Beautiful and glowing skin, vibrant hair that shines, and nails that don’t crack and chip are all part of what every woman desires. The good news is that these are within reach of each of us and that many of the factors that help in one area will positively impact all three. Our experts worked to compile the best tips to help you develop and maintain their health.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
All three thrive on good diets full of vitamins and minerals. Your hair and nails love biotin, which is found in eggs, milk and bananas. Your skin in particular enjoys the antioxidant effects of foods like red grapes, blueberries, and nuts (which also contain selenium). The three biggest categories of antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. Generally speaking if you eat a balanced diet of rainbow colors that come from fruits, vegetables and lean proteins you are doing yourself a huge favor. This means that avoiding processed foods which are high in sodium, sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives will help you to look and feel better.
Do Not Smoke
Not only is smoking really bad for your lungs, heart and brain, it makes you look horrible. It keeps you from being able to sleep well, thus contributing to dark circles under your eyes. It increases your risk of psoriasis and the accompanying scaly skin. It causes premature aging, which comes with wrinkles. In fact, smokers look on average, 1.4 years older than non-smokers of the same age. Smoking stains your fingers, nails, and teeth yellow giving you a jaundiced appearance. It impacts the DNA in your hair follicles, giving you thinner, stringy looking, hair. It dulls your skin because the carbon monoxide in the smoke displaces the oxygen needed by your skin, and the nicotine reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. This is only a partial list of the negative consequences that smoking has on you; which goes for second hand smoke as well.
Drink Plenty of Water
Your body is mostly water and it needs to be hydrated to function well. Lack of water makes your nails brittle. It also makes your hair break and fall out.
To completely understand how dehydration causes hair loss, you must understand how hair loss happens. The integumentary system is constantly growing, and hair has a six-year life span. While hair is growing, it is also falling out. People experience hair loss in two different ways — shedding and breakage. Hair sheds from the roots and it breaks off anywhere along the hair strand. Dehydration can cause shedding and breakage, which can affect the length and thickness of the hair… Water is essential for the health of hair for a number of reasons. First, the hair is one quarter water. That fact alone should accentuate how important water is for the hair. Water also carries vital vitamins to the hair root and hydrates the entire strand from the inside. It is the main source of energy for hair cells, including the cells that generate new growth. Water also clears the body from pollutants, which also cause hair loss. Without proper hydration, you will see dryness in your hair and skin that can only be restored by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. (Source).
The impact that dehydration has on your skin is just as severe. It makes your skin sallow and saggy as it loses its elasticity. All of this can be avoided and you can support healthy hair, skin and nails by drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day.
Avoid the Sun
Protect yourself from the sun. While the sun has some positives (it helps your mood and to produce vitamin D), exposure to it is as dangerous and damaging as smoking is. The impacts to your skin are very well known. The sun causes premature aging at best and skin cancer at worst. Did you know that it can also be really bad for your hair? The sun’s UVA and UVB rays can cause discoloration, dry and brittle hair, broken and split ends, thinning and frizziness; it damages the outside cover of the hair strand. (Source). This is similar to the impact of too much UV exposure to the nails.
The nail plate — which is the hard visible part of the nail — offers protection to the underlying cells, but unfortunately does so at the expense of your nail. UV-exposure can make nails brittle and breakable.
Frequent exposure to sun can have permanent effects on nails. The growth center, the white part at the base of your nail, can be damaged and aged, resulting in less-than-attractive nails.
And the skin around the nail bed is some of the most sensitive, which is why it’s crucial to protect this skin from the sun. If you’re not wearing nail polish, you can use lotion with sunscreen to protect the nail and cuticle, but sunscreen will ruin polish. (Source).
Moisturizing is critical for your skin, hair and nails. Moisturizers help to hold water in your skin and to deliver ingredients into the skin that help it function better. It frequently contains humectants, like alpha hydroxy acids, that work by pulling in water from the air, or emollients, which absorb into your skin and fill the spaces between your skin cells. (Source). Conditioners are similar. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you condition after every shampoo in order to increase hair’s shine, decrease its static, and improve its strength. This will work for your nails too. Remember that when you moisturize your hands, rubbing the oil or cream into your nails, nail beds and cuticles will help to keep them flexible and healthy.