Keeping Your Nails Healthy During the Winter


Winter dryness doesn’t discriminate. We’ve all been there: sitting at our desk, minding our own business and nursing a hot cup of coffee, when we feel the tell-tale sign of dry, sandpapery skin. Look closer, and you’re likely to see flaky, frail nails that are ready to snap if you dare try to open up a soda can.

As for nail polish? You’ve got some work to do before you can get painting.

Try these tips for keeping your nails healthy during winter and delight in once again sporting perfectly pretty paws.

Stay Hydrated

Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to contribute positively to the health of your nails is to flood your cells with plenty of water. Constantly running your central heating and losing sweat while shoveling snow combine with dry winter air to cause dehydration and, in turn, brittle nails.

The old recommendation was to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but the current, more individualized guidelines suggest dividing your weight in half and drinking that number in ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should aim for 100 ounces of water.

Moisturize Like Crazy

Dry, cracked, rough hands are a sign that your nails are suffering as well. Double your hydration efforts with a moisturizer that includes some or all of the following:

Fatty Oils: Dry skin loves fat, but you need oils that won’t feel greasy or clog your pores. Sweet almond oil, argan oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are all good choices, and shea butter has been popular for years.

Humectants: Humectants aid in hydration by attracting water and locking in moisture. In moisturizers, humectants are listed as glycol or glycerin.

Ceramides: These lipid molecules have waxy characteristics that help skin cells stick together and form a barrier against the outside world. While ceramides are made naturally within your body, lipid-rich moisturizers can boost levels and provide even greater protection.

SPF: Surprise! Your hands are vulnerable to sun exposure just like the rest of your body. You might not notice a sunburn on your hands or fingernails, but discoloration and age spots can pop up when you least expect them, especially after years of sunscreen-free tanning.

Implement a New Nail Routine

Nail care is the last thing you’re thinking about when carpool duty, job responsibilities and a demanding social life strain your schedule, but putting together a nail care routine might be exactly what you need to keep your hands healthy and beautiful. Start by addressing your cuticles with a soak and a gentle cleanup, and then massage away dead skin using a sea salt scrub.

Trim and shape your nails, slather on a creamy lotion, and after the lotion as soaked in and your nails are clean, apply a color-changing nail polish for a fun final touch.

Join the “Make Mittens Optional” campaign and show your nails and hands some love. You’ll love how good you feel — and look.

Plus, nail your Valentine’s look with this cute, easy Chevron Heart nail design using Del Sol color-changing nail polish!

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