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Wednesday 23 March 2022

Six Months to Improve My Nails


Dear friends.  I'm ashamed of my nails. When I was young, I had long, strong nails. But for the last few years, my nails have been in a terrible condition.

I try to do the right things. I always have at least 3 different cuticle creams and oils on the go, and apply them twice a day. I use rubber gloves. I rarely use nail polish.

But I also wash my hands constantly and use hand sanitizer.  I like water in the washing up bowl to be as hot as possible. My job means I am constantly typing. I sometimes do gardening without gloves because I like the feel of the soil. 

So how to improve my nails? 

I've done a fair bit of research into what causes brittle and weak nails. As well as the behaviours listed above, it could be down to nutrition, particularly lack of B vitamins, calcium and fatty acids;  overexposure to moisture or chemicals, and age. 

Nails emerge from the nail beds, the half moons visible above our cuticles. The growth period is approximately three months. Cuticles are key as they act as a seal to protect the young nail. My cuticles are dry and I'm constantly getting hang nails. My answer is to trim with scissors, which is a big No No.

My nails have ridges, which is common as we get older, and if I look closely, the nails on the right hand, below, which in worse condition than the left hand, seem to have more damage near the tips, which maybe implies a trauma or incident a few months ago. 

I have to file them nearly every day because they catch on things and seem to tear. Even then, it's very hard to get a smooth edge.  The layers are separated.

When I go on holiday and I'm not doing housework, gardening or typing,  my nails always improve. So it shows that my bad behaviors definitely have an impact, 

Nutrition for Better Nails

Vitamin B7, known as Biotin, is said to be essential for strong nails, although there is very little official research to prove this, and no recommended daily amount. I would be surprised to be deficient in  this vitamin because it's found in foods I eat daily: cooked eggs,  nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts). cauliflower and mushrooms.

But as it isn't harmful to the body - any excess is excreted, not stored in the liver - in large doses, I am now taking a biotin tablet daily from Swiss BioEnergetics via Amazon.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help lubricate and moisturize the nails, giving them a shiny appearance. These fatty acids may also reduce inflammation in your nail bed, which nourishes and promotes the health of cells that give rise to your nail plate. 

Omega 3 is found in fish, flaxseed, walnuts, tofu, shellfish, canola oil, navy beans, brussels sprouts, and avocados. I could be deficient here because I only have fish (salmon) once a week, and from that list, the only other things I eat are walnuts and avocados. So I'm going to supplement my diet with omega 3. 

The UK recommended daily intake is 500mg of EPA and DHA combined each day, this works out as around the same as a 140g portion of oily fish per week. If you take medicines to thin your blood, such as aspirin, warfarin or heparin, speak to your doctor before taking fish oil supplements – they can also thin your blood.

I'm getting the Omega 3 from a new company, ID Supplements, formed by Justin Lord who's a well-known fitness guru in the UK, and was an instructor in nutrition and psychology at the boot camp I attended in November.  He's taking a  PhD in nutrition and is very knowledgeable on the subject.  (Not gifted). 

Products to Improve Nails

The best cuticle conditioner I've found is from leading UK podiatrist Margaret Dabbs. Their Nourishing Nail and Cuticle Serum Pen is £12 and also available from John Lewis, Feel Unique and Amazon. They also have a Crystal Nail File, £12 which is the gold standard for filing - in one direction only.

I am using a new hand cream, just launched, (gifted) from Look Fabulous Forever. It contains shea butter and B vitamins. It's quickly absorbed into the hands and nails and doesn't feel sticky. I'm also leaving tubes of my other favourite hand cream, L'Occitane Amande (almond) next to wash basins, and in my handbag for when I'm out.  I'm trying to use hand cream every time I wash my hands.

When I wash my hands, I'm switching from a harsh anti-bacterial wash to one from L'Occitane that has good reviews for being very moisturizing.

I'm also using water that's not so hot when I wash dishes by hand, and making sure I wear gloves when doing tasks where chemicals are involved. 

The slow growth rate of nails, and the fact that supplements take a while to make an impact, means it will be a few months before there's a significant improvement.  Join me in a few months for an update. If you've had similar problems, and took action, I'd love to hear your tips.

I've included links in this post to some of the products I like, but none of them are affiliate links. 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace, Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Stylish Monday (first Monday of the month) with Ask Suzanne Bell, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri and Traffic Jam Weekend at My Bijou Life

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Bloggers/Instagrammers can find new readers, plus readers can find new blogs to read. I promote my favorite five posts on Facebook every week, plus announce the most clicked posts in Instagram Stories. 

Last Week's Favourites

Dining at the Ritz from Jacqui of Mummabstylish. I've always wanted to do this myself, and Jacqui looked great in her last minute buy from M&S. 

Teddy Blake- My New Handbag Obsession by Hello Katie Girl was also popular - the bag is such a gorgeous shade of blue.

Favourite Non-Fashion Post

I adore Greek food so how could I resist this Greek houmous pizza from Estelle of Homemade On a Weeknight! 

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  1. I go to my nail stylist every 4 weeks. I have acryl nails with gel lac and no bother for 4 weeks! I think it's ideal!

  2. Oh Gail, the joys of aging nails! Totally get you, the ridges, the layered nail tips.
    Here’s my experience. For health reasons I started taking a mix of vitamins and minerals religiously some six months ago and ate more healthily (including oily fish). A bonus was that after some 5 years of layered tipped paper-like nails, my nails miraculously hardened and grew a beautiful length by Christmas and weren’t tearing. I was excited! But just before Christmas I started taking hormone suppressants (again for health reasons) and although not layering now, they break easily and are no longer the lush strong long points I’d been so thrilled with a few months ago. So my observation is getting the right mix of supplements and diet really does make an impact, but for me it was a shame that I now need to suppress oestrogen and progesterone is high seems to counteract the benefits of the supplements I take. So I wish you the best of luck on your quest, stick with it and I’m confident in a few months we will see pics of your long and strong nail tips!
    Hugs xxx.


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