Polish up! Nail care experts share their top tips and favorite products

Are you taking good care of your nails and cuticles?

Whether you’re a chronic nail biter or have dry and brittle nails, the good news is that a lot of damage can be avoided through proper nail care and maintenance. 

According to celebrity Manicurist Michelle Class: ‘Caring for your nails is more than just a manicure once in a while, or a bit of polish.’ Some basic steps can keep your fingernails healthy and strong.

 From top products to dos and don’ts, here’s everything you need for stronger, longer nails.

According to nail experts, adding foods brimming with nutrients to your diet is the key to stronger, healthier nails.

Adrian Sandy, podiatrist at DLT Podiatry, explains: ‘Nutrient-rich foods like eggs, salmon, chicken, legumes and spinach can all contribute to nail growth and strength.’ 

But hair, skin and nail supplements that contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, as well as biotin may help strengthen your brittle fingernails.

Michelle says: ‘Taking hair and nail supplements can really work wonders to help your nails get the nutrients that are needed to grow healthier. Feeding them from the outside in is a great start but nourishing them will help work wonders.’

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‘Cuticles are the natural barrier to warding off fungus, bacteria, and infection, so it is very important that you take good care of them,’ explains Adrian. ‘When you are cutting your cuticles, you lose protection.’

That being said there is an easy and inexpensive solution – cuticle oil. These oils are made with nails in mind and will make your dry, worn skin disappear on contact.

Michelle says: ‘Continue to oil your nails daily, this will stop them from drying out and your polish chipping. Nails tend to chip from dehydration.’

Massage in a few drops of the Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil – the number one cuticle oil on Amazon – to soften cuticles, and nourish and strengthen the nails.

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This longwearing and chip-resistant nail polish from Christian Louboutin Beauty isn’t just richly pigmented, ultra-luxe and the same shade as the brand’s iconic lacquered shoes. It also contains UV protection to help prevent fading for radiant colour that lasts.

Just one or two coats ensures the most glossy, opaque shade.

Michelle recommends ensuring ‘nails are squeaky clean before applying any product’ by wiping them with an ‘oil free polish remover and lint free pad’.

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‘Always keep a base coat on your nails, it acts a barrier against the elements and will help encourage healthy growth,’ says Michelle.

She recommends Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Nail Care, a best-selling nail growth treatment that should be applied to bare nails or under nail colour to reinforce soft, weak, bitten or thin nails so they can grow.

The clear polish from award-winning beauty brand Sally Hansen is the number one best-seller in ‘Nail Growth Formula’ on Amazon, with many shoppers reporting increased nail growth within a week.

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The simplest way to help prevent cracked, dry cuticles is to moisturise regularly. But there’s one product in the beauty biz that gets the job done when your cuticles are in need of a little extra TLC.

Enter: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. This ickle blue bottle helps to soften and remove overgrown cuticles without breaking the skin.

You just apply the solution, massage it into the bed of the nails really well and then use a tissue to rub away excess skin.

One buyer on Amazon said: ‘Does what it says on the tin. I use this once a fortnight and it really does keep my cuticles tidy. Nothing in high street chemists comes close to the power of this cuticle remover.’ 

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Biting your nails is a terrible and bad habit that is particularly common among children and adolescents but can continue into adulthood. According to Adrian: ‘When you bite, you transfer germs, increase your chances of infection and also hinder nail growth!’

Having regular, strength-building manicures will improve the appearance of the nails and help to discourage individuals from biting.

But when all else fails, a topically applied deterrent does the trick. One polish that has helped thousands of users stop biting their nails is Mavala Stop. The number one best-seller in ‘Nail Repair’ on Amazon has a distinct bitter taste to help cure nail biting, with many customers claiming it also helps prevent thumb sucking.

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