Is your sunscreen doing its job according to the AAD?

Sunscreen AAD GuidelinesSunscreen: Make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

Let me start by saying I apologize for the lack of blog posts and social media posts as of late. I have been under a lot of pressure to get other things done. Life is getting ahead of me basically. I want everyone to know how much I really appreciate your readership.

I heard on the radio today that a recent study found that out of a selected collection of 65 best selling sunscreens, 40% do not even meet guidelines established by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). 4 out of their top 10 of the most reviewed and highly rated on would not make the cut.

You can read more about that study here.

I wanted to remind everyone how important it is when choosing a sunscreen to choose practicality over luxury. The AAD has some pretty straightforward guidelines.

  1. Make sure it is Broad Spectrum. Most sunscreen is. This basically means you will be protected from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
  2. SPF 30 or higher. The higher the better really. For your face you will want a higher number than 30. 30 and 50 are what you see most often, but be aware, some sunscreens don’t even have 30.
  3. Water Resistance. This is a biggie. Chances are you are getting out this summer to ride water rides or swim. A lot of sunscreens will come off in the water, or only work for a short time after. Try to find one with water resistance of up to 40 – 80 minutes.

Be sure you don’t pay top dollar for a product that doesn’t follow these guidelines. Interestingly enough, I am impressed lately by a spontaneous purchase of Dollar General brand sunscreen. It is SPF 50 and Water Resistant up to 80 minutes. It wasn’t greasy, applied well, and kept me protected through a long day at King’s Island, even with riding water rides.

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Weight loss making me feel more beautiful

Experiencing first hand how weight loss/cleaner eating/exercise is making me feel great and beautiful!

So this post is not completely beauty related. But I felt like sharing this anyway, because I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.

Today I listened in to Bob & Sheri on the radio. For anyone who hasn’t heard of them I highly recommend finding out if one of your local stations has them. They make me laugh so much on the way to work in the mornings.
Anyway, today Bob had a list of things that supposedly make women feel sexy, and would ask Sheri if they in fact did.
I got a real kick out of her response to “when someone pays you a compliment”. She told a story of how a man approached her in Walmart and told her she was tiny enough to fit in a box in the back of his truck. It’s a compliment, sure, albeit creepy.
Of course having your hair/makeup done was also on the list but the one that struck a cord with me was “losing some weight.”
I have struggled with my weight since college. The Taco Bell on campus totally stole my heart, and my figure. I’ve been over weight for about 8 years now. I’m not ashamed to say the number. 220 pounds is what I have been consistently stuck at. I would love to one day get down to my ultimate goal of around 170.
It’s not an impossible feat but man has it felt like one. I have been on diets like crazy, making a routine of losing twenty pounds, slacking, putting it back on, rinse, lather and repeat.
I was so out of shape it’s shameful to watch me try to get up and down stairs, and that gets old.
Then a beautiful friend asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. And I just decided I had enough of it. Even if I wasn’t going to hit a magic number, I was going to try and make myself look a little better than I was at before this wedding.
Mind you it’s in September so I don’t have a lot of time left.
I started walking outside, every weekday after work. I found two-fold enjoyment out of it. I love nature (except for bugs) and walking was a good starting place for me.
I have been at this, along with being a bit more conscious about what I eat, for about two months now. I’ve lost almost nine pounds. I would love to get under 200 before the wedding, but ultimately I’ve decided that, it’s just a number. What is more important is how I feel. And I feel better health wise then I have in a long time. It’s not as easy for me to get winded, my pants aren’t tight on me anymore, and when I look in the mirror, I can actually see that my body is starting to look a bit more toned, a bit less flabby.

I by no means am a fitness expert, or anything of the sort, but here’s a few tips on why I think what I am doing is working. I would encourage anyone to try them, and see if they work for you.


Use common sense when it comes to what you put in your body.

