Nail Care in Winter: the Most Important Steps Explained

Woman applying a hand lotion. Nail care in winter is more important than in warmer season.
Photo: Anna Shvets / Pexels

Winter can be pretty harsh and cold. Your hair might be drier than usual, skin becomes flaky and irritated, and nails can become brittle and crack all the time.

That is why you need to change your nail care in winter. Simple yet visible changes in your daily routine will protect your elegant manicure and lead to healthier-looking nails that won’t crack.

Why Are Nails So Brittle in Winter?

You might have noticed that with cold weather, your nails become brittle. Why is that? Since the warm weather is gone, the moisture is gone too. Warm summer air tends to hold moisture longer than cold air. 

RELATED: 12 Natural Nail Care Tips Using Only Everyday Products

Using air conditioning or heating your house can get the humidity to a minimum, and that is just another reason why nails become brittle. 

Food and Vitamins That Straightens Your Nails in Winter

Before explaining tips and steps you can take to keep your nails healthy in winter, let’s talk about diet and vitamins. A healthy diet is as important for your nails as it is for your body. By eating good food, full of proteins and vitamins, you will help your nails stay healthy, strong, and less prone to breakage.

What Vitamins Make Your Nails Stronger?

When it comes to vitamin intake, you can count on food that is high in Vitamin B to keep your nails strong. Eat plenty of beans, bananas, nuts, spinach, and fish. Vitamin C helps your body to be more resistant to winter weather, and biotin is excellent for strengthening your nails. 

Home Remedies That Make Your Nails Healthy

Imagine this situation: you use the most expensive nail polish and don’t bite them, but they are constantly chipped. This happens if we don’t take proper nail care in winter. 

In fact, home remedies can do a great job in keeping your nails healthy. Here are some products that can help make your nails strong again.

  • Lemon Juice
Photo: Han Lahandoe / Unsplash

Since lemon juice is enriched with Vitamin C, your nails will be brightened and stronger. It is especially important during cold winter months when you spend some time outside. 

All you need to do is squeeze lemon juice and apply it to each nail using a cotton ball. If you would like a spa treatment, you can mix a few drops of lemon juice with two teaspoons of olive oil. Heat the mixture and massage it into your nails and cuticles. 

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is known for its hydrating properties. It is great since our nails and cuticles tend to be very dry in winter. You can also use this home remedy if you are prone to nail infections. 

Warm up the coconut oil and massage it into your hands and nails. You can do this before going to bed and leave it as an overnight nail treatment. 

  • Honey

By keeping your nails and cuticles nourished, you will be assured that they won’t crack in cold weather. Honey is one of the best home remedies that you can use to fight bacteria as well. When combined with lemon, it hydrates your nails perfectly. 

Mix two teaspoons of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply on your fingers with a cotton ball or massage into using your fingertips. Leave it for about 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. 

  • Vitamin E Capsules

Vitamin E is everything you will need in winter to keep your nails healthy. This vitamin is full of antioxidants that will protect your nails. It is intensely moisturizing, and it can heal and straighten your brittle nails. 

Before going to bed, open one of your vitamin E capsules and apply the oil directly to your nails and cuticles. 

  • Jojoba, Olive, and Almond Oil Mixture

You can actually make a winter elixir for your nails by mixing these three oils. Heat the jojoba, almond, and olive oil into a small bowl and apply it directly to your nail beds with a cotton ball. After some time, massage it and wash it off with warm water.

Products to Avoid on the Nails During Winter

Photo: Damir Spanic / Unsplash

There are many products for nail care that you can find nowadays. However, you need to know that not all of them are suitable for nail care in winter. There are certain products you should avoid in this period (or to avoid them altogether). 

  • Alcohol-Based Sanitizers – even though they became a necessity, alcohol-based sanitizers can be pretty harsh to your nails, especially in wintertime. However, if you had to use it, make sure to moisturize your hands properly after. Use a thick hand cream or cuticle oil. 
  • Acrylic Nails – If you like to get your nails done, you probably love the look of acrylic nails. We admit they appear incredible, but it is better to avoid having them in the wintertime. Acrylic nails can lead to peeling and chipped nails. Make sure you get them removed by a professional. 
  • Nail Strengtheners – Many products claim they can do miracles to your nails. They are usually called nail strengtheners. They can indeed make your nails strong but too rigid as well. Instead of using strengtheners, try with a base coat before applying your nail polish. 
  • Unpleasantly Rough Soaps – the pandemic tought us to wash our hands more often. This can lead to damaged nails, especially in the wintertime. Rough and harsh soaps tend to strip the natural oils from nails and leave them dry and vulnerable. Make sure you hydrate your hands afterwards. 

The 5 Most Important Steps of Nail Care in Winter

Follow these steps for appropriate nail care in winter. Even the smallest changes can make significant results. 

Moisturize With Oils, Creams, and Ointments

You could go for hand lotion, but even better – opt for creams, oils, and ointments for your nails in the wintertime. All these products should include ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter, lanolin, and avocado oil. These ingredients will lock the moisture and make your hands look healthy and hydrated. 

Avoid Naked Nails (Aka Always Use Nail Polish)

Using a base coat will be more than enough to protect your nails during the cold winter season. When they are polished, nails tend to crack less and be more prepared for chilly weather. Use transparent nail polish, and you will notice a huge difference. 

Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves can save you a lot of trouble in winter. From cold to grabbing your car door handle wrong – gloves are the perfect accessory that you must include in your nail care in winter. Knit gloves will keep your hands warm and cozy and your nails protected. You can also buy a pair of rubber gloves and wear them while washing the dishes. 

File Your Nails Regularly

Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

It is important to keep your nails as smooth as possible in wintertime. You will be wearing gloves, so ridges and cracks shouldn’t be there. You don’t want to ruin your sweater or scarf by getting your chipped nails caught. File your nails regularly, two or even three times a week. Always file the nails from the sides to the mid-point to prevent splitting. 

Use a Humidifier

Humidifiers are the best product to buy in winter. They keep your skin, hands, hair, and nails healthy by turning dry and cold air into warm and moist. You can place a humidifier in your living room or bedroom and watch the changes it makes to you. 


Does the Cold Weather Affect Nail Growth?

Actually, yes, cold weather can affect nail growth. Your nails grow slower in cold weather because circulation is slower in winter. Besides, nails can be damaged and brittle, which leads to having to cut them all the time.

Does Vaseline Make Nails Stronger?

Vaseline won’t make your nails grow faster, but it can make your nails stronger and hydrated. Since it is composed of hydrocarbons, it locks the moisture, so your dry skin and nails can be healed.

Should Nails Be Long or Short in Winter?

You can help yourself and keep your nails shorter during winter. It means that they will be less prone to break while facing dry air inside and cold weather outside.

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