Nail & Cuticle Care

Essentials on Nail Care

Understanding the Importance of Lipids

There are several different types of lipids and not all lipids work in the same way.  Different types of lipids within our bodies do different things; for example, some lipids are responsible for vitamin absorption, others for energy production, and still other lipids are necessary for cell lubrication.  For our purposes we will concentrate on the latter.  Bear in mind that our cuticles are comprised of thousands of cells, whose cell membranes are actually made up of lipids and plasma.  Lipids coat the cells with lubrication, providing a protective barrier.  In addition, lipids allow for proper function and cell development, which is important because most cells continually degrade and replace these membrane lipids.  Thus, there is a continuous need for them. 

Many people are not aware of the fact that we strip these ever so important lipids from our hands, nails and cuticles every day.  This happens when we wash our hands numerous times, use hand cleansers containing sulphates, apply hand lotions containing waxes and silicones, clean our homes using harsh cleansing agents or chemicals, etc.  A good indication that our bodies are lacking lipids is dry skin and stiff hair. 

Our lipid-rich nail conditioner, T.I.P.S.™, is specially designed to replenish your nails and cuticles with these essential lipids.  As proven in clinical studies our formulation combined with our secret ingredient allow the penetration of lipids into the nail, hair and skin, putting back what nature intended to be there in the first place.

Cuticle Care

You should never cut, trim, massage or even push back your cuticles.  Your cuticle is a natural seal between the hard nail and the soft skin.  When you degrade that seal, your body will work to restore it, using the energy from that area for fixing and replacing your cuticle instead of for nail growth.  Your cuticle produces the final, most protective layer of your nail.  When your cuticle is irritated or damaged in any manner, it is unable to perform that function properly, leaving your nail unprotected.  When your cuticles are left alone and treated daily with T.I.P.S.™, they will naturally begin to recede within a few weeks.

Filing and Nail Maintenance

Correct and regular filing will help your nails maintain their strength and resist chipping, cracking, peeling and splitting. To achieve optimum results, it is important to follow the instructions provided to all our customers, who purchase T.I.P.S.™ and/or the ASK Contour Nail File.  Our Contour Nail File is state-of-the-art as it has a unique shape with three extremely fine filing surfaces.  Our nail file is designed to gently file, not tear your nail tissue, thereby sealing your nail edge and helping protect it from peeling, splitting and any other damage.

Do not use a file or an emery board to shorten your nails; use finger nail clippers or scissors.  If a file can shorten your nail, then it is too rough and harsh.  It will tear your nail tissue and lead to chipping and peeling.  The straighter across your nails are cut, the stronger and more resistant to breakage they will be.  Do not file the side edges of your nail.  The side edge, which offers your nails the most stability, is one of the strongest areas of your nail structure.  If you think of the sides as steel beams that support the nail structure, then it is logical when we say that by filing the sides you weaken the whole structure.

Keep in mind that your nails are made of straw-like, tube-shaped fibres or columns.  If you use any solid object or stiff “nail brushes” to clean under your nails or use harsh emery boards or rough nail files on your nails, you will pull those fibres apart causing damage that weakens your nail structure and promotes chipping, peeling, cracking and splitting.

Achieving damage-free nails

The fastest way to achieve long, strong, naturally beautiful nails is to start with nails that are damage-free.  Start by shortening your nails using clippers or nail scissors to remove all visible damage and then file all exposed nail edges smooth.  Your nail is dead tissue, therefore it cannot repair itself.  Damage in your nail will always “run” further down into the nail.  The longer the nail is, the faster the damage runs.  It is better to lose all damaged length now, at the beginning, so that you are starting with healthy tissue.  Attempting to preserve any of your nail’s length that has damage in it will lead to disappointment and delayed results due to constant breakage.

If the damage is below where it can be cut out, i.e. if it runs into the pink “quick” area of your nail bed, keep that nail as short as possible and maintain regular filing until all the damage has grown out.  When there is no damage left, THEN allow your nails to grow in length.

Regularly check all exposed edges of your nails by running the edge of one nail over the edges of your other nails.  Feel and look for any “nicks”, “catches”, roughness or damage on the exposed edges of your nails.  Immediately file smooth any damage found in order to prevent further “running” of the damage into your healthy nail tissue.

Never buff, shine or file the top surface of your nails, as such actions irritate the cuticles and remove the hardest, protective layer on the top of the nails.  Bear in mind that the outer, or top surface layer of your nail, is denser.  It is designed to be tougher in order to protect the inner layers.  Buffing, shining or filing this protective layer away will leave the nail unprotected.  Exposing unprotected layers of nail tissue to the environment weakens the nail structure, leading to damage and breakage.
Products mentioned in this post:  TIPS Nail Conditioner & the Contour Nail File by ASK Cosmetics Inc. of Canada.
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  1. On the topic of NOT filing the sides...what if you have certain nails that have a tendency to overgrow? I have 2 particular nails that once in awhile there is a little piece of extra nail on one side. How do I keep it growing straight withough filiing?

    1. @Colleen - That's a difficult situation, one which not many people have. You might have to resort to filing down the sides of those particular nails. Thanks for commenting, Lisa M.