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Get it Nailed

Get it Nailed

My nails are a bit rubbish right now. Usually they grow strongly and withstand the rigours of daily life, but for the past month, they’ve been flaking and splitting. It’s driving me nuts, not least because I am meant to be the person handing out the advice on things like how to keep your nails in good nick. I know you need to eat well (like your hair, nails are considered non-essential when your body is dishing out the nutrients you have given it, so if you are short of protein and vitamins, your hair and nails will be the first things to suffer). And usually I do eat healthily and take supplements like Imedeen or BioCorrex for backup, too.

I know you shouldn’t soak nails too long in water, nor use them as tools for scraping and prising. But once they’ve gone wrong and a healthy diet and hand cream isn’t doing the trick, what else is there to try? Help popped up on twitter in the shape of @nailistasista, aka top nail technicial David Barton, who pointed out that once a nail is weakened, whenever it goes in water, the water gets in between the peeling layers and when it evaporates, strips out some of the natural oils from the nail plate, a vicious circle of disrepair. You need to break this cycle. If you can’t find a professional nail technician to seal the layers and help them recover, nail strengtheners can help, though as David observes, most people only put these on once a week or when they are painting their nails. ‘Apply it every day,’ he says, ‘coat over coat, then remove it once a week and start again. Rub Solar Oil into your cuticles, and yes, take supplements to help support the nails’ recovery.’

So I’m starting off with CND’s Toughen Up base coat and meanwhile am lining up the supplements: Perfectil’s new Plus Nails and Colladeen’s Advanced Formula for Skin, which beauty-editor friends recommend highly. Which to try first? I’ll let you know how it goes.


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