How To Get Nails So Healthy, People Will Mistake You For A Hand Model

Breaking a nail is one of the most frustrating beauty blunders of them all. Suddenly, your perfect manicure is ruined and your jagged nail is catching on your cashmere sweater as you search for a quick fix. Missing nail files aside, if you're noticing more broken or split nails than you usually do, it might be time to revisit how you care for them.

Just like our hair and skin, our fingernails deserve an ample amount of attention to remain healthy. After all, the appearance of your nails can say a lot about your health. Ahead, our editors put together a few additional tips that have been proven to work. Here's to many pristine manicures in your future!

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Practice Good Hygiene

Cleanliness is the first step to maintaining healthy, happy hands: Dirty fingernails are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Not washing your hands properly, which includes cleaning under each nail, could lead to a slew of nasty skin infections.

Tweezerman Pushy and Nail Cleaner, $18, available at Tweezerman.
Show Some Glove Love

Fingernails are super porous, meaning water passes through them more easily than other types of skin. Dermatologist Phoebe Rich, MD, tells WebMD that wet, softened nails are more prone to breakage and/or splitting. To prevent both from happening, Rich says to wear gloves while doing household chores (e.g. washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom).

You should wear gloves when working outside, too — especially once the weather turns cold. Low temperatures can lead to peeling and other types of trauma.

Mr. Clean Bliss Latex-Free Gloves, 1 Pair, $4.99, available at Amazon.
Break Bad Habits

Nail-biting is a common way to relieve stress and anxiety, but it's actually really bad for you. As this gruesome BuzzFeed article points out, the habit is damaging to your teeth, spreads germs, and can even stunt nail growth... forever. To help you stop bitting once and for all, the experts at ORLY developed a special, bitter-tasting nail polish that many have found effective.

ORLY No Bite, Nail Bite Deterrent, $11, available at ORLY.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Healthy nails need constant moisture to stay looking pretty. Without it, they sometimes turn weak and flaky. And because, again, fingernails have a high porosity, the peak time for moisture absorption is immediately after you wash your hands. For the colder months, consider stashing your favorite moisturizer in a purse to moisturize on-the-go.

Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl, Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Hand Cream, $28, available at Sephora.
Use A Cuticle Cream

Fingernails grow from root to tip. Therefore, protecting the area closest to the root, a.k.a your cuticles, is key. Cuticle oil seals in moisture and works to cure dryness. Cuticle creams do the same thing, but for the most part are less messy and you won't have to worry about any product spillage when toting them around.

Julep Your Cuticles Look Thirsty, Fast-Absorbing Cuticle Crème, $20, available at Julep.
Consider Taking A Vitamin Supplement

Many are convinced that biotin supplements can grow hair and nails at rapid speed, though research on the topic isn't fully supportive. Still if you're itching to give them a try, we love these ones, which are easy to pick up at Sephora while you're restocking your makeup bag.

HUM Nutrition Killer Nails Supplements, $20, available at Sephora.
Paint On A Protective Layer

While your nails are healing, give them a boost in strength with a salon-quality nail hardener. Different from just a regular top coat, this clear nail treatment is fortified with various proteins and nutrients that bond to the nail for added strength.

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener, $17.05, available at Amazon.
Stay Away From Harsh Nail Products

Put the acetone nail polish remover down. Yes, it works. But the stuff is sooo drying, which is exactly what fingernails that are already dry don't need. Reach for a gentler alternative instead that nourishes your nails in the process.

Nails Inc. Express Nail Polish Remover Pot, $8, available at Sephora.
Invest In Pro-Quality Tools

Using dull nail clippers is a big no-no. They make grooming a hassle and can tear the nail if you're not careful. A sharp, clean pair is always your best bet.

Revlon Deluxe Nail Clipper, $2.99, available at Ulta.
File On Sight

No matter how hard you try, sometimes snags at the ends your nails are simply unavoidable. Keeping your fingernail tips smooth and slightly rounded will minimize the chance of tears.

Diamancel Mini Nail File, $20, available at Sephora.
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