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There’s no shortage of products on the market to strengthen nails and reduce splitting and breakage; but how well do these products really work? Is it even possible to make nails stronger?

What Causes Weak Nails?

If you have weak nails, you can blame it partially on your mom and dad. Weak nails are genetic to some degree, and some people naturally have tougher, stronger nails. There’s not a lot you can do about that; but be sure you’re not contributing to the problem by eating a poor diet.

Fingernails are made of a protein called keratin, so protein malnutrition can cause weak nails – as can certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies – such as a lack of B vitamins and zinc. Occasionally, a medical problem such as an underactive thyroid causes nails to be brittle. It’s a good idea to have a blood test to rule out these problems.

To Make Nails Stronger, Stop Using Nail Polish Remover

Some people indirectly contribute to the problem of weak nails by exposing their hands to harsh detergents and chemicals. One of the biggest problems people have is overusing nail polish removal products. Nail polish remover weakens the nail plate which causes the entire nail to grow in weaker. Nail polish removers are also too drying. If you have to use one, look for one that’s acetone-free.

What Can You Do to Make Nails Stronger?

Some people drink gelatin in hopes of strengthening their nails, but there’s little evidence to support its benefits. How about vitamins? Taking mega-doses of biotin had some benefit in a Swiss study, but the amounts needed to strengthen the nail were quite high.

The Power of Moisture to Strengthen Brittle Nails

If fingernails are weak and brittle, adding moisture helps. One of the best ways to reduce splitting is to apply petroleum jelly to the hands, put on a pair of cotton gloves, and leave them on overnight. Soaking the fingernails in almond oil or olive oil also helps moisturize the nail and reduce brittleness.

What about Commercial Nail Hardeners to Strengthen Nails?

Don’t waste your money. Some of these products dry out fingernails and make the problem worse. Eat a healthy diet that has enough high quality protein and keep your fingernails well moisturized. Fingernails need a break from nail polish and nail polish remover – so give them one as often as possible. Do this consistently and your nails should be less prone to weakness, splitting, and breakage.

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Put Your Best Face Forward: How to Create Your Perfect Skincare Routine

Skincare can be a real minefield. There are thousands of products on the market and you can combine them in millions of different ways, so how do you find the routine that will give you flawless, fresh, and glowing skin? The reality is, no two women are the same, and our skin can be affected by a plethora of different factors. Your genetics, your diet, the climate you live in, and the products you use will all affect your skin. There’s no point following a generic routine that doesn’t take you personal needs into account. Follow these steps to build the perfect skincare routine for you.

Find Your Skin Type

How does your skin feel right after you’ve washed your face with water? If it feels tight, you’ve got dry skin. If it’s greasy, you’ve got oily skin. A mix of tightness and grease? That’s combination skin. And if you’re neither oily or dry, congratulations! Your skin type is generally described as “normal”. Products are broadly designed to suit skin in these different categories, so this is the first step to finding skincare that works for you.

Pinpoint Any Specific Issues

Maybe you’ve got acne, or a pesky patch of dry skin that never goes away. Maybe your makeup doesn’t apply smoothly because you have a particularly oily T-zone. You might have issues with your skin’s texture, appearance, or both. Or perhaps you’ve got no particular issues with your skin and you’re just looking for a routine to keep your skin healthy. Figuring out what issues you need to target will help you find the right products. For acne, you want oil-free products and gentle acids, while dry skin needs moisture-rich solutions. For problem-free skin, you need products that won’t be too harsh so they don’t throw your skin out of whack.

Start With The Basics

You don’t need a thousand products when you’re starting out. After all, if you add fifteen lotions and potions to your daily skincare, how will you know what’s working? Focus on finding basics that are targeted for your skin type and any specific issues you have –
that means a toner, a moisturiser, and sunscreen. Washing your face with water, toning and moisturising, and using sunscreen when you go outside – that’s the base you need to start perfecting your skin.

Branch Out

Once you’ve found your basics, gradually introduce new products. Some good options are an exfoliant for the morning and a cleanser and serum for morning and night. Again, always look for products that target your skin type and introduce them one at a time, giving each two weeks so you can judge any positive or negative effects (unless you have a bad reaction to them, of course).

Once you’ve put a basic skincare routine in place, it’s all about trial and error. In time, you’ll find out exactly what works for you, but in the meantime, these steps will give you the building blocks you need to coax your skin towards gorgeous, glowing perfection.

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