I am a mother of daughters – daughters that will tell you I am forever preaching to them to toss the chemical-laden beauty products and look at the many alternatives. I am happy to report, my message is sinking in . . . slowly, but surely.  They now tell ME about more natural ways to take care of my skin and new natural products to try.  (Did I tell you how much I love having daughters? I do, I really, really do! Especially MY two daughters. They are a delight!)

How to care for your nails the healthy way! Great tips for easy, beautiful, healthy nails. (TheHealthMinded.com) #beauty #health


This post on nail care may seem intended more for the ladies, and true, most of the five tips have to do with those that wear polish, but guys, there is a tip or two in here for you, too. I know you want healthy, nice looking hands, as well.  After all, I’ve spotted a few gentlemen at the salon getting a mani/pedi over the past few months. (But, I won’t name names. The secret is safe with me, boys! I won’t tell your Thursday night poker game buddies!)



The hands can tell a story for both men and women.  They are constantly in view and exposed to the elements. They can take a beating and even indicate a health condition or two. But, here are a few simple ideas to keep them looking their best without all the scary stuff:

1.  Stay five-free.

If you use nail polish, hands off and stay away from products that contain these:

  1. Dibutyl Phthalate
  2. Toluene
  3. Formaldehyde
  4. Formaldehyde Resin
  5. Camphor

And why is that you ask? Because of this:

These ingredients have been studied and covered quite a bit.  Dibutyl phthalate can be an endocrine disruptor, toxic to the reproductive system and perhaps linked to obesity. Toluene is toxic to the nervous system and can impair breathing and cause possible birth defects. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, and formaldehyde resin is a derivative of formaldehyde. And, lastly, camphor can cause liver damage in rare cases when applied to skin.

But, you really don’t need to memorize those long chemical names. There are so many new nail polishes that are 5-free, there is no need to buy the other! Shop around but, you could try one of theseMost of them are labeled as 5-free as companies know many of us do care about avoiding them.

And, oh yes! The gel mani? Best skip that, too.  Here’s why: The products used can cause more nail problems and the UV lamps that are used can potentially cause skin cancer and aging.  Here are more specifics on that.

2.  Watch your mouth.

It’s not just what you spread on your hands, but what goes in your mouth. If you generally have a really healthy diet, but still have brittle nails, studies show biotin can help. It is part of the B vitamin family. You may need prescription strength, though, to have a real effect.

If you use nail polish, avoid acetone nail polish removers, too, for many reasons, one of which it makes nails more brittle as well. Try an acetone-free one with natural alcohols.  Here are some to try. (I have the first one on this list and it works – you just have to work at it a bit harder, but I read about this one here listed at the end of this post to try as well.)

Don’t miss tip number 5 for more information on brittle nails and how it can relate to your health.

3.  Take your own tools.

Buy a manicure kit to bring with you if you get a professional manicure and ask them to use it.  Sterilize the tools when you get home with boiling hot water. Also, put a kibosh on cuticle cutting. Cutting them can cause cracks and infections. Our cuticles act as a natural barrier to fungus, too.

And, while you are at it, bring your own 5-free polish, too. Most nail salons do not have them. Besides, if you get a chip, you can fix it yourself because you have the color!

4.  Make your bed.

Dry cuticles are a drag. I know! I try to moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle at bedtime when it can really sink in, usually with coconut oil.  The moisturizing makes cuticles look a whole lot better and helps protect nails from breaking and splitting.

5.  Go naked.

Go nail polish-free, that is, to give your nails a break.  Buff your nails instead! And when doing so, look closely and watch for possible health problems your nails can show.  Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  • White nails could mean a liver condition.
  • Half pink/half white nails could indicate kidney disease.
  • Yellowing and thickening of the nail with slowed growth may indicate lung disease.
  • Pale nail beds could alert you to anemia.
  • Yellow-tinged nails with a bit of blue at the base are sometimes associated with diabetes.
  • Nail brittleness may also be caused by Raynaud’s disease, low thyroid function or lung conditions.
This slideshow is really specific with photos of some of these nail characteristics.Please make sure to add in the comments any natural products you think are pretty great or any tricks you think useful when it comes to caring for your nails!



Having your personal manicure kit seems very helpful for easier maintenance. Thanks for sharing.

Happy you agree! It is an investment of prevention indeed.

Nail is another most important part of our body to keep it clean and healthier we should follow these tips.

Happy you found the post helpful. And, you are right – clean nails are really important to keep germs away.

This is such a great post. I love the tips and never new of such nail info! Thank you for sharing with us at #homematters Linky party.

That makes me so pleased to know I helped you, Zan! Darling name!

Good to know! I'm going to look for the 5-free from now on! Thanks for sharing with us at Pin-Worthy Wednesday!

Happy to do so! Yes, there are so many polishes to choose from now without those nasty 5!

Great post! I am currently having issues growing my hand nails after a wonderful summer and fall run. I have no idea what happened but they slowly began to break and split. Will take these tips to town 🙂

Good luck getting them back in shape. I know the winter has taken a toll on mine as well! Thank you so much for commenting, Mari.

Thanks for putting all this together. Some good research has clearly gone into this! I'm pinning this xx

I really appreciate that! Happy to hear you found the information helpful and letting me know.

This information is incredibly valuable. I used to treat nail salon time like a mini-vacation, however, now I am much more cautious about using them. When I do go to a salon I choose an organic, eco and health-conscious salon. I ask questions about their products and cleaning processes. I also carry my own natural, eco-friendly polish that is free of harmful additives. Thank you so much for sharing your enlightening tips on healthy nail care with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing!

Happy to hear you found it helpful! Sounds like you are taking all the right steps, Deborah. Thanks so much for sharing the tips with others!

Sometimes we worry so much about getting our workouts in and what we eat that we forget about things like our skin and nails. Thanks for sharing #wowlinkup

That could be! But, what you eat – the right foods – does help you skin and nails. Exercise too! Thanks for commenting!

I bite my nails which is bad but there is something in nail polish that breaks me out so I can't wear it. I am au naturale. #wowlinkup

That is just fine! Just think how much easier that is. No chips to ever fix! Ha!

I love Zoya nail polish. It lasts forever! There is a spa in Williamsburg that does Zoya manicures. I need to some bottles for myself for this spring.

I have not tried that brand! Thanks for the lead and thanks so much for taking the time to share it!

I have to admit, on the rare occasions that I do get a manicure I usually opt for the gel type because it lasts so much longer. I never considered that it could be harmful. Thanks for the heads up!

Yes, unfortunately, that is true! So glad you found the information helpful, Aimee!

#2 is what I struggle with.. lol… but I stay nail polish free and try to take care of my nails as naturally as possible! GREAT POST!! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Thanks so much! Always good to hear from you, Gingi!

Oh, your poor Mom! Those infections can be brutal. My daughter and husband both have Raynaud's, and that is no fun either, huh? And you are up North! So glad you liked the post and kudos to Tom for chillin' with a pedi! Love it!

I totally have Raynaud's disease so maybe that's why my nails are so brittle! Yikes. Great post Lori. I totally bring my own tools when I get a pedicure. I treated my mom to a mani/pedi at a salon, and she did not bring her own tools, got super nasty infections there! Yuck. I felt so bad. And yes, my husband gets pedi's occasionally and seem to show no shame in this! Natural products are awesome and I'm finding out too that no nail polish is better than stuff laden in chemicals.

A nail tech who has been in the biz for a long, long time told me that all the new quick dry nail polishes are really bad for your fingernails. She said using them once in a while is fine but if you use them over and over and over they burrow down into your nails and make them peel and flake off on top.Loceryl 5