I haven’t been religiously counting calories, though I will say some people need the numbers to stick by. I’m trying out what I’m calling the “common sense” approach. Chances are, if you are mostly sedentary like me, your body doesn’t actually need a lot of food to get through the day. Eat only what you can get by on without being hungry. Eat healthy snacks like fruit or nuts instead of candy or pop. On that note, you don’t need pop at all. I drink water 95% of the time. If I have a pop, it’s a special treat, and I own it.

Start small, but aim large.

I used to hate to exercise. I never understood how anyone could enjoy it. It wasn’t until recently I discovered that it actually can be fun if you make it fun for yourself. Get an iPad and set it up on the treadmill, so you can Netflix binge while you walk. Listen to music, try out hiking; Do something to make it fun for yourself.
I can’t walk very fast or very long, about 30 minutes a day is my average right now. But later on, I aim to increase it. Slowly but surely.

Don’t be fixated on the number.

That weight number is great if it goes down, but what’s really important is how you are feeling and the results physically. If you’re healthier and feel more confident, mission accomplished, even without hitting the magic number.

Don’t be fooled by a diet.

Anything that promises you quick weight loss is not worth doing. Trust me. I have been there and done that with Slim Fast, Nutrisystem, etc. It never failed to make me lose 20 pounds fast. But that 20 was lying in wait somewhere because if I would go off it for a few days it’s right back on me. It’s hard to stick to something that hardcore. It’s a lot easier to simply adapt some healthier choices of what you eat, and one by one eliminate your old favorite vices.


As I said, I am no weight loss/fitness expert. I just wanted to share with all of you something else I am becoming passionate about, and something that is helping me to feel more beautiful.

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Pamper yourself! You work too hard not to!

Pamper yourself and relish in the happy!

Let’s be real for a minute. We all have unbelievable struggles and stresses we are dealing with. Me included. I’m in a bad situation with my living situation right now, and having a hard time getting it to change. Sometimes it gets the best of me, and I get depressed. Despite my faith, life is tough and sometimes gives you a challenge that is actually in fact, too much for you to handle. Or at least handle gracefully.

Whatever your situation, I have one small piece of advice that will get your mind off things temporarily.

Pamper yourself. I’m not talking anything big like going to a luxury spa or anything like that. If you have the money to you can, but if your like me and the money is tight you can find plenty of small cheap ways to pamper yourself. Here’s a couple ideas I put into practice myself.

Paint your nails –

It doesn’t get much more frugal than this. One bottle of polish and you can give yourself a new look for your nails. A fresh coat of color always makes me feel happier. Don’t stress about it being sloppy. All that excess around your nails comes off in your next shower anyway. Go the extra mile of added happiness and find something you like to watch on Netflix while you work on it. Lean back, relax and paint away.

Note: You can take this a step up and attempt some fancy nail art. It will take more supplies but it’s fun to try out giving yourself your own manicure.

Give yourself a facial –

Face masks are usually quick and easy. There’s a lot of different kinds out there, but mostly it’s a process of apply, wait, rinse. Clean skin is an amazing feeling, and face masks are good for cleaning and softening the skin.

Foot baths. My favorite way to unwind –

You see them every year out for mother’s day at Wal-Mart. Foot Spa systems are not always a good comparison to going to actually get one professionally, but you know what? It’s at your home, and you can give yourself one whenever you’d like. I have one I’m particularly fond of that heats the water itself. It’s super nice and all I have to do is lay a beach towel out beside the couch fill it up with water and viola! Perfect foot spa right at home. I have an amazing husband that actually enjoys setting it up for me and will often ask me if I “want a foot bath?” I don’t always take the offer, which is probably crazy of me.

There’s a lot of other small things you can do to bring a little bit of pampering in your life. Check out products by LUSH and Perfectly Posh. They specialize in this sort of thing.

Now, I’m really going to go practice what I preach and do something for myself.

