12 Tips to Healthy Toenails
Keeping your feet healthy is the overall key to keeping your toes, heels, ankles…and yes, even your toenails happy. So we put together a list of quick ideas for keeping them all singing your praises!
Here is a great collection of tips & tricks for keeping your tootsies in tip top shape (and they aren’t too bad for the rest of you either). Some come from Brain Inspirationail and others were collected from various nail-loving sources. We hope you’ll leave your tips in the comments below!
Most of these are things we think about doing but don’t often indulge in. Taking care of your feet will help them last (and get you around) longer!
1. Moisture, Moisture, Moisture!
Perhaps one of the best tricks to happy feet & toenails is keeping them well hydrated. Not by drinking more water (although that’s important too) but by thoroughly applying lotion to your entire foot & a nice organic cuticle oil to your cuticles. Slather your feet before bed at night and then put on a pair of organic cotton socks as you sleep – instant soft feet!
2. Don’t Drink & Cut
Be sure you take the time to cut your toenails properly, find a spot with good natural light and make sure you have a good set of tools. With toes especially it’s important to cut them straight across (right at the end of your toe) and avoid cutting too much from the sides which can result in painful ingrown toenails. Be sure to file well (& in one direction) so there are no sharp points or broken edges.
3. Get The Funk Out
It’s important to air out your shoes (especially athletic shoes or shoes worn with nylons) any time they get damp when you wear them . Damp shoes can become a breeding ground for fungus (and it helps to keep them from smelling too badly).
4. 100% Organic
When purchasing socks, slippers and anything else that confines your feet, it’s important to go with organic cotton wherever possible. Organic because it is likely to contain fewer chemicals or dyes, and cotton because they absorb moisture, wicking it away from your feet.
5. Eat Your Vitamins
We’ve said it before & it’s worth saying again, we think getting adequate vitamins & minerals is essential to inner as well as outer beauty. However, we are big advocates of getting them through your diet rather than taking them in pill form (call us crazy but) we think that what you eat should nourish you.
6. Think Green
When purchasing polish, treatments or art products be sure to buy responsibly. Opt for brands that care about the environment & your health by supporting those that develop ethical & chemical-free formulas which aren’t tested on animals. Your feet, the environment & the critters of the world thank you.
7. Buffing Up Can Be Cool
Buffing nails is one of those trade secrets that really works. Rubbing each nail briskly with a buffer (even your thumbs work) stimulates blood flow to the area which helps enhance growth.
8. Give Your Cuticles A Break
They have had it! All that pushing and poking and trimming is just too much. Despite all of the tools (& chemicals) you can find out there to “fix” them, if your feet are healthy your cuticles should be too. A regular foot scrub and daily application of lotion and/ or cuticle oil should eliminate cracks & tears.
9. Pack Your Flops
And take them with you wherever you go. Wear them when you are in locker rooms, hotel bathrooms or any other moist, high traffic area that may breed fungus. This saves more than your nails and can help you avoid an itchy case of athlete’s foot as well!
10. You’re All Wet
Nails and moisture don’t go well together, in fact they are sworn enemies. Sadly our feet are often the last in line when it comes to getting the body dry. It’s important to be sure your nails are totally dry after bathing, fishing, swimming or whatever else submerges them. Nails are at their most vulnerable when they are wet.
11. Sugar & Salt Are Actually Your Friends
You don’t have to eat more of them, they are far more useful than that. Keep a fragrant, natural small grained sugar or salt scrub handy at all times, (the grains melt when water is introduced so they don’t clog drains). In a pinch head to your kitchen and mix olive oil, salt or sugar grains and a drop of your favorite scented oil for a DIY scrub that works just as well. Rub in gentle, circular motions all over feet paying special attention to rough spots (be sure to get each toe, cuticle and all the spots in between). Rinse & gently pat dry.
12. Sour Apples Aren’t So Bad
Keep apple cider vinegar handy, it has anti-fungal properties and when applied to nails daily can help cure many common fungal problems.
Try mixing it with a little red vegetable food colouring for a sweet, natural pink colour after application. (Use an old polish bottle & brush to keep & apply your custom tint).
* Anything We’ve Left Out?
We’ve got some good ones, but we can’t have them all. And let’s also be realistic, sometimes we fail to get the right vitamins from our food, or stay hydrated properly, during these times it’s important to pull your socks up and maintain your discipline. We’d love to hear tips from our readers and we hope you’ll leave them in the comments below and be sure to check out some of our natural nail products for a different approach to nails.