7 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Nails Without Even Realizing It

Stop what you're doing and apologize to your fingers, because there's a good chance you're destroying your tips somehow. Now's the time to learn all the ways you're accidentally ruining your nails, and putting an end to it, stat. We all know the basics of nail care. Constantly wearing nail polish for years on end can create stains and biting our nails has been engrained in our minds as both bad for our nails and our overall health. However, these following seven ways consist of habitual mannerisms that we may not even realize, let alone be aware that they're ruining our nails.

1. Pushing Down Cuticles

Whether you're using your thumb nail to push down the cuticle on your pinky while you're aimlessly zoning out at work or if you're actively trying to get rid of your cuticles with a nail tool, you're going to end up with bumpy nails. If your fingernails have horizontal ridges in them, it's most likely because you put force repeatedly on them and the trauma created habit-tic deformity.

2. Using Your Nail As A House Tool

Let's say you just received a new package in the mail—are you the type to stab your thumb through the crevice of the box and start slicing at the clear tape? Or maybe when you need to take a keyring off, are you using your nails then, too? Even cracking open a can of soda can be harmful to your nails, so be careful.

3. Picking At Your Nail Polish

I have a bad habit of picking my nail polish right at my cuticles. If you do the same, let's all make a pact to stop because it's definitely a double no-no. First of all, peeling/picking/cutting your cuticles is basically opening the door to your nail beds and it becomes super susceptible to infections. Secondly, picking at your nail polish removes the top layer of your nail bed. So in case you were wondering why your nails are so weak—there you go.

4. Leaving Nail Polish On For Too Long

Rather than picking at your nails, you might be the type to leave your polish on for weeks and weeks despite most of it being chipped off naturally. You'll notice that there are some stubborn areas of nail polish where you're really going to need to use some remover, and when you do, a white spot or a lighter spot will be revealed. That white spot means you dried out your nails too much. Whatever you do, don't paint your nails right away. Be sure to air out your nails before re-polishing them. Oh, and next time, don't wait that long to remove the nail polish.

5. Eating Unhealthily

You've probably heard this one from your mom about a thousand times now, but she's right! If you want to change your diet so that it's more geared towards healthier nails, try to integrate some dark, leafy veggies into your diet along with calcium, gelatin-rich foods and magnesium. And be sure you're always hydrated. Water works wonders.

6. Washing Dishes Without Kitchen Gloves

Soaking your nails in water for so long causes them to swell up and the swelling makes your nails chip easily. So if you're hand washing a whole load of dishes or hand washing some laundry, be sure you're doing so with gloves.

7. Using Gel Polish Or Getting Acrylics

Ever since gel nail polishes came onto the scene, a lot of acrylic lovers switched over. However, both are equally horrible for your nails. They both require a lot of harmful chemicals for removal and they easily dehydrate your nails as well. Sorry, guys.

Images: jahernart, tropicalmom, hippiejocko420/Instagram