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Nail Tips - Dos and Donts

Having a pair of well-groomed hands is as fashionable as any accessory you'll ever wear. The hands are constantly used to perform the simplest to the most grueling manual tasks, so they need special attention that oftentimes goes overlooked.

Maybe you're in your 20s or early 30s and you think you can't possibly have (gulp) aging skin yet. Well, you're wrong. Your skin's 'youthfulness' has less to do with age than how it's been treated, so if exposed to sun, smoke and stress, your skin will start 2018acting old,' losing collagen, glow and elasticity. Lines will develop and pores can seem more pronounced.

It's easier to prevent damage than to repair it but the good news is you CAN reverse skin damage. The nail is comprised of keratin and amino acids, separated into different sections. The most important parts are the nail plate and lunula. The lunula is the bottom part of the nail nearest the cuticle. This grows into the nail plate, which covers the nail bed. Nail care focuses on the nail plate.

Here are dos and 5 don'ts to help slow down and reverse the aging process and leave your skin glowing at any age.

1. Do's

* Leave your nails without nail polish once in a while at least in order to allow them to breathe.

* Keep a pack of hand lotion or cream near the kitchen sink and use it each time after washing your hands.

* Wear gloves while doing housework or gardening and rub some hand cream or lotion before putting on the gloves.

* Apply oil to your nails whenever possible in order to strengthen them.

* Include ample quantities of calcium and vitamin A in your daily diet.

* Keep your manicure set clean in order to prevent any infection.

* Have a professional manicure done at least once a month.

* Cut nails straight-sided with slightly rounded tips to look fingers longer and more slender. This shape looks very nice on short nails too.

* Before doing chores like dusting or gardening, first dig the nails into a soap bar. This prevents dirt from getting embedded under them and also make them easier to clean later.

* A hand massage will boost your circulation and encourage nail growth.

2. Don'ts

* Do not use nails or blades to remove nail polish use only nail polish remover.

* Don't file nails when they are damp.

* Don't cut cuticles

* Don't wash clothes or dishes in very hot water

* Don't bite or chew your nails.

* Don't clean your nails with a sharp metal instrument - use a nail brush and orange stick instead.

* Don't be seen with chipped nail polish - it is a sign of careless grooming.

* Don't leave your hands in detergent for long.

* Don't peel-off your nail polish as you wish to - always use a nail-polish remover.

1. Nail Polish Selection. Whenever we use nail polish, we should select the shade carefully. Deep toned polish looks good on long and slender nails. Pale colours make short nails look longer and they also look good on small, delicate-looking hands.

2. Nail- Length Decision. As regards the nail-length, not everyone can manage long nail. If we do a lot of typing or housework , play the guitar or are a sports freak, long nail are not for us.

File rather than cut as cutting weaken the nail and cause it to flake. File in one direction only from sides to centre, using the softer side of an emery board, not a metal file. Aim for a rounded tip: the shape at the tip should reflect the shape at the base to make a perfect oval.

USEFUL TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL HANDS

* If your elbows have been darkened, apply a mixture of lemon juice mixed with milk cream. Wash off after 30 mts.

* To get rid of elbow darkness, you can also apply a mixture of cucumber juice and lemon juice ( in equal quantities). Wash off after 15 mts.

* If there is a lot of hair on your hands, apply a smooth paste of gramflour and oil on them. Wash off after 30 mts.

How do I avoid getting polish on my cuticles?

Instead of painting right from the cuticle, place the brush on the nail bed about 1/8* away from the cuticle and push backwards toward it, stopping just before the skin.

Nail facts

* Nails grow roughly 1mm each week.
* Lose a nail completely, and it'll take half a year to grow back.
* The longest fingernails ever recorded belonged to an Indian man who sported 48-inch-long specimens.
* Up to 45% of blokes bite their nails.

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