If you experience weak, brittle or peeling nails then you will be pleased to hear there are several natural remedies that you can do at home using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Harnessing the power of the nutrients found in natural foods and oils also means you are missing out on the unnecessary chemicals and preservatives often added to commercial nail remedies and treatments.
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Lemon juice could help to brighten your nails and remove stains, and the vitamin C promotes stronger growth. Using a cotton pad, swipe lemon juice over each nail and allow to dry. You could also use a slice of lemon directly on the nail. Do this twice a week, following with a rich moisturiser.
You could also add a few drops of lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and microwave in a cup for 15 seconds until it is warm to create a nail mask that can be massaged into your nails and left for 30 minutes, or if you can, overnight for maximum benefit.
Coconut oil is very hydrating and can help strengthen your nails and soften your cuticles. Also, it has anti-fungal properties which is great news if you’re prone to nail infections.
For a nourishing treatment, warm coconut oil for 20 seconds in the microwave and massage into the cuticles before bed. To seal in the treatment, wear a pair of thin cotton gloves overnight.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also has anti-fungal treatment1, so is a must-try if you suffer with fungal nail infections, which if left untreated can cause you to lose the infected nails.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic, which works by neutralising the alkaline environment that encourages fungal growth. An apple cider vinegar soak twice daily is advised. Fill a foot bath or large bowl with equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water. Soak your feet for at least 20 minutes, before patting dry with a clean towel.
Garlic is rich in selenium, which helps promote nail growth. You could either rub your fingernails with a sliced piece of garlic, or if that is too pungent for you, you could make your own garlic oil to use as a nail mask.
To do this, sauté chopped or minced garlic in a pan with some olive oil in a pan for 10 minutes, taking care that the oil does not bubble or smoke. Let the oil cool, and strain the oil into a glass container, discarding the garlic pieces. You can massage this oil into your nails and cuticles every night, before rinsing off in the morning. Remember, massage stimulates blood flow which helps deliver nutrients from your bloodstream to your nails.
Honey helps fight bacterial and fungal growth, and can help keep your nails and cuticles nourished and supple. Combine honey’s hydrating properties with those of lemon juice to create a honey and lemon nail mask by mixing 2 teaspoons of honey with a few drops of lemon juice, and massaging into your nails before leaving for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly and you should be left with brighter nails, soft cuticles and if used regularly, stronger nails over time.
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Last updated: 22 March 2021