Dry nails, brittle nails, rough nails, peeling nails, discolored nails— we hear it all, so here are some expert tips from DermPhysicians of New England on how to best care for your nails!

Much of what are nails start to go through as adults is a direct result of what we do with them over our whole lives- wear and tear. Wet work doing dishes, peeling price tags off of purchases, opening cans, basically using our nails as tools 😢. And THEN there is what we do to make them look good that makes them suffer years later- gel manicures, gluing on tips (and then removing them), harsh polish remover, baking them in UV, soaking them in acetone 😫. So as long as you know you may pay for it later, do what makes you happy but at your own (nail) risk.

🫳 Tip #1– Nails get dry like our skin, and dryness leads to being brittle, looking rough, and splitting. Most people do not intentionally moisturize their nails, and we should 💧! When you use hand cream for your hands, rub it into each individual nail. Disclaimer: this does not work when they’re polished. If you already have rough or dry nails, try using Am-Lactin moisturizer on them at bedtime.

🫳 Tip #2– Do not trim or push back those cuticles if you can help it! This causes damage to the cuticle under which the nail is actually made, so you can permanently lose your cuticle and then have a permanently deformed-looking nail 👎. Moisturizing, as above, also helps keep the cuticles smoother and healthier.

🫳 Tip #3– Bonus if a couple of times per week (or more if you’re ambitious), you can add a nail and cuticle oil for overnight, like from Sephora, or some argan oil 🩸.

🫳 Tip #4– If your nails are weak, you can apply a clear nail strengthener or hardener 💪 such as Sally Hansen with nylon. Apply once weekly to clean nails, and do not remove in between with remover (as that would negate the benefit).

🫳 Tip #5– To do as little damage as possible from filing, try a crystal or glass nail file! Sounds exotic but easy to get on Amazon.

🫳 Tip #6– protect and be kind to your nails. Try not to use them as tools 🪛 and protect them from water and soap damage by using gloves 🧤 to do dishes.

The sooner you start, the better! There are no magic fixes for nails once they are overly damaged!

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