Sunday, November 4, 2012

Understanding nails better

Did you realize that.......your nail plates are actually dead cells and contrary to popular belief, they don't breathe.  However, the nail beds (or nail tissue below the nail plates) as well as the cuticles are made up of live cells and they do require oxygen, vitamins and minerals.

I have created a very simple model of how you can imagine your nail to be structured:
The straws represent the nail plate that consists of several layers of "columns" of straw-like fibers layered on top of one another.  Beneath these columns you can find the nail tissue or nail bed, as some people call it.  In this photo the nail tissue is represented by the sponge.
Healthy cuticles produce vibrant healthy-looking nails.
Before we take a closer look at the straw/sponge model, let's reflect one moment of the function of our cuticles:
1.)  They are responsible putting on the final, top layer of nail fibers.  These fibers are the most exposed layer of fibers.  They need to be healthy, strong, and we would like them to be without any ripples, ridges or unevenness - so as to create a wonderfully smooth nail.  For this reason, we highly recommend not buffing, since this practice diminishes this final, top protective layer.
2.)  Cuticles are the body's way of protecting us.  They can be likened to a protective seal put on your nail by your body.  If your cuticles are left alone, which means not pushed back, not cut or clipped, they will prevent bacteria and/or infection from entering our bodies via our nails.  For this reason, we strongly recommend leaving your cuticles alone.  That also means you shouldn't massage, rub or stimulate your cuticles in any way as this causes they to become dry and grow down your nails.
3.)  They are a good indication of our overall nail health.  It's quite a simple equation: 
healthy cuticles = healthy nails.
4.)  Since cuticles are made up of hundreds of thousands of living cells it is imperative to hydrate and fortify them.  They play a very important role in pushing out the soft, new nail (that begins growing below the skin in the area between your first knuckle and the moon area of your nail).  The healthier they are, the better quality your nails will be.

As mentioned above your underlying nail tissue is like a sponge.  Seeing as our nails are 10x more porous than your skin, you can imagine how quickly water enters your nail tissue when your nails are exposed to water.  And, how many times a day do you have your hands in water?  Think about that for a moment.  Every time you expose your hands to water, this sponge-like tissue swells up and then the water evaporates out of the tissue very quickly again.  This constant swelling and shrinking is the #1 cause of dry, weak nails.

Anyone can do this experiment at home.  All you need is two pieces of dry sponge, some water and a dish to pour the water into.  It is really quite simple, yet it demonstrates so clearly what happens to our nail tissue every time we have our hands in water.
There is one product on the market that has been proven by the California Skin Research Institute to actually penetrate into your nail tissue and cuticles.  And if you consider (from the explanations above) the importance of treating your nail tissue/nail bed as well as your cuticles, then you will fully understand the uniqueness and technology behind this nail conditioner:
A simple, fast one-step daily manicure and treatment for your nails.
Some Benefits of TIPS Nail Conditioner by ASK Cosmetics Inc.
*  It is designed to replenish the lipids, which are the "cement" holding your cuticle cells and nail tissue cells together, thus creating strength and flexibility;
*It hydrates and nourishes the cuticles, that are so important in achieving and maintaining healthy nails;
*It fortifies the nail tissue, and if applied as instructed, it fills the nail tissue with lipids and hydration because it is absorbed by dry nails instantaneously. Due to its molecular structure it is the only nail treatment on the market today that, in fact, penetrates the nail plate doing its goodness to both the nail tissue and the cuticles with each application;
*It protects against the drying, weakening effects that water has on our nails by entering the nail tissue BEFORE water can get in (providing TIPS Nail Conditioner is applied before our hands are exposed to water!!).  It is immediately absorbed by the dry nail tissue, thus not allowing water to enter the nail tissue. 
For more information about The Incredible Protection System - TIPS as well as the line of healthy, safe cosmetics designed and manufactured directly by ASK Cosmetics Inc. of Canada click here:
Hope you enjoyed reading this post!  Comments are always welcome.  Have a great day, Lisa M.


  1. Really like this post, especially the photo explaining the nail structure. I'll link to it from my blog soon as sometimes its good to see something like that to understand it :)

    1. @Enigmatic Rambles - Thanks for your input. I agree with you about visualizing the nails in order to understand their structure. Lisa M.

  2. Replies
    1. @Danielle - Thanks for stopping by and reading it. Have a great day! Lisa M.