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Weighing in on #nomakeup movement

No Makeup SelfieNo Makeup Revolution: My Thoughts

I saw in the news that Alicia Keys vowed to stop covering up. “Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing,” is what she told the on a letter to Lenny.
She speaks candidly about how she had to adapt to becoming covered up in the public eye. If she didn’t she had people say she was not “feminine enough”. She was afraid to leave the house without makeup for fear someone would get a picture of it and post it.

Ironically it’s a photographer that helped her remember that makeup does not make you a beautiful woman. She had just come from the gym when she was going to do a shoot for her new album, and the photographer pleaded with her to take the pictures as she was right in that moment.

In the end, the pictures are pretty awesome. She has inspired a #nomakeup movement with many women dropping selfies around on the internet.

In the spirit of it, I’ve posted my own #nomakeup selfie. I’ll admit, I had to battle a lot of inner demons to do it.

Now Alicia Keys is most certainly not the first lady out there to practice no makeup in their routine, but I can respect her revolution she’s starting.

I wore makeup religiously in high school because of having to already deal with a lot of bullying and snide comments from other girls in my class. As a tall, large framed girl I already had heard I was “not feminine” enough. Though I didn’t know a thing about the techniques I know now, I put on that makeup everyday to avoid some unkind words, and to impress my now husband.

But why do we do that really?

In college everyone was so diverse and so much less judgmental. It was liberating! How freeing it felt to be able to skip a day of makeup and not worry about anyone making a point to call me out for it. Because of that, I didn’t wear it a whole lot. Only when I felt like it!

That is exactly how I feel it should it would be. Wear it when you feel like you want to, not for others, and only for yourself. Since I started this blog I discovered a love for the artistic side of putting on makeup and trying to make the best looks with it. But guess what? Four to six days out of the week I more than likely will not wear it. Fridays is usually my makeup day. It’s that day because Fridays is when I am out and about, but it’s not so others will see it. It’s because I like the feeling of the confidence. Like, “Yeah, I’m rocking some killer winged eyeliner today, ready to tackle the world.”

Makeup is kinda magical in upping ones confidence. But there’s no magic there. The really amazing thing is the face underneath, because without that all you have is a heap of oils, minerals, and artificial colors.

So the takeaway on my opinion? You don’t have to vow to completely forgo makeup. If you want to, be my guest. I promise you’ll look beautiful anyway. Focus on taking good care of your skin and keeping it clean. But if you are like me, and just starting to really rediscover the enjoyment of wearing it, you’ll find it can be a fun way of expressing yourself. And you will beautiful then too.

Just please stop worrying about what others think about it. After all, you could be like me and have to haul around a backpack full of makeup. Have no shame.

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6 Beauty Products To Try This Summer

6 beauty products to try this summer

Summer is here. Beat the heat with these beauty ideas.


Hey all, sorry I missed doing a post Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and is loving the beginning’s of summer. It is already starting to heat up here in Kentucky. Which I love for being outside, bringing out the shorts and tanks from my wardrobe that I rarely get to wear. In this pic it was an unusually cold day in April, but I thought I would share with you my awesome kite-flying skills. I always find fun things like this especially better in the summer. I also love bubbles and water balloon fights.

There’s a few beauty products that get used mainly during the summer. I thought I would give you all a friendly reminder that if you are looking to expand your summer beauty collection, you might consider adding the following six.


1. Primer

Depending on how long I plan to wear my makeup around, I’ll use a primer under mine anyway. However, it is especially important to use during the summer because it actually helps reduce your foundation from sliding around or melting off in the heat. Heat is not makeup’s friend, and if Primer helps keep your face on point while walking around outside (or in my case inside my apartment where the A/C never works right) then it’s a must to combat it.

Personal Recommendation: You’ve heard me say it before, Ulta’s Flawless Prime is what I use. It fights off redness with its green color, and does a good job as a primer. Plus it doesn’t break the bank on something that no one actually sees.


