Take care of nails by practicing good hygiene, keeping nails and cuticles moisturized, avoiding antibacterial soaps, and taking biotin. Not biting nails and clipping hangnails — instead of pulling them — is also important for good nail care.
Keep hands and nails clean and dry. This prevents moisture and germs from building up, which can lead to infections or other nail problems. Cut nails straight across, then shape gently to a curve. Don't cut cuticles — use an orange stick to push them back instead.
Apply lotion or cream to hands, nails and cuticles. Lotions are good during the day, and creams or salves provide excellent moisture at night. Hands, nails and cuticles are at their best when they are properly moisturized. Use a paraffin wax treatment to soften and moisturize cuticles, and rub lotion or creams into cuticles and nails whenever it is applied to hands.
The chemicals in antibacterial soaps are very harsh, and can dry out skin and nails. Look for hand soaps that are milky in appearance, or those that contain less harsh antibacterial agents, such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus.
Biotin, a B vitamin, can help grow nails and improve their appearance. It can add strength and reduce brittleness. Biotin is found in many foods and is available via supplement.
Do not bite nails. Nails look better and are healthier if they are cut instead of bitten off. Additionally, putting hands in the mouth can introduce bacteria into the cuticles, causing infection. Don't bite or pull a hangnail. Clip it with clean nail clippers to avoid pain, swelling and infection.