotin is a vitamin that helps with nail growth and can be found in foods like eggs, liver, nuts, and whole grains. It’s often included in multivitamins as well. You can also take biotin supplements; these are available at most pharmacies or health food stores.
Other vitamins that are said to help with nail growth include vitamin A and iron. These can be found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, liver, and other organ meats, eggs, and seafood.
5. Cut back on nail-biting, picking, and using your nails as tools
Even if you’ve been told that nail-biting is bad for your teeth, the fact is that it’s also bad for your nails. Biting causes stress and damage to the nail plate, which can lead to thickened nails and splitting. Picking and tearing away at hangnails can cause infection, especially in those with weakened immune systems.
If you bite your nails, consider quitting. If you’re pregnant or have a weakened immune system, avoid it altogether. And if you do pick at hangnails, be sure to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
6. Use a cuticle treatment
A cuticle treatment is a lotion or oil that you apply to the skin around your nails. This helps keep your skin moisturized and prevents it from drying out. You can find cuticle treatments at a drugstore or beauty store, but if you’re looking for something natural, olive oil makes an excellent DIY version. Just rub some olive oil into your fingernails after washing them with soap and water.
To see results from this method, it’s recommended that you use a cuticle treatment on a regular basis twice daily is ideal; once before bedtime and again in the morning should do the trick.
7. Moisturize the nails after each shower
After each shower, moisturize your nails. You can apply hand cream or cuticle oil to the nails and cuticles after each shower. This will help keep them healthy, so they don’t get dry and flaky. Use a nail brush to gently smooth out any ridges or bumps on the nail.
This will help prevent hangnails from forming. You can also file your nails straight across, instead of rounding them off at the tips. Rounded tips can make it harder for your skin to grab onto the nail bed and cause hangnails.
8. Apply petroleum jelly at night
To promote growth and prevent dryness, try applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your nails at night. This will keep them moisturized while you sleep. To make the process easier, use a cotton swab to apply the jelly instead of your fingers.
9. Avoid acetone-based nail polish remover
Consider avoiding acetone-based nail polish remover. Acetone is drying and can cause brittle nails, so if you’re looking for a way to hydrate your fingernails, this is not the route to take. Avoiding acetone is also more environmentally friendly: non-acetone nail polish removers are much less harmful to the environment.
How Do You Treat Naturally Dry Nails?
If you want to try a DIY treatment for dry nails, here are some options:
1. Hydrate nails with moisturizer
First and foremost, it’s important to keep your hands well-hydrated. This will help keep your fingernails healthy and soft, as well as prevent them from cracking or peeling later on in life. If you’re having trouble keeping them hydrated throughout the day, try using hand lotion right after washing your hands or giving yourself a quick rubdown with an emollient cream after spending time outdoors in the winter months.
2. Use cuticle oil regularly
Applying a small amount of oil onto the nail bed every night will make sure that moisture is able to reach every part of your finger without clogging up any cracks where bacteria could get trapped inside which can cause infections that lead down a long road toward discoloration and permanent damage if left untreated.
What Happens if Your Fingernails Are Not Hydrated?
1. Fungal infections
If you have nail fungus, it’s important to keep your nails hydrated. Without proper moisture, the fungus can spread. Fungal infections will also make their way into the surrounding skin tissue if your nails aren’t properly moisturized.
2. Dry, brittle nails
If your nails are dry and brittle, it’s likely because of dehydration. Dry, brittle nails can also result from exposure to chemicals found in soap, detergents, and dishwashing liquids. Using nail polish remover is another way to dry out fingernails if it contains acetone.
If you think this is the problem for you, start by moisturizing your cuticles with Vaseline or a petroleum jelly-based product. Applying hand cream throughout the day will help keep skin soft and hydrated as well just be sure to let it soak in before going about your business.
3. Yellowing of the nails
Yellowing of the nails can be caused by dehydration.
It is important to keep your nails hydrated in order to keep them healthy and strong. You can do this by drinking enough water, eating foods with a lot of vitamins, and moisturizing your hands after washing them or using hand sanitizer.
4. Painful, splitting or breaking nails
If your nails are splitting, brittle, or breaking, they may be dehydrated. This is a common problem for those who wash their hands often as it causes the nail to dry out. Even if you don’t work with water all day long, it’s still important that you keep your nails well hydrated by applying cuticle oil or moisturizer regularly.
Can You Overhydrate Your Fingernails?
Yes, you can overhydrate your fingernails. Absolutely! Just like anything else, using too much of a good thing can have side effects. When it comes to hand lotion and moisturizer, this is especially true. If you use too many of these products on a regular basis, your fingernails can easily become soft and bend easily.
Keep in mind that the amount needed for healthy nails varies from person to person. The best way to determine how often you need to apply hand cream or lotion is by paying attention to how dry your hands are feeling at any given time and applying more when necessary.
Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of the importance of hydrating your nails. Like many things in life, it’s best to be proactive about taking care of them and not wait until they become brittle or painful. The more you can do to keep moisture in your nails, the less likely they will become dry and brittle over time.