Nails. The subtle keratin layer at the ends of our hands and feet. Have you ever wondered why we have nails? Your nails and cuticles protect your fingers and toes from outside forces. Just like how animals have claws, we have nails to help grip. Our nails also protect our fingers and toes from damage, whether from physical force or bacteria.
Because your nails are essential in protecting you, proper nail care is critical. Healthy nails mean they can do their job in blocking out bacteria and enduring force. To help you in your nail care journey, here’s a general guide to standard products used to support your nails.
Your cuticles are very important. They protect the nail bed (the fleshy part underneath your nail) from bacteria. Often the number one nail care product people recommend, cuticle oil helps keep this barrier against germs nourished and healthy.
Because cuticles are the final line of defense against invading germs trying to get into the nail bed, it is best to avoid pushing back or trimming your cuticles at all. But if you want to clean up your cuticles, invest in a high-quality cuticle pusher and remover. Do your research before pushing your cuticles back.
Oils can come in an easily accessible twist brush form or the traditional nail polish-esque bottle. Check out DEMIblue’s Cuticle and Nail Oil Pen.
Used to trim nails, nail clippers keep nails at a healthy length. Keeping your nails shorter prevents hangnails, nail breaks, and ingrown nails.
Trim straight across your fingernails, leaving a little bit of the white area of your nail. Generally, you want to follow the curve of your natural nail shape. Round off the sharp edges with a nail file so they won’t catch on to things. Also, trim toenails straight across.
Fingernails grow much faster than toenails, so clipping them weekly is a safe practice. You won’t need to clip toenails as frequently.
It is also good practice to disinfect your clippers every month.
Used in conjunction with nail clippers when trimming your nails, nail files help achieve a more detailed and close trim. Where clippers are suitable for trimming a general shape to your nail, nail files can wear down the odd small areas of the nail that a clipper is too large to reach. Nail files are also great for refining your desired nail shape and evening out all those sharp edges after the initial trim with the nail clippers.
Start at one edge and file half of the nail when filing your nails. Repeat with the other side. Always file in fluid motion in one direction. A back and forth sawing motion when filing may actually damage your nails.
Both emery boards and glass nail files are commonly used. Glass nail files are known to be more gentle on the nail. Check out DEMIblue's Nail File.
Buffing can smooth out the ridges on your nails, making nails feel sleek. It is helpful to do in-between applications of nail polish, letting your nails breathe while also causing the surface of your natural nail to look glossy and healthy. Though it is not necessary to buff your nails as a part of your nail routine, it’s an extra step that helps your naked nails look clean and shiny.
Buff by moving from the base of the nail near the cuticle to the edge. Try not to buff side to side.
Buffer blocks often come with four sides with four different purposes. Go from the roughest surface to the smoothest one. Start with the file side, then buff, polish, and shine to achieve a nice polished nail.
Like moisturizing your cuticles, hand lotion keeps your hands and fingernails moisturized. Dryness causes nails to be more prone to brittleness and breakage. Hydrating your nails with hand lotion helps strengthen your nails over time.
Nail treatments, otherwise known as nail strengtheners, repair nails by replenishing keratin and moisturizing the nail. They are another way to keep your nails hydrated to prevent dryness or breakage. Considered another option for your nail hydration routine.