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Tips for Healthy Summer Nails: How to Keep Nails Healthy, Clean & Strong

ByKim West
Jun 22, 2014 09:51 PM EDT

Summer is the season for rocking bright neon and cool pastel nails. With more than 90 days of outdoor fun ahead, nail junkies everywhere need to remember that bright summer sun and water fun can damage nails.

"There are so many opportunities to be outdoors during the summer and, while we know to protect our skin, protecting our nails is just as important," said Barbara Hershfelt, Director of Sales and Marketing for Cutex.

"Nails may look beautiful on the surface but, to keep them healthy, it's vital to care for what's under the color." Barbara offered these tips for keeping nails looking and feeling great this summer:

Sunscreen isn't just for the skin. Nails are made of protein and need as much protection as our skin does. When lathering on the sunscreen, remember those hands and feet - ­especially the cuticles. Cuticles serve a purpose; they seal in moisture and protect new nail growth as it emerges from the base of the nail. Sun, wind and sand can dry cuticles and nail folds (the areas of skin that frame your nails), which is bad for nail growth.

Cover your head and nails. Dermatologists recommend donning a baseball cap or cute floppy hat to shade the head and face from the sun's harsh rays. Coat nails with a polish, base coat or ridge-filler to protect nails against the elements.  Cutex clear basecoat, Baseworx, contains biotin, the only supplement scientifically proven to improve nail health. Baseworx lengthens the life of manicures, perfect for those heading sea-side, where high salt and moisture can soften and split nails.

Keep infection at bay. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 50 percent of all nail disorders are caused by fungal infections. People tend to go swimming, exercise, and visit spas more often in summer. While those places are great for relaxing or keeping fit, any damp place - like a locker room - can breed fungus, so be sure to wear some type of footwear at all times when in public. Feet can also become hot and sweaty in the summer. Open-toed shoes or light sandals can help keep feet dry and healthy.

Dramatic nails? Ditch the harsh salon acetone for DIY removal. Do you take your nails to the extreme with gel or glitter polish? Extreme nails don't have to mean extremely harsh nail polish remover. Try at-home removal with the new Cutex Gel Polish Removal Kits or SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover. These products work as well as 100 percent acetone, yet moisturize and condition nails even after the first use.

Go Naked! Even with the best products, nails still need a rest. If your nails are brittle, break easily or just look unhealthy, dermatologists recommend ditching the polish for three months. 

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