As we continue to go down the list of hair and skincare guides, there’s one specific topic that we’ve not discussed yet and that’s nails. As gel and acrylic nails are starting to rise in popularity, we foresee that nail health will start declining. Having pretty, nicely coloured nails, unfortunately, pays a price (also literally). It weakens the nail and causes brittleness, peeling and cracking. Long-term users may also suffer premature hand ageing.

Aside from taking breaks from your mani-pedis, there are actually many other ways you can do to take care of your nails. Then again, that doesn’t mean you should go all out on painting them every week or month. When your nails are healthy, you’ll be able to see that the nail plates are a pinkish-white colour with a prominent half-moon shaped at the base, nails and white tips are at even lengths and cuticles are there.

Who knows — maybe you’ll prefer to have your nails all bare, shiny and healthy-looking instead of coating them with nail polish. Here’s what you can do to achieve healthy nails.

1. Stop peeling your gel polish.

This is one bad habit you have to stop. Peeling off your gel nail polish may be extremely satisfying to do but a thin layer of your nail will go along with it when you do. So essentially, you’re actually peeling off the top layer of your nails too and that’s not good. It weakens your nail and it won’t be smooth. Any polish that goes on top of it will also chip faster.

2. Stop sawing your nails back and forth while filling

This may be a mistake you didn’t even realise you’re doing. Filing nails are not just sawing it back and forth. It should be done in one direction, file from the side of your nail to the centre. Lift the file away then file back at the starting point. Sawing it will just make the tip frayed while doing it in one fluid motion will give a clean edge.

3. Stop adding nail polish remover into your polish to thin it out.

Guilty as charged? We understand the frustration upon discovering your favourite nail polish dried out — but mixing in nail polish remover is not the solution. Why add in the one thing that removes nail polish into your polish — get it? Adding it in will only turn your polish foggy and less vibrant, the paint will also chip faster. Instead, add in a few drops of nail polish thinner.

4. Stop cutting your cuticles.

Surprised to see this in the list? Manicurist often remove them to ensure a clean-looking nail bed. But in fact, cuticles exist to protect your nails from bacteria and infection. So if you have a hangnail, use a cuticle remover instead. Apply it around the perimeter of the nail bed, then push it back with a flat tip or a cuticle pusher. The dead skin will then easily dislodged itself by just rubbing tissue on it.

5. Stop shaking your polish.

Do you see your nail polish formula separating in the formula? While the instinct move is to shake the bottle to combine them, it’ll only create air bubbles in the formula. Eventually, the bubbles may also show up on your nails when you paint them. The correct method is to roll the bottle in between your palms.

Jolin Lee
Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.