When it comes to getting pampered, getting our nails done is usually somewhere in our top 3 favorite things to do or get done. Whether you’re self-manicuring or heading to your favorite nail artist, having healthy nails is a great start to ensure that your manicure is more of a lit situation than a letdown. 

Photo: @oliveandjune

While some are blessed with healthy, moisturized hands and nails, others may not be as lucky. Refinery29 spoke to an elite nail technician at Blow LTD in the UK, Kerrie, who revealed that some people are born with “weaker nails than others,” similarly as to how some are born with certain hair types or eye color. Despite the genetic differences, external factors can also play a big role in the state of your hands and nails. 

Small things in our everyday lives, such as peeling off gel nail polish or picking at your acrylics, can have a negative effect on your nails. “Doing the dishes without gloves [and] even hot baths can inflict damage,” shared Kerrie. However, ensuring that you moisturize your hands with hand cream or lotion after you’re exposed to water — including after simply washing your hands — can help remedy dry hands and brittle, flaky nails. 

Photo: @oliveandjune

Aside from your hand creams and lotions, cuticle oils are recommended twice a day to keep your nails from over-drying if you’ve recently gotten Shellac and gel nail polish. Gel nail polish has gotten a bad rap due to the intensity of the UV rays and the acetone used when removing the polish. If you’re not ready to break-up with your gel nail polishes, don’t fret, cuticle oil massages and hand creams along with breaks in between gel manicures can help restore nail health. 

British Vogue teamed up with Gel Cream's Sheptovetskaya to share a guide for beautiful hands in which Gel Cream suggests using soy-based nail polish removers, which takes a little more time, but are healthier in the long run. When it comes to buffing and shaping her nails at home, Sheptovetskaya uses a basic four-side buffer to keep her nails tidy. 

Photo: @oliveandjune

“I always finish up shaping with downwards movements towards the edge of nail to seal the layers. Then I spend 10 to 15 seconds per nail buffing. It will smooth ridges, clean the surface before the nail polish application and it gives an instant finished look to the nail,” stated Sheptovetskaya. 

Just as Kerrie did, Sheptovetskaya also recommends daily use of cuticle oil and hand creams, preferably hand creams with SPF, to protect your skin from sun damage. If you continue to feel lingering dryness, make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day — it’s as helpful for your nails as it is for your skin and hair.  

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