A polished manicure is always in style. However, regardless of colour, a polished manicure is really about having healthy, presentable nails.

Sometimes colour can get too high maintenance, and let’s be honest there’s nothing worse than colour that chips.

Growing healthy nails can be challenging, so in order to overcome it we need to understand, what are nails. Our nails grow from the area under our cuticle called the matrix. This matrix is the living part of the nail. The cuticles are the layer of skin that protects the matrix, so cuticle health is very important for nail health and growth. As new nail cells grow in the matrix, older nail cells are pushed out toward your fingertips and become hard and compacted.

Heredity and health determine how fast nails grow but nails typically grow 0.1mm a day, which means that it takes a fingernail about 4 – 6 months to fully regenerate.

Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges or grooves. They’re uniform in colour and consistency, and free of spots of discolouration.

Fun Fact – Nails grow faster in summer than in winter, nails on your dominant hand grow faster and men’s nails grow more quickly than women’s, except when a woman is pregnant when nail growth speeds up.

How long your nails should be is a matter of personal preference. It depends on your lifestyle and activities. Netballers cannot have Kylie Jenner claws! Your nails are less likely to tear when they are all equal length and shaped round, oval or square.

Here are our 5 Top Tips for Growing Natural Healthy Nails

  1.  Look After Your Cuticles

The cuticle is a barrier that keeps bacteria from the nail matrix, where new cells are generated, so it should not be cut or trimmed. Now we know you don’t want the cuticles from over growing over the nail, it looks awful and actually suffocates the nail.

So if your cuticles have grown over the nail plate, after softening the cuticle in warm water, gently push them back with a cuticle pusher.

Also remember to keep the cuticles hydrated. We recommend using natural almond oil or rosehip oil.

Given the importance of your cuticles… Don’t bite or pick your cuticles. Doing so can damage the nail bed, allowing nasty bacteria to enter and cause infection.

  1.  Wear Gloves

Detergents are particularly harsh on your nails and can cause splitting and peeling. Wear gloves when washing the dishes or cleaning. You should also wear gloves when gardening to protect your nails from infection and prevent dryness, damage and loss of natural oils.

  1.  Don’t Use Your Nails as Tools

 Don’t use your nails for peeling off stickers, use a pen. Don’t use your nails for dialling a number, use your finger tips. Don’t pick or scrape with your fingers, and avoid opening cans of soft drinks with your nails. Actually avoid cans of soft drinks altogether!

  1.  Eat a Balanced, Healthy Diet

A diet lacking in Protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, B Vitamins and Folic Acid will result in weak and brittle nails. These are important vitamins and minerals for the growth and structure of healthy nails. Remember that Vitamin C is a super vitamin for production and formation of collagen, which dramatically improves nail health.

Vida Glow’s Beauty Blend is a great addition to your daily diet, as it contains all of the above and more.

The Beauty Blend ingredients are Manuka Honey, Blueberries, Raw Cacao, Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Probiotics.

  • Manuka Honey famously has four times the nutritional properties of regular honey. It’s a source of amino acids, B vitamins, Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
  • Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, fibre and antioxidants.
  • Raw Cacao has the highest level of antioxidants measured by the ORAC score, also high in iron, magnesium and calcium.
  • Chia seeds are high in fibre, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, omega 6 fatty acids, calcium, copper, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.
  • Flaxseeds are rich in folic acid, high in fibre, high in omega 3’s, protein, selenium, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and vitamins B1 & B6.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc, protein and iron.
  • Probiotics are the healthy gut must have. Good bacteria in the gut is essential for the balance of healthy flora, which is essential for the absorption of the vitamins and minerals listed above.
  1.  Supplement Your Diet with Collagen

If you’re having troubles with peeling and splitting nails, lack of collagen could be to blame. Collagen protein is the building block of your fingernails. Adding a collagen supplement such as Vida Glow’s marine collagen to your diet can help keep your nails strong and healthy. In a study using hydrolysed collagen, the subjects receiving marine collagen had significantly positive effects on nail improvement and quality, as well as an improvement on nail growth.

We recommend starting on two servings a day if you have weak nails, or nails that are damaged by shellac or acrylics.

You can add Vida Glow marine collagen to plain water, smoothies, juices, porridge, yoghurt or even hot drinks like tea. Try one of our favoured options such as Mango or Peach to spice up your collagen intake.