Winter is tough on nails, as cold weather can leave them dry and damaged - and that's without taking into account the effects of harsh cleaning products, which can leave them brittle, chipped and discoloured.
Here are our top tips for healthy hands and feet:
1. Take biotin supplements. Studies have shown that taking biotin - a member of the vitamin B family - can increase nail thickness to prevent splitting and breaking. To dose up, stock your fridge with salmon, liver, cauliflower, bananas and carrots.
2. Avoid pushing back your cuticles too far. It may be a key feature of a manicure, but removing cuticles (particularly around toes) can leave you at risk. They act as a barrier, protecting nails against fungal and bacterial infection. Pushing them back can lead to infection and permanent nail damage.
3. Moisturise your nail beds and cuticles. Like hair and skin, nails are susceptible to dehydration. Specialist treatments such as Loceryl® Nail Gel (£16.99/15g) can restore moisture levels, to reduce discolouration and prevent splitting – with visible improvement in 14 days.
4. Avoid overusing of nail hardeners. While they can act as a quick fix to strengthen nails, long term use can weaken them.
5. Limit professional manicures and pedicures. Studies have shown that people who have regular manicures and pedicures are more likely to suffer from cracked, dry nails - so make them a rare treat.
6. Avoid excessive hand washing and exposure to strong cleaning products. When doing housework or laundry, protect your skin and nails by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves.
7. Avoid acetone-based polish removers. This chemical is known to strip natural oils from nails, leaving them brittle. Try Cutex Acetone Free Nail Varnish Remover (£1.60/100ml) which is a bit of a beauty bargain!