Stop abusing your nails. Your nails are not tools.

Stop abusing your nails!

woman displaying bare nails on her hand - one hand crossed over other

Contrary to popular belief, our nails do take a lot of abuse every day!  Knowingly or unknowingly,  we do mishandle our nails and subject them to worse forms of ill-treatment making them to break off, become weaker or lose their sheen and color.

While we are meticulous about our facial skin care and moisturizing routine, we mostly forget about hand and nail care - especially, we take our nails for granted! However our nails also need some TLC once in a while just like our feet and face.  So this post serves as a reminder to pamper our hands and nails every now and then along with our other beauty rituals.

woman with smooth, hands holding flowers in her palms

Nail abuse is quite common

Nail abuse happens on a daily basis. Jobs and chores like gardening put a lot of strain on our nails. Also cleaning, washing and doing the dishes play havoc on our hands making them rough and hard and our nails weak, brittle and easily breakable.

Do read:


Do not use nails as tools

Agreed, nails  make for a good weapon in times of need but do remember never to use your nails as tools. Avoid using them for picking, scratching, digging, opening tins & cans etc.

Whether we like to admit it or not, it's a fact that most of us do commit these beauty crimes time and again!

Nail biting habit

If you have that obnoxious  nail biting habit, you need to get rid of it either with your sheer will-power or by some other means. Nail biting is one of the worst forms of abuses to heap on your poor nails. It can cause irregularities in its shape, delay its growth or cause deformities.

Even Kareena Kapoor is rumored to be a habitual nail-biter! Do read about this Kareena's little-known beauty crime. Anyhow, Kareena doesn't have much to do with her hands and hence can make do with artificial nails and the like, despite her bad habit but we common people can't afford such luxuries.

fingernails devoid of nail polish

Cuticle abuse

Similar to nail biting, some have the habit of picking or chewing their cuticles out of anxiety or nervousness. Both nail biting and cuticle chewing appear to be stress-related or psychological issues.

What are cuticles? They are the thin strip of skin that appears at the base of each fingernail and toenail, sealing the spot where your nails connect to your body. Cutting your cuticles to make the nail appear longer or chewing them as a habit can be problematic for your nails.

finger nail anatomy

Dermatologists say that cuticles are like a barrier or a protection for the nail matrix; cutting them  could cause infection or irritation. It can also lead to  nail problems, such as ridges, white spots, or white lines. and also a full-blown bacterial infection which can hamper nail growth. [Source]

Instead of cutting cuticles, you can can push your cuticles back gently with a wooden orange stick instead, say the dermatologists.

Read: Beautiful cuticles are just 6 steps away.

Use gloves

One has to remember to use some form of cover for the hands while doing chores like gardening, digging, cleaning, washing etc.  Contact with cleaning liquids, detergents etc which have harsh chemicals in them can damage your nails in the long run. 

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So  when we are  doing tasks that rely heavily on hands, we should use gloves as protection -  it's  an important way to keep hands and nails away from damage.  (Buy gloves from here)

Never share nail clippers with anyone

Last but not the least, never ever use others nail cutters or ever lend your nail cutters to anyone. Would you ever share your toothbrush with anyone? Same holds true for nail cutters also.

Sharing nail cutters can cause infections. Read the post Never share nail cutters with others for more details.

Final thoughts

To ensure beautiful, strong nails, get rid of the above mentioned bad habits and quirks and protect your hands with some form of cover.

Better still, be a diva, don't do anything with your hands!  Just kidding!

well-manicured hands.

So do you have any quirks regarding nails? Do you mishandle nails or take care of them? What's your nail care routine? Do share in the comments.

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  1. I have used them before to stop picking! And it use to help me A LOT. But eventually I began carrying tweezers with me to use to pick when I got the urge... or at work

  2. Hello Pretty good post. I just tweet your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

  3. Fake ones could add beauty too.

  4. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Hi, I am an nail biter and skin picker as well. I have used acrylic nails in the past and for me it really was a life saver. I bit my nails so that there was not nail left at all. I felt a sigh of relief when I had them put on. I make them really short. I went in maybe every two weeks and had them revised. My nails grew back under the acrylic nails. If one fell off I went back in and had them reseal it. It took about 6 months for me to feel in control and at that point my nails had no flaws and I was able to stop biting.

  5. I just pick until the nails fall off. I found myself actually enjoying the acrylic nail-picking as if on some sort of vacation or perhaps like, a challenge. I found it maybe lessened the picking but barely anything noticeable. You get used to the nails like you get used to wiping your butt with the nails on. :(

  6. I got acrylic nails to stop biting my nails but because I couldn't feel my fingertips I just ended up doing even more damage to my skin. Although it it a lot harder to pick with them on I ended up with bigger bruises on my face from trying to pick with them. I don't know if it is just me but that is my story ;)

  7. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I have long, natural nails and am considering the acrylics even though they damage your nails just to stop this picking! I agree the cost of maintaining the nails is something to think about. Thx for emailing me as well. I can totally understand you trying to find ways around the nails to continue to pick! Is this the first time you've done the acrylic nails? Let me know how it goes for you and if it seems to work for you, I will get them done as well.

  8. Anonymous4:11 PM

    nail biting can cause infections not only around your nails, but also in your mouth. Chronic nail biting can lead to abnormal nail growth, and even nail deformities. To prevent nail biting, try applying acrylic nails or use a bitter-tasting polish until you are able to break the habit. Because nail biting is often a stress-associated activity, consider learning a stress management technique, such as yoga or meditation, that works for you.


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