Are you taking good care of your nails? Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual colour or shape?

What's normal, what's not

Your fingernails are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin. They grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. As new cells grow, older cells become hard and compacted and are eventually pushed out toward your fingertips.

Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail.

Do's and Don'ts

Keep your fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria, fungi and other organisms from growing under your fingernails. 

Trim and file your fingernails regularly. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. It might be easiest to trim and file your fingernails when they're soft, such as after bathing.

Use moisturiser. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.

Abuse your fingernails. To prevent nail damage, don't use your fingernails as tools to pick or poke things.

Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.  Pull off hangnails. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. 

Reasons why nails may split

Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals, and avoid long soaks in the tub.

Avoid harsh nail care products. Limit manicures. Between visits, touch up nail polish as needed and don't remove it. If you must use nail polish remover, avoid those that contain acetone.

Repair split fingernails quickly. Repair splits or tears with clear polish to keep the problem from getting worse.

Tips to help you on the road to beautiful nails

Learn how to use your tools properly. Filing can be a rather damaging action for your nails and when not done properly it can lead to damaged or flaking nails. I use a glass file. Regardless of the type of file you use, only file in one direction – no sawing actions!

Coconut Oil is a godsend natural product. It cures everything even repairing dry, damaged cuticles. You can also use Vaseline. Rub it on your cuticles once each week. The massaging action and the softening action of the oil will stimulate nail growth and healthy cuticles.

Or if you are like me, I like my nails to look pretty when I treat them. Orly Nailtrition is a nail growth treatment as well as nail strengthener. 

Orly Nailtrition RRP $19.95

Orly Nailtrition relieves severely damaged, weak and slow-growing nails by stimulating the natural, healthy growth process. Nailtrition is infused with strength-promoting collagen, bamboo extract, protein and keratin. Helping strengthen peeling and splitting nails.

You can use it as a base coat under regular nail polish or on it's own. It has a pretty soft pink shimmer finish, making my nails look shiny and healthy.

OLY Professional Nails are available from selected pharmacies and salons nationwide as well as online at


  1. Lovely post! Great tips! I really need to work on my cuticles!!

  2. Always like tips like these! Great post!

  3. Great tips! Although I'm going to pretend I didn't read the one about no long soaks in the bath tub!

    1. Lol, I think we are all guilty of that one! It's a luxury I'm willing to comprise beauty for!


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