How to Get Healthy Nails

pretty nailspretty nailsBy Woman's Day Staff

Flawless Nails

For many women, an anti-aging routine consists of a wrinkle cream, the occasional exfoliating scrub and a serum at night. But while you're patting, buffing and rubbing, your nails are screaming, "What about us?" They have their own list of aging-related concerns-yellowing, ridges, brittleness-caused by a gradual decrease in circulation, says Glenn Kolansky, MD, a dermatologist in Red Bank, NJ. Plus, years of painting on dark polish can stain nails. Here's how to turn back the clock. Photo by Veronique Beranger/Getty

The Doctor's Diagnosis

Turns out, exercise not only builds muscle but also stronger, healthier nails: "Twenty to thirty minutes of cardio three times a week increases blood flow to your hands and feet," says Dr. Kolansky. More common in fingernails, brittleness can be improved by taking a biotin supplement. Toenails, meanwhile, are prone to thickness-caused by being stuffed too often into tight or high-heeled shoes, says Chicago podiatrist Elizabeth Kurtz, DPM. Make sure your footwear fits properly and save heels for special occasions.
Related: Try 6 all-natural beauty fixes.


The Manicurist's Trick

Remove ridges and minimize yellowing by buffing in an up-and-down (never side-to-side) motion as needed, recommends Amber Edwards, nail director at Mario Tricoci Salon and Spa in Palatine, IL. And since deep reds and plums can discolor nails, stick to nude or light pink polish (or use a base coat before wearing darker hues).
Related: Discover why it's all in your kiss.


The Home Remedy

To improve the look of your nails, massage them with a mix of sugar (to smooth), olive oil (to moisturize) and lemon juice (to lightly bleach), says Bela Pandit, DPM, a podiatrist in Evergreen Park, IL. Combine a teaspoon of each in a small bowl and rub it into your nails and cuticles in a circular motion for 5 to 10 minutes. "Doing this simple act increases circulation to your nail beds," Dr. Pandit explains.

Products to Try

Three inexpensive solutions for smooth, beautiful nails.

Revitalize nails with this essential oil-rich soak, which contains citric acid to brighten. Manicure by OPI in Effervescent Soak, $7.95; OPI.com

A base and top coat, hardener and whitener all in one bottle. 7in1 Wonder Nail Recovery, $11.90; LCNUSA.com

This has four sides to file, smooth, remove ridges and add shine. Sally Hansen No More Ridges Nail Shaper and Buffer, $1.49; at drugstores
Related: Learn 10 style tricks to look younger instantly.


Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

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