Clean and Dry
Bacteria flourishes in moist environments. This is why you always want to make sure your nails are kept as dry as possible for as long as possible. If you regularly do the dishes, be sure to invest in a nice pair of cotton-lined gloves to avoid weakening and cracking your nails.
Protect the Nail
Though strong, nails are actually prone to quite a few things that can weaken their ability to protect your fingertips. Hangnails, when pulled, not only introduce the potential of infection to your finger but could damage tissue. The cuticle, so often pushed back when nails are painted, should never be disturbed. It acts as a protective shield along the bottom of the nail and can’t do its job if it’s continually displaced. Harsh nail care products, such as nail polish removers with acetone, break down natural oils on the fingernails, making them brittle and hard, irritating the skin around the nails.
Believe it or not, the building materials pulled from your body to craft your fingernails are directly derived from the food you eat. The better you eat, the healthier your nails will be. At the top of this list is biotin, a B-complex vitamin that is found in dairy, salmon, and sweet potato. Magnesium is another heavy hitter and is found widely across a variety of nuts and beans. Finally, keratin, the structural protein that makes up your nails, is increased better and faster when you eat enough protein. Meat, of course, is the biggest source, but if you’re aiming to avoid animals, dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains also provide this essential macronutrient.