{photo credit: mani by Janick Gravel of neawear)
 
While we are all thrilled that spring is on its way, there's definitely a downside--weather changes, even for the better--are often hard on our hair, skin and especially on our nails. So when i got a text from one of my good friends this week asking me what she should be doing about her nails being brittle, soft and vulnerable to splitting all of a sudden, I thought we might all like a recap of top 5 healthy nail care tips, and which Dot & Lil products can help stop you from having that icky my-nails-are-catching-on-everything-and-may-break-off feeling that is so unpleasant.
1. fix it up
First things first, if your nails are already torn or split, especially if it's over your actual nail bed (ouch!) you are going to want to fix this before doing anything else. Gently file any rough spots that might snag on something, then use clear polish to protect the nail from further damage. If the break or injury is over your nail bed, liquid band aid products or nail glue are great for this as they can seal the nail and prevent the problem from worsening. 
2. hydrate, hydrate and… yup, hydrate
One of the major causes of nail and cuticle issues is dryness. So, even though it's maybe the most boring and silly beauty ritual ever, try and remember to use a nail & cuticle balm or oil at least once a day. Our shea Rescue butter for lips & nails has numerous devoted fans, or most nail care brands also have cuticle oils available. If you know you know you won't take the time to do this, consider at least using a thick hand or body moisturizer like Bag Balm or our shea body butters and making sure to cover your nails and cuticles well when you apply it. 
3. file, or cut?
Do you file them? Clip them? Cut them? Oh, the nail drama. There are varying opinions on the healthiest way to maintain your nails, but in my opinion the safest way to go is a mixture of clipping and filing. After a shower or bath, use high quality, sharp clippers to cut across the nail, then file from each edge into the center. There's great thorough information in this post from the Nailasaurus. Most important: get a high quality glass nail file, and stay away from cheap emery boards (yes, even the cute patterned ones) as they shred your nail's edge and encourage tearing.
4. healthy stuff