2. BB Cream

Instead of a heavy foundation, consider trying something new. I’m saying BB Cream but CC Cream, Skin Tint, all these things are hot right now for being lightweight options as opposed to foundation. BB Cream stands for blemish balm and I really like how they hydrate and protect your skin while some also are good at giving some color and coverage at the same time. You can find plenty that have some degree of SPF in them as well, which is extra helpful on long summer days.

Personal Recommendation: I plan on having a review up Friday for Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream. It’s shockingly good for a drug store BB cream.


3. Sea Salt Spray

Okay so even if you don’t get to visit the beach, who says you can’t have beach hair? Sea Salt Spray is quick and easy to use and can help you get added texture to your hair that really does make it look like you’ve been swimming off the coast. I don’t use it a whole lot as my hair tangles very easy with it, but it tangles bad regardless.

Personal Recommendation: Drybar Mai Tai Spritzer. I find it tangles my hair less, and works just as well as an alternative to the popular Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.


4. Lip Balm

That’s right, lip balm is not just for winter. The summer sun can be damaging to your lips as well. Basic Chap Stick will help if you have dry, cracking or peeling lips during the summer, but you might consider getting something with a bit of SPF too.

Personal Recommendation: I love Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. You can get many shades in it or their basic Fresh Sugar with no color at all. Your lips will thank you for amazing soft feel and the sunscreen that is built in.


5. Self-Tanners

Self-Tanners are kind of amazing for us pasty white gals who don’t want to touch a tanning bed with a ten foot pole. It can be tough to find one that suits your skin and your routine, but if you do, it’s fun to cheat and pretend you have a nice tan. When these first came out they used to be bad about being streaky and stinky, but as of late companies have worked out a lot of those kinks.

Let me just say though, if you can stand it, don’t worry about your white legs in your short shorts. I don’t let it bother me one bit. There’s no reason to feel self-conscious about it, but if you do, you can give one of these a try.

Personal Recommendation: Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. It takes a few days to build up color, but this used to be good when I used it back in the day. It used to stink awful, but they have a new formula now that is supposed to be stink free.


6. A Summer Scent

Summer has certain smells that trigger for me. Cook outs, fresh cut grass, and the smell of burnt up fireworks. None of those would make a particularly good perfume. However it would be nice to smell good this summer instead of like sweat. Find a good scent that compliments you, and you will be fragrant and happy.
Personal Recommendation: Maison Martin Margiela ‘Replica’ Beach Walk is a personal favorite of mine all year long. But is somehow particularly favorable during the summer months. It’s not necessarily that it smells like the beach, because I’m not certain that it does. But with a little imagination it does seem to take you there, if you allow it.

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My low maintenance approach to healthy hair

Healthy Hair4 low-maintenance tips to help you have healthy hair

I get hairdressers asking me all the time what I do to keep my hair so healthy. I promise I’m not just saying that. Every single one I have been to has made a comment to that effect. When I tell them, I am pretty sure that most of them think I’m crazy, and very few would actually try my methods. But I’m going to share them with you anyway because I believe I’m not the only one out there who loves a low maintenance approach when it comes to their hair. Some of you might already be doing a few of these tips.

* Do not wash your hair everyday.

This gets most people right here. Although almost everyone now has heard this by now, most still will look at me and say. “Yeah I’ve heard that but I just can’t go a day without washing my hair.” It’s simply not true. Your hair is designed to withstand a lot, but taking the harsh chemicals that are in today’s shampoo and conditioner and scrubbing it in on a daily does no good for you whatsoever.

I’ll confess I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle and work an office job so my hair does not get oily very fast. Some say you can shampoo once or twice a week. There’s even a “no poo” movement that encourages no shampooing at all. (They use a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead)

I can’t go to that extreme. I wash and condition every other day. It works for me and my hair, but you can try this trick out and find what works for you.

If you find that your hair feels to oily on the in between days you can use a dry shampoo. They have become increasingly popular because it makes it quick and easy to spray into your roots and work it in, feeling cleaner in seconds.

* Don’t have your hair bleached/colored too often.

