Weak nails that chip, break and peel require strengthening to grow long and healthy. In some cases, weak nails may even show signs of yellowing and discoloration. Exposure to chemicals, outdoor elements and excessive amounts of water can weaken your nails by robbing them of moisture. The key to strengthening is to put the moisture back. But before you run out and purchase an expensive nail strengthener, consider using a few items that you may already have in your kitchen pantry.
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Pour 3 tbsp. of olive oil into a small bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. The use of olive oil is an age-old remedy for strengthening nails, according to the University of California, Davis. The addition of lemon juice will help brighten weak nails and make them look whiter.
Place the nail strengthener in your microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, just enough to make the olive oil mixture feel warm to the touch. Remove the nail strengthener after heating and stir with a spoon.
Apply the homemade nail strengthener to your nails using a clean cotton swab. Cover the entire nail bed of each fingernail and the surrounding cuticles. Apply the nail strengthener to the underside of each of your nails as well.
Repeat the process every evening before bedtime. Wear a pair of soft cotton gloves to prevent the nail strengthener from rubbing off on your bed linens.