Tip No. 1: Cuticle Oil Is Your Friend
Seriously, don't go anywhere without the stuff. "Cuticle oils and creams work magic on our cuticles and nails," says Chloe Hung, a lead nail technician at Van Court studio in New York City. "They hydrate to prevent hangnails and brittleness, and help make porous nails more flexible for when they bump into things." No more breaking your nails on the door jamb! "Apply a cuticle emollient whenever you get a chance during the day or before bedtime," says Hung.
Tip No. 2: Pick the Right Shape
Long, pointy nails are trendy, but they pose a greater risk for painful breakage and small tears. "Choose a nail shape that does not require extreme shaping of the sides," Hung says. Opt for a round or "squoval" shape instead.
Tip No. 3: Don't Forget Your Hands
Your nails can only look their best if your hands are up to par as well. "Hand lotions containing natural oils are a good addition to a cold-weather routine, since the oil's particles are smaller and penetrate faster into our skin," Hung says. "Also consider exfoliating your hands once or twice a week," she adds.
Fall and winter are also great times to repair any sun damage done to your hands during the summer. "The sun's rays are less intense at this point," says Hung, "so it's the best time to use peels with alpha, beta, hyaluronic, and kojic acids to get rid of any marks."