I can’t stand to have my hair its natural dirty blonde for too long. So I will get highlights put in it twice a year. Twice a year is not very often, compared to some I’ve seen getting it done every month. Bleach and dyes are again, full of chemicals that are damaging when used to often.

* Get the dead ends cut regularly.

Even when I can’t get to the salon, I have been known to cut the dead ends of my hair myself to make sure they aren’t splitting all over the place. You may not be up for this but stop in at your salon for a trim at least every three months.

* Stop flat ironing/curling so much.

When people ask me what I do to my hair, my answer is always the same. “I let it do whatever it wants in the morning.” However it is parted, I let it be for the day. I just brush it out and go. Yeah it’s got some frizz to it, but it’s not worth the sacrifice of damage to my hair from all that heat (or lets be honest, my time in the mornings) to do a daily flat iron. In fact, it has to be a special occasion before I wipe the dust off my flat iron or curlers. On the days you can stand to do it, just brush it and go. You will be shocked at the difference in the health of your hair when you don’t apply so much heat to it. Also on that note, avoid the hair dryer on the days you can too. I find there is something liberating about letting my hair dry naturally on the weekends. On the days you need the hairdryer, try to use the warm or even cool setting if your dryer has it. I’ll admit I’m bad about not doing that one, but it’s a good idea all the less. If you have to break the flat iron out don’t forget to use a heat protection spray first to safeguard your hair. I use this one from Chi.

I hope someone can benefit from these tips. Have no shame, and remember we live in a wonderful time where hairstyles like the “messy bun” are perfectly acceptable when going out. Your hair doesn’t have to be perfectly in place, but it should be healthy and strong.

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Sunscreen: A pale girl’s necessity

Sunscreen Reviews

Product Review: Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth and Peter Thomas Roth, Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion Sunscreen

I had the chance to be outside a lot this weekend and needed some sunscreen. It’s getting warm out there. I love me some good hot weather, but when you are a fair-skinned lady like me, you have to be careful out in it. I once got a heat rash because I thought wearing sunscreen was for wussies. Yes, a heat rash. I looked it up. It mainly affects babies, because they are “not yet acclimated to the sun.”

So yes, I’ll probably never have a natural tan, but to tell you the truth pale skin has never bothered me, and please don’t let it bother you.

It got up to 80 degrees last weekend in Kentucky and I was outside all day Saturday. I do have my worries about how hot it will be this July and August if April is already having the sun beat down. But there was no excuse not to try some sunscreen samples that had been hoarded away all winter. Here’s a quick glance at two different kinds.

Ole HenriksenOle Henriksen Protect the Truth SPF 50+

Retails for: $35 for 2 oz

Key Points: Slight citrus smell, Vitamins A and E, thicker consistency, super protective with SPF 50+.

I actually liked the citrus scent this had, and it was really thick, unlike your typical watery sunscreen from the store. It took a while to rub it in but felt great on. With SPF 50+ It’s unlikely any of the sun’s damaging effects are going to break through this ultra protective layer. It didn’t seem to wear off near as fast as most sunscreen, though I did feel like it needed coverage again after around 6 hours.


peter thomas rothPeter Thomas Roth, Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion, SPF 30

Retails for: $42 for 1.7 oz

Key Points: Anti-Aging, Lasting Hydration, Vitamins A and E. Fragrance free, milky texture

This looks and feels more like what I am used to as far as sunscreen. Though I will say the texture was more pleasant. It felt like a milky/creamy consistency, as opposed to some of the watery, runny sunscreens I’ve used in the past. It has zero smell, being fragrance free, which some will appreciate. Lots of vitamins and moisturizing qualities are in this. It lasted pretty well at around 4 hours before needing re-application.

I like to use Coppertone Sport (At least SPF 30 or more) on my legs, arms and anywhere else the body is exposed. It’s cheaper, and when I have a lot of area to cover it makes financial sense. It is slightly unpleasant feeling and smelling on my face though, so I think it might be great to have one of these higher end options like the ones I reviewed on hand for your face so it doesn’t feel so greasy.

