Whatever nags your nails, get them in top form with these simple solutions.
Problem: Splitting nails.
Cause: Blame everyday hand washing and household chores for splitting nails. Water rinses natural oils away, leaving nails dry and brittle.
Solution: Nail oil massage. There's only so much you can do to minimize contact with water (like wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes), but you can prevent brittleness with regular moisturizing. Rub in a nail oil several times a day. Also helpful is nail polish or a clear strengthener. Look for one with calcium and fluoride to help fortify weak and frail nails.
Problem: Bumpy nail surfaces.
Cause: Often, nail surfaces get bumpy with age. This condition can also be genetic.
Solution: Smooth ridges with a buffing block
Though there's no way to stop ridges from forming, using gentle back-and-forth buffing motions on bare nails can smooth the surface over time. Another option: Coat nails with a protein enriched ridge-filling base coat to fill in crevices.
Problem: Peeling nails.
Cause: Sawing back and forth with a rough file can fray nail tips, making them more prone to shredding.
Solution: Use a fine-grade emery board to prevent peeling.
File in one direction with a gentle side-to-center sweeping motion. Glass or ceramic files also work well and are washable and reusable.
Problem: White spots.
Cause: White spots are usually the result of trauma, such as slamming your nail in a drawer.
Solution: While you can't erase these spots, you can hide them with polish. They do eventually grow out.