Do you ever get soft, bendy nails? I do, but I also generally have thick, hard-ass, super white, and strong nails. Want to know how?
In my kitchen.
Yep. You can get strong, glossy nails without coating your hands (and nails) with generous amounts of chemicals. No need to run to the store looking for some magical, patented, 30$ nail “treatment” that will transform your life, make you a better parent, and pay off your mortgage.
And if there is one thing that can use some downsizing and simplicity, it is our beauty routine. And nails are no exception.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a list of 100 tips to make your nails stronger.
I only do 5 things to achieve (and maintain) strong nails naturally.
How I make my nails stronger and shinier at home without breaking the bank
These are my top tips for smoother, shinier, and healthier-looking nails. Try them and let me know if they work for you.
1. Lime/lemon juice
Lime juice makes my nails thicker and a lot stronger (pretty quickly too, I might add). But it also makes them look better, brighter and a lot whiter. Like a natural French manicure.
Honestly, with lime juice I can see results as fast as the next day.
I say lime juice because I’ve only ever used lime on my nails. I don’t know if lemon juice would have the same impact, but, according to the internet, it does.
So anyway, lime juice, or lemon juice, is your nail’s best friend. When I notice my nails becoming soft, bendy, or transparent, I rub a lime wedge on my nails. Then I let the juice sit for 5 minutes or so before rinsing it off.
If you can leave it for longer, that’s even better!
(Don’t forget to follow with a good moisturizer, but more on that later).
Tip: whenever I use lime in a recipe, I rub the fruit’s remains on my nails and leave it there while I do other stuff. You can be fancier and use a cotton pad to rub lime juice on your nails. I don’t bother.
2. Olive oil
This one time, I ran out of sesame oil (I use it on my lips and face), and replaced it with olive oil for a few days. But then, after applying the oil on my lips, I got into the habit of rubbing the excess oil on my nails.
(Don’t ask me why. I just did.)
Did you know that olive oil is good for your nails? Because I didn’t. Apparently, olive oil promotes nail growth. But hey, I don’t know how scientific this article is, but from my experience, it’s true.
Not only does it make my nails healthier but they look better too. Like, glossy but naturally; as if I have a base coat on.
Regular application of olive oil directly onto my nails, combined with occasional lemon juice treatments, helps maintain strong, shiny, healthy-looking nails effortlessly.
Some websites recommend soaking your nails in olive oil for 15-30 minutes. I don’t bother. Who has the time?
I simply rub the olive oil on my nails (each nail individually), and leave my hands alone (like, not in water) for 10-15 minutes or so. I usually do it before bed.
Or, if I’m in a hurry, I just rub some on my nails, then use a moisturizer and go about my day.
3. Coconut oil
I noticed that coconut oil works wonders for nails the same way I discovered olive oil: by accident.
Coconut oil has a high content of vitamin E and research shows that vitamin E supplementation can help support nail growth and prevent peeling, cracking, and yellowing nails.
Not going to drag this point. Basically, coconut oil on nails = good.
I use it the same way I use olive oil.
4. The “right” hand lotion
Regular use of the right hand lotion, especially after your lemon juice/olive oil treatment, is essential for healthy-looking nails. However, not all moisturizers are made the same.
Some hand lotions don’t do anything for my nails. On the contrary, some even leave them more “bendy” and transparent than before.
Other moisturizers leave my nails looking particularly good.
I find that lotions that contain the following are ideal for stronger, healthier-looking nails.
- Water or aloe vera juice as the first ingredient
- Vitamin E
- And are rich in nourishing oils (avocado oil, shea butter, olive oil, etc.)
I use moisturizers that are as “natural” as possible and contain “pure” ingredients. I use local (Canadian) brands such as The Unscented Company or BKind but feel free to use whatever brand that is close to your heart. Just make sure you ALWAYS check the list of ingredients!
Insert photo of lotion + ingredients
5. Protective gloves
When cleaning the tub, doing the dishes, or performing a task that requires you to leave your hands in water for long periods, wear gloves.
It’s a small detail but one that can make or break all your efforts to strengthen your nails.
Even if the products you are using for cleaning (or else) are “natural”, it does not mean that they are good for your hands and nails.
Think baking soda + vinegar for example. Yes, it’s a “natural” mix that is a lot more gentle than, say… Clorox. But leaving your hands unprotected in that mix for hours while cleaning your house, scrubbing dishes, etc. will not help your nails in any way.
If you want stronger nails naturally:
- Use lemon juice or lime juice on your nails to make them stronger, brighter, and whiter.
- Coat your nails with olive oil and/or coconut oil to make them shinier, healthier, and strengthen them naturally.
- Seal everything in and protect your hands/nails with a rich moisturizer.
- Avoid leaving your hands in water and strong chemicals. Use protective gloves when doing the dishes or other.
Do you have any more tips to add to this list? Do share them in the comments! ↓