Let me introduce to you my new miracle pill -- Vitamin H, commonly known as biotin. It is actually a B vitamin (Vitamin B7 to be exact), so why is it known as Vitamin H? The H stands for haar und haut, German for hair and skin. It's miraculously restored my nails.
I have had a split nail bed on my left thumb for about a year. Although I have always had problems with my nails breaking, peeling, and tearing, this split nail was a real problem. I kept it cut very short, but the edge of it was always catching on things, causing it to split down further. It was split down about 1/8 inch, which was significant since my nail bed is only 1/2 inch long. I was afraid it would tear further down, and maybe even completely split.
I kept it short and kept it polished, using the polish as a sort of "glue." I tried gel nails, thinking they would glue it together until it had time to grow out. Bad idea. Gel and acrylic nails are hard on your nails, and my thumbnail actually still split through all that plastic.
A friend brought me over some of this Swiss Silk. You cut a tiny piece of it, lay it over the tear or split and brush a special glue over it. This works really well to repair a tear until it grows out, but didn't fix the underlying problem. It also must be removed with pure acetone, which is hard on nails.
|Swiss Silk is available at Sally Beauty Supply; I also saw it on Amazon|
Within a couple weeks of taking biotin, though, I could see my nail repairing itself. Within two months the nail had almost completely healed. All my nails are stronger and healthier, and I can go without polish.
I love nail polish. It can be a fun way to add some glitz and sparkle, or it can be tastefully elegant, or pretty and feminine, depending on what you do. But one of the reasons I have worn polish is to keep my nails from peeling. I have tried going without polish, thinking that the polish and remover was in itself further weakening my nails, but within a day or two my nails would be torn or peeling. Sustained no-polish time didn't seem to improve things either.
I love the look of my new natural nails, and am going to enjoy them sans polish for awhile. It is nice not to be checking them all the time for chips.
Food sources of biotin include swiss chard, whole grains, bananas, eggs, lentils and beans, and salmon. Zinc and iron are good for nails as well. Good sources of zinc include animal protein as well as beans, oats, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Iron is also found in animal proteins, as well as in almonds, apricots, spinach, and kale.
Another thing that helps protect your nails is wearing gloves when doing dishes. I always keep my yellow latex gloves at the ready. Moisturizing is also essential.
I love these moisturizers, but my go-to, the one I keep on my kitchen sink counter, is this inexpensive, and last-forever, Shea Moisture Baby Oil & Rub. It's available at CVS and Target and has argan oil and frankincense and myrrh extracts. Don't let that scare you. The scent is very subtle. I just rub in a few drops and massage it into my cuticles; pure luxury for about $10. I've had mine for six months, and am only a quarter way through the bottle. It is oil, so it takes a couple minutes to absorb into the skin.
Here is a cuticle oil that gets rave reviews, and it smells good too. I see it has parabens in it though . . . sigh. Paraben is a preservative, used in thousands of makeup and beauty products, but there is some controversy as to its safety. I guess maybe I'll just continue to rub natural oils into my cuticles.
With all this talk of natural, do we even want to know what's in these favorite polishes?
My two current favorites below, Mod About You by OPI and find me an oasis by essie. I haven't tried the Jamberry nail wraps yet, but will report back. Anything that's not going to chip is definitely worth a look.
|I love how this Prismacolor pencil in Cloud Blue matches the essie polish|
I am not a purist by any means, but I am trying to avoid as many chemicals as I can. Some nail polishes contain the "toxic trio," formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalates. There are now lots of "3 free" and "5 free" (the toxic trio plus camphor and formaldehyde resin) nail polishes out there at different price points. Chanel's polishes are 5-free. Who knew? Some have claimed to be 3- or 5-free but aren't. I guess do your homework if you're concerned.
Helping me today has been The Official Blog Cat. Admittedly, this is not the most flattering shot.I'm ashamed to say I laughed so hard that my dear kitty jumped off the bed and stalked away in offended dignity.
On the bed is a cathedral window quilt. I made about 75% of it back before I had children. It then sat in a drawer for 20 years !! until my mother finished it for me. All hand stitched. One of the few large sewing projects that I actually (almost) finished.
Do you have any tips for healthy nails?
Linking with Share Your Cup Thursday.
Linking with Share Your Cup Thursday.