Caring for your nails the natural way

Many women — as well as men — feel more attractive and better groomed with manicured hands. Just follow these tried-and-true all-natural nail care methods.

Caring for your nails the natural way

Improve brittle or soft nails

Anyone who has them knows how frustrating they can be. There are, however, simple ways to strengthen brittle nails. Start by coating your nails with a little warm olive oil mixed with a couple of drops of lemon juice every evening. Wear soft cotton gloves and let the mixture work overnight.

  • To strengthen stressed fingernails, mix together 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of silicic acid gel (from a health food store) and 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of beer. Apply to your nails and let work for five minutes, then rinse.
  • Vitamin B₇ (biotin) also strengthens your nails. It is abundant in brewer's yeast, soy products, organ meats and egg yolk.
  • Avoid growing long nails and fast-drying nail polish. The latter makes your fingernails brittle.
  • Soft nails can be toughened up by rubbing them once daily with a mixture of cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Nail oil recipe

This is a treatment for creating flexible, strong nails.

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) almond oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) jojoba oil
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 5 drops lemongrass oil

Mix all ingredients and massage into nails morning and evening.

How to apply lasting nail polish

Look for nail polish with as few chemical ingredients as possible. The Chinese may have had the right idea 3,000 years ago, when they began painting their nails with a mixture of egg white, gum arabic, gelatin and beeswax. When using more modern nail polish, keep in mind these helpful pointers:

  • Before applying nail polish, it is always a good idea to prime your nails with a protective, nurturing base coat.
  • Apply the nail polish in two coats: start with a stroke in the centre of the nail and then do the sides in two to three strokes.
  • Nail polish lasts longer when you apply a protective top coat.
  • Nail polish remover should be acetone-free and should contain oil to keep your fingernails from drying out too much.
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