Dry, cracked, flaking, weak, yellowing with spots .... This describes how my "Mom Nails" were looking until about two and one half years ago when I discovered something.....My PH was way off kilter and essential oils were not just good smelly things!
What in the world does balanced PH have to do with my dishpan hands? Well depending on what you read, the fashion magazine said PH doesn't matter in regards to hair and nails while the medical reviews see things quite opposite. The fact is, they are BOTH Correct! So as I was researching I found that when nails grow and meet the air and elements, just like the outter layer of skin, the PH levels change, and what's a perfect 7.3 Pretty Healthy PH for our bodies, 3 - 5 is perfect for nails(skin and hair too). The higher acidic conditions cause a barrier and help the body ward off infection. Growing older also compromises the alkaline and acid balances, so you need to pay attention that the products you are putting on your skin contain alkaline ingredients.(be cautious of the drying detergents in most commercial soap products).
How do I correct things from inside out ?(actually the most important way!) First, you need to check your PH levels and you can learn how to do that at www.phhealthy.com , Secondly, make sure you are eating a PH healthy diet with foods such as Almonds, sesame seeds, grapefruit, green beans, lemon, lima beans.... are you seeing a trend? Good old fashioned good for you foods! Stay away from the processed, quick-fix, 90 seconds in the microwave for a 7 course meal type of foods! Believe it or not, yummy foods like broccoli, onions and garlic actually strengthen and help repair bad nails. Thirdly (is thirdly a real word haha) Exercise! For many years of my life exercise was a dirty word, the dreaded e-word. I didn't realize that I didn't have to sweat buckets to be getting in shape and improving my health. It took baby steps to get there but I started with things I liked, like walking.... then I increased the distance and followed by increasing the pace. I also forgot that some of my daily mommy chores counted as "movement" a.k.a. exercise. When I'm heading up and down the stairs or lifting grocery bags... add in another round of steps.... lift the grocery bags like mini hand held weights... piece of cake!(try gluten-free, it's better for you and pretty darn yummy) and it all counts!
Essential oils ended up being the frosting to my piece of cake. I knew they were good aromatically, they made my space smell better, which in turn made me feel better and uplifted my spirits and my body felt better.... Wait, hold the phone! The 100% pure (not commercial, chemical "scents") were actually having an effect on my body? I needed to dig deeper. What I found is that just like eating your veggies and fruit, the essential oils came from plants and had healing properties as well. I learned that many oils can be used aromatically, topically and sometimes internally. (I cannot stress enough that you want Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade and you must read the labels to see if it can be ingested! Not all oils are equal.) So which of these fantastical (another Mindy-ism) smelling drops can help my funky mom nails? Lavender, tea-tree(also called melaleuca) and coconut oils were key in my nail repair. The tea-tree oil helped clean the nails from any fungus or impurities(the yellowing) and the lavender with the coconut oil brought back the moisture and strength, not to mention a little smell good ;-)
Now that my short story has turned long, I hope this has opened your eyes like it did mine. Good health inside and out is important for your nails as well as the rest of you. Take it from me, it IS possible to take the bad and turn it good!