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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Suffolk chapter.

Most people have a certain way to practice self-care, whether it’s exercising, taking a bath, or spending time on a routine.

For me, it’s nails.

Instead of getting acrylics and dealing with the aftercare of the damage they leave behind, growing out healthy nails is a much better alternative.

Although there are tons of articles, videos and posts about how to take care of and grow strong healthy nails, the process of my nail care routine is what personally works for me.


Start off the routine, I first begin by cleaning the nails with polish remover to ensure no residue is left behind and to dry them out, making polish apply to the nail easier.

cuticle care

Before removing the cuticles, softening them should come first. A great recommendation in helping softening the cuticles is to use a cuticle remover. The one that works for me personally is by Sally Hansen, which comes in a blue bottle. Although it will help, it is not recommended to soak them in water however, because it will cause the nails to break easier. It is important to remember that you want the nails dry for easier application.

Once softened, with a wooden or metal cuticle pusher, gently push the skin back and scrape under the nail fold to get rid of the dead skin cells. The cuticle itself is not the skin surrounding your skin, but what is under it.

It is not recommended to cut the nail fold but the preference to do so differs to each individual.


When filing the nails, it is crucial to not file back and forth in a seesaw motion, as that can cause damage to your nails and weaken them. Instead, file in one direction from one side of the corner of the nail towards the center slowly.

When it comes to shaping, it is dependent on personal preference, but it is recommended to shape them similarly to the cuticle line.

For filing, use a glass file to reduce the damage to the keratin layers and for a smoother filing process as they tend to be more gentle and effective. Glass nail files are also more efficient to clean and tend to last longer then other nail files.

Once done filing, wash the hands to remove the excess dust.

nail polish

final step is to apply any polish you like.

aftercare tips

for growth

If thinking about applying a nail-strengthening or hardening polish, keep in mind a healthy nail is both hard,but flexible. If the nail is too hard, it will be easier to chip and snap or break. Both types of polishes may be counterproductive in its concept. For wanting to grow nails, the best advice is to wait it out and avoid picking, cutting or using your nails that could potentially cause damage.

for cuticle after care

Taking care of the cuticle regularly will help nail growth tremendously. Using cuticle oils or creams with jojoba oil will help with growth and must be applied daily to see results. A popular item recommended is Hard as Hoof nail cream.