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Pretty nails – the secret is to having gorgeous, healthy nails.

Many people – both men and women alike – want to have good looking or pretty nails, and often wonder what the secret is to having gorgeous, healthy nails.

Nail care is key to making a good impression or maintaining it, because one’s hands are almost always on view. We use our hands a great deal – when meeting new people, shaking hands is one of the first things we do – and so our hands are always up for inspection. This is why it is recommended that we do our utmost to ensure that our nails are always clean and healthy.

In a nutshell, having great-looking nails involves two basic tasks: taking care of the nails per se, and taking care of one’s body.

Let’s take up the first task now. There are some things that need to be done, some more frequently than others, to keep the nails clean and presentable. Firstly, clean your nails when you clean your hands – use mild cleansers and warm water to wash your hands whenever you’re required to do so, taking care to wash your nails every time you bathe. You may need to use a nail brush to gently scrub along the sides and rear of the nails – the cuticle area – as well as under the nails themselves to dislodge any dirt. (Take care not to wash the hands too often; this can dry the skin and the nails. It can help to slather on a little lotion after washing, if your skin is dry.)

At least once a week you will need to subject your nails to some dedicated nail care. Soak the hands in warm water for a few minutes to soften the cuticles. Use a cuticle stick or pusher or other such tool to gently push back long or exposed cuticles. Trim these along with the nails, making sure not to cut too deeply, and file nail ends to remove jagged edges.

Avoid such practices as nail biting – this results in very bad-looking and unhealthy nails. Watch out for infections like nail fungus, which can result in strange discoloration – see a doctor immediately if this is the case.

As for the second tip – taking care of one’s body – this will help ensure that the nails not only look healthy but are really healthy inside and out. This means eating right and taking in the right nutrients. A balanced diet and vitamin and mineral supplements will help ensure that your nails get all the nourishment they need. Make sure to get enough meat protein; B-vitamins (dairy products, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds); Vitamins A (leafy green vegetables, liver, carrots) and C (citrus fruits, red peppers); the Omega-3 fatty acids (tuna, salmon, nuts and soybean products like tofu); and minerals like zinc (again dairy products and eggs) and calcium (dairy food, leafy greens). Drink plenty of water; the moisture is necessary to keep nails healthy.

Once your nails are clean and healthy – and you will know this is the case, as healthy nails are pink, spotless and without bumps or discolorations, and healthy nails are pretty nails – you can look into having a mani/pedi or applying nail art to amp up their good looks!

Proper care and nutrition is vital to having pretty nails. The beauty of healthy nails can be accentuated perfectly by nail wraps and stickers!

Sabrina Rocca