*First and foremost, your nails are NOT tools, so don't use them to pry open lids or other such things.
*Don't use nail polish and polish remover all the time. Some polish has acetone that dries the nails, and most remover has it as well. This ingredient causes the nail bed to dry out and split.
*Don't use a sharp object to "clean" your nails. This too is harsh and can split the nail bed. Don't bite your nails or cut your cuticles.
*Don't over "buff". Applying too much pressure when buffing makes the nail bed thin and prone to breakage.
*Of course, you'll want to keep your nails out of harsh detergents , drying soaps, and too much water, just as you keep your hands away from these irritants.
*Basically, you need to treat your nails just as well as you treat your hands and other skin! Massage and moisturize your nails and cuticles as often as possible.
*Give yourself a manicure every week. Soak your cuticles in warm water to soften and gently push them back when needed.
*Trim dead (and only dead) excess skin with sharp manicure scissors as needed.
*As with all the body's skin, it is important to keep it nourished from the inside and the out. Maintain your hydration level, and eat and supplement adequately.
FOR DULLED, YELLOWED NAILS-
Simply scrub them gently with white vinegar. Or,
Mix 1 Tbs. hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of warm water and soak your nails in this solution for 15 minutes. Once finished, rinse and pat dry. Whichever you choose, do this two times a week to obtain the desired effect.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbs each of almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and honey. Also add in the liquid from 4-5 vitamin E capsules. Set this aside while you soak your nails in warm water for ten minutes, then pat dry. Then massage the oil mixture into the nails of your hands, and don't forget the toenails! Really concentrate on the cuticles. Use this mixture after you shower or wash your hands too. You will have enough oil mixture for at least four treatments. This recipe locks in moisture, while it strengthens and conditions.
Heat 5 Tbs. of cocoa butter until it is just melted, then stir in 1 tsp. of wheat germ oil, 3 Tbs. avocado oil, and 3 drops of rosemary essential oil. Stir this mixture for about five minutes, until the mixture is cooled, then massage into the cuticles (also great for calloused areas) of the hands and feet. This formula is made of extra rich conditioning oils and will be a great moisturizer. This mixture will remain good for 2-3 months, so feel free to make extra!
HOT OIL TREATMENT for NAILS
In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Allow the olive oil to cool down until it is just warm to touch, then add in the liquid from 2-3 capsules of vitamin E. Stir well, then massage the mixture into the nails, concentrating especially on the cuticles. Massage the excess oil into your hands for a moisturizing treat! This treatment nourishes, while strengthening and affording flexibility of the nails.