Remember to use sunscreen peeps! Save yourself from burns this summer!

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Essential Beauty Tools of the Trade

essential tools

8 Essentials of the Beauty World: But are they really essential?

I read an interesting list of 8 Beauty Tools in an article of Kroger’s MyMagazine that they send out. The article was called “Beauty Tool School: 8 essentials every woman should have”. I’ve decided to share it with you and give my thoughts.

  1. Nail Clippers – The right tool for getting the rounded edge while clipping your nails. Use the right size for the right kind of nail. Small clippers are for fingernails, larger ones for your toes.
    My Thoughts: Yes that’s essential. This seems self explanatory to me. I think nail clippers are actually an essential for everyone, man, woman, young or old. But always make sure yours are kept in proper shape to keep on clipping.

  1. Cuticle Sticks – Nobody should be using cuticle trimmers anymore because handy dandy cuticle sticks are so much less damaging as long as you remember to soften your nails in warm water first.
    My Thoughts: Maybe some women need them, probably most actually. I don’t. My cuticles don’t really grow out at all, thus, I don’t have anything to push back.

  1. Eyelash curler – This is one of the fastest ways outside of mascara to give your lashes some lift. It looks a bit medieval, but when used with care it will not hurt anything and will help keep your lashes up and out of your eyes.
    My Thoughts: This is a 100% essential for me. My lashes tend to curl down, and even under. I have to use one of these to get any kind of normalcy to my eyelash look. Mine has gotten pretty dirty, so remember to change the rubber pads in it if it comes with extras, or get a new one after so long.

  1. Blush Brush – Look for one with soft bristles, but not so soft they will fall out and fall apart. Brushes just seem to always work best for a good powder blush.
    My Thoughts: Yes. One might opt for a curved brushed, or one more angled but the important thing is that a good brush makes your blush as light or as heavy as you want it to be.

  1. Tapered Concealer brush – The flat shape and tapered angle make it easy to apply in hard to reach areas like under the eyes.
    My thoughts: I’ve never used a brush for concealer. I’ve got a better tool for the job. My finger! Your fingers are about as cheap of a tool as you can get and are useful for all kinds of makeup application. Pinky fingers are good for small areas, and middle or index fingers are good to blend with. Added bonus is you can feel out clumps.

  1. Eye Pencil Sharpener – You always want a precise line from your eye liner pencils. You can find these in multiple sizes too.
    My Thoughts: I use them. It is important to keep them super clean so you don’t have different colors crossing with each other. Use a cotton swab, alcohol, and a toothpick to take it apart and give it a deep clean. If you do this, you can use the same sharpener for your lip liner pencils too.

  1. Tweezers – Slanted tweezers get rid of a bunch of unwanted hair at once. Pointed versions can single out one problematic hair at a time.
    My Thoughts: Again, like nail clippers, I think most everyone should have some tweezers. Because we all more than likely will have a uni-brow start to come in, or some unwanted hair we just can’t handle.

  2. A Blender – This is relatively new on the scene, though we have been using sponges for a long time. The “Beauty Blender” shape has revolutionized how we apply our makeup. It does its job of blending so there is no excuse for hard edges and uneven application.
    My Thoughts: I’m still getting used to these things to be honest. They are worth a try for anyone because of their multi-use. They can be good for blending powder, cream, or liquid, and can be cleaned and reused multiple times.


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I don’t do fake. The real facts regarding fake nails.

Fake Nails Facts

I don’t do fake. The real facts regarding fake nails.

Fake nails or the nicer name of artificial or acrylic nails. I don’t like them. I don’t like the thoughts of them, or anything really being fake on me. I won’t do fake eyelashes either, despite how many how to eye makeup videos are out there with them adding them on at the end.

