Fashion For Real Women

Fingernail Care Is
Essential to Your Image

What's the easiest way to care for your fingernails? By tending to them regularly. Since most people see your hands on a regular basis, it's important to give your nails the care they deserve -- particularly if you're in a high income position where you're judged on your appearance.

Let's take a quick look at the basics of fingernail care:

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The nails on the fingers and toes are made of a hard protein called keratin. The nails help to protect the fingers and toes from trauma, and usually do a good job of it under normal circumstances. The average nail takes about 90 days to grow from base to tip. Like hair and skin, nails will become brittle and weak if subjected to neglect and poor diet.

Want great looking fingernails without a lot of bother and fuss? Here's how you do it:

1. Eat foods that are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin B and potassium, like dairy products, seafood, celery, and soy.

2. Drink 8 glasses of water every day to hydrate the body, including your nails. Weak and splitting nails can often be traced to poor water intake.

3. Remember that sun and chlorine can make nails brittle. Use sunscreen on your hands, and moisturize well after swimming.

4. Wear gloves when cleaning with harsh chemicals, washing dishes, or gardening. Keep gloves handy in your work areas and use them religiously.

5. Avoid using perfumed lotions that contain alcohol if your nails are brittle. This will only exacerbate the problem.

6. Don't bite your nails.

7. Don't use your nails as tools to open letters, boxes, scrape stuff off surfaces, etc. Use the pads of the fingers instead. Not only will this save your nails, it makes you look more graceful as well.

8. Always use a hand lotion or cream after washing your hands. Soaps and cleaners dry out hands and nails.

Keeping your nails neat and tidy is as important as clean hair and pressed clothes. People notice the details, so take time to attend to them. A few minutes is all it takes to have a nice looking set of nails. We'll get to basic manicures in just a moment, but first, let's look at what kinds of nails are best for you.


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of Beauty at Any Age, an ebook that shows women how to find the right hair, makeup, and skin care routines to look their best whatever their age. Visit her online at  .

Beauty at Any Age - Nail Care

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