In the beauty game, nails are our MVPs. They have a way of upgrading (and sometimes saving) our look, so keeping them in tip-top shape is crucial. There are many everyday habits and elements that are doing some serious damage to our digits — and sometimes we don’t even know it! To help you keep your nails looking lovely and polish-ready at all times, we came up with a list of top nail crimes.

nail habits

Fake Nails. Faux nails in acrylic and silk wrap form are quite common and an easy way to get picture-perfect, long-lasting nails. However, the price of these artificial luxuries can sometimes outweigh the benefits. Applying fake nails can put you at risk for infection and can thin your natural nail (yikes!). Prolonged usage of acrylic nails in particular can lead to even more scary stuff like the drying out of natural oils and nail splitting. The moral of the story? Opt for natural nails, ladies! If you insist on going the long-lasting route, try a gel nail polish instead. If your nails are already feeling the effects of these faux services, try a strengthening product like essie Grow Stronger.

Vigorous Filing. It’s important to keep nails trimmed and filed, but it’s also possible to overdo it. Feisty filing of the nail bed can thin the nails, make them bleed and possibly lead to permanent damage and infection. Take a light approach when filing your nails and don’t dwell on it for too long.

Nail Biting. Biting the hand that feeds you has long been a frowned-upon practice, both literally and figuratively. Not only is it unattractive, but it can be über-harmful to your nails. The area under your nails can carry and store a lot of bacteria and biting can spread those undesirables to your mouth and teeth (yuck). We recommend donning your nails with a protective solution and polish so you’ll be less inclined to gnaw at your digits. For full-proof armor, try essie Millionails.

Dry Cuticles. Cuticle care is huge. If your cuticles are in bad shape, your nail health can inevitably be impacted and your mani will look less than stellar (who wants that?). Keep your cuticles fresh, clean and nourished by embracing two key products: hand moisturizer and cuticle cream or oil. Keep a hand cream (we love The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream) at your work desk or in your purse and reapply every few hours to make sure your skin is soft and supple. To nourish your cuticles, go for essie Apricot Cuticle Oil and apply daily. This will deliver much-needed nutrients to your hands and will keep them from getting dry and flaky. 

Lack of Cleaning. This is the stuff of Nail Care — and Skin Care — 101. Our hands and nails are constantly in contact with outside elements and, therefore, more susceptible to germs and bacteria. Keep those toxins at bay by cleaning and purifying your hands as much as possible. Use antibacterial soap and keep a handy sanitizer like The Body Shop Coconut Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer handy (pun intended) at all times.

How do you keep your nails in good shape? Tell us in the comments below. 

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