I believe there’s some very viable reasons out there to never go for the fake nails. After some research into the subject, here are mine:

  • Your cuticles can get wrecked in the process of filing before the nails are affixed.
  • If your nails are in bad shape to begin with, this can make them so much worse! The binders used to affix fake nails are such strong chemicals, they will leave your nails underneath brittle. Bad idea even for those with healthy nails, but much worse for anyone whose nails are weak anyway.
  • They are pretty high maintenance. You have to come in regularly (most nail technicians say once a week) for touch ups and fill ins. Reason being, is that if you don’t and air and moisture get under the nails, you can develop fungal infections. Yuck, right? That also means staying out of the swimming pools, where too much moisture can get in.
  • The chemical fumes from materials used in applying acrylic nails could be unsafe to inhale while pregnant.

For me, that’s one too many reasons not to try them, plus I’m too much of a penny pincher to make regular trips to a salon. If you can stand the maintenance of them, and the risks don’t bother you, then keep on keepin’ on. But please be careful. I have seen the physical repercussion on others nails, and would hate to see anyone’s natural nails destroyed over it.

If you have fake nails and are wanting them removed, you can take them off at home, but carefully with pure acetone as to not further damage your nail. I recommend making one more trip to the salon to have them removed correctly. If you find your nails are weak or damaged, don’t panic. The wonderful thing about fingernails is, with proper care, just like your hair, it will eventually grow out and you can clip off the rest.

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Tips for healing a damaged nail

Fingernail Damaged Nail

Anatomy Of Your Nails And How To Heal the Damaged Nail

Like most women, I try my hardest to avoid the inevitable, “I broke a nail” scenario.

But a damaged nail will at some point or another happen. I’m going through one right now. While it seems mediocre, a damaged nail can be quite painful and if not taken care of in the proper way, can become more than just a nuisance.

So first establish which portion of your nail is damaged by taking a look at my handy dandy drawing here.

The entire nail is called the Nail Plate. If your whole nail is unhealthy, there could be something more serious going on.

This mayoclinic slideshow shows when nails can be indicative of a serious condition. If you believe you may show signs like this, visit your doctor.

In general, nails are made of a protein called keratin. Adding more protein like that in lean meats or eggs can help with overall nail health, or taking a supplement with Biotin, also known as Vitamin H.

Underneath the plate, the skin underneath your nail that gives it the pink tone is the Nail Bed. Here’s where my current problem I’m dealing with comes in. The nail bed can become separated from the nail, and that exposed skin underneath is super sensitive. It can happen from some sort of trama, or in my case moving some sort of equipment and grabbing it by my fingernail instead of my finger. Fortunately this is pretty common and fairly harmless. Just wait for the separated portion to grow its way out, clipping it down as it grows. Depending on the severity it could take a few months to completely re-grow. Use a mild soap while the sensitive skin is healing, and avoid polish or other irritants.

The Hyponychium is the white part at the top of your nail that separates from your nail bed. Basically, the part you trim. These are the most common damaged parts of your nail. Luckily they are also the easiest to fix. If you get a chip or a crack in this portion of your nail, the easy remedy is to trim off the broken portion. Depending on how deep it is, you might even get away with just filing that side down a bit to save yourself from clipping the whole nail.

The Lunula is at the bottom of the nail, where you can find a lighter colored round shape under your nail. It might be apparent on all of your nails, or if you are like me, only on your thumbs. Either way is fine, but a complete absence of them can be a sign of anemia, or they are just really hiding up under your nails. Again, visit your doctor if your think it looks abnormal.

The Matrix is the root of the nail, it pumps out the cells needed to create your nail. If it gets damaged it can affect your nail growth so it’s important that it stays protected by your Cuticle. Keep your cuticles healthy by using cuticle oil and gently pushing them back every now and then with a soft cloth, or your tool of choice. Some of my cuticles have torn. Try to avoid this, as cut cuticles are more prone to infection. Luckily, skin heals so as long as you work with it, your cuticle skin should grow back.


What nail problems and damage have you experienced? Did you have to do anything special to fix it? I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment and let’s talk!

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