Growing at about a third or fourth of the speed at which fingernails do, toenails are completely replaced in about one year. That’s why it’s very important to keep them in good shape, because any problems will stick around for longer.
Take a look at some of the best toenail care tips, that will keep them healthy and looking great, so you can enjoy wearing open-toed shoes whenever the weather allows it.
1. Moisturize Regularly
There are many ways of keeping your toenails moisturized, but the truly important thing is that you do it regularly. Since nails get more brittle as you age, especially when they’re regularly covered in polish, you should try to give them the moisture they need at least once a week. Cuticle creams can do the trick, but if you want a more natural option, try petroleum jelly or vitamin E oil. Gently rub them into your toenails regularly.
2. Avoid Dangerous Ingredients in Polish
While most nail polish removers are acetone-free and less drying, the polish itself stays in contact with your nails much longer, and can contribute to a yellow tint. Ingredients to look out for in toenail polish are toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde. One of the best toenail care tips is to also remove your less toxic polish with a remover that doesn’t contain any alcohol.
3. Wash Your Feet with the Right Soap
Keeping your feet and toenails clean is very important, but you shouldn’t use any soap that’s too harsh. Find a mild soap cleanser that’s also pH balanced in order to remove any dirt from your feet and toenails without any bad long term results. Don’t forget to always dry your toenails carefully, without rubbing them with a rough towel.
4. Get Your Biotin and Keratin
Biotin (vitamin B7), also known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, contributes to nail thickness, so it’s very important in order to reduce splitting. As long as you eat a balanced diet, you don’t really need supplements, but try to eat more nuts, root vegetables, and eggs .
Keratin is the main protein of nails, so making sure you have enough is also one of the best toenail care tips. To increase its production, you can eat more lead lean meat, along with beans and nuts, and gelatin.
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5. Trim Them the Right Way
Whether you use toenail clippers, scissors or special nippers, it’s important to keep them trimmed. Depending on their growth rate, you should cut them anywhere in between 2 weeks and a month. Straight across is the best way to cut them, with the option of filing any rough edges. If you cut them down the sides, the risk of ingrown toenails is increased.
6. Massage Regularly
If you massage your feet and toes, you’re increasing blood circulation which is beneficial for your toenails as well. So one of the best toenail care tips is massaging your feet, including your toes, at least once a week. Don’t use massage oils, instead choose a mildly antiseptic foot cream, like one that includes aloe vera.
7. Wear Flip-Flops in Public Spaces with Exposed Feet
Keep the risk of foot infections to a minimum by wearing flip-flops in any public space where feet are exposed, from public showers to locker rooms. If you want to be extra safe, always wash your feet as soon as you get home with a mild antibacterial soap.
8. Avoid Tight Shoes
Always making sure that your shoes fit your well is one of the best toenail care tips. If your toenails are regularly grinding against the inside of your shoes, the risk of ingrown nails are other health problems is much higher.
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9. Keep Your Cuticles
While most manicures are done by gently pushing back the cuticles, some pedicures still include cutting the cuticle on the toenails. Besides a higher risk of infection, it’s also damaging to the nail in the long run.
10. How to Trim Thickened Toenails
If you’re dealing with thickened toenails, which can be caused by psoriasis or fungal infections that sometimes happen even when you’re following the best toenail care tips, nippers are your best bet. Use them straight across with small cuts, so you won’t have to deal with any splintering, which is common for thickened toenails.