Monday 23 October 2017

Beauty Dilemma: Brittle nails

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Sinead Van Kampen

I've just started a new job which involves much more contact with water and my nails have started to become brittle and my cuticles sore. Although my nails are breaking my toes are fine and I wondered whether this was to do with the job or the fact that I tend to paint them more than I used to. Any ideas?

Brittle nails are a common problem at this time of year and can be caused by a number of factors. Low humidity, dry heat, vitamin deficiencies and repeated wetting and drying will all take their toll. A change in routine and nail care, as well as applying some strengthening products, should help get your nails back to full strength.

A large part of the damage to your nails will have been caused by the expansion and contraction in the nail with the wetting and drying as a course of your work. As your nails absorb the water a swelling takes place which makes the nails more likely to be brittle as they contract and dry out. The simplest course of action is to leave the nail polish for a while and look to protect your nails and hands from the water with rubber gloves which will help lessen the splitting.

Your nails are now in a weak condition, so building and strengthening the nail will help get repairs moving. Avoid using invasive nail treatments for the moment and swap your polish for a conditioning treatment that protects, hydrates and helps strengthen nails. It may also be a good idea to reduce the frequency that you paint your nails and when removing polish use an acetone free remover which is kinder to the cuticles.

For strengthening products, try Leighton Denny Renovate Nail Repair Therapy as this is a good product for soothing nails and also works to fill minor breaks and splits. A cuticle repair cream will also reduce the tenderness around the nail and when it comes to buffing and filing using a glass file rather than a metal version will be much kinder to your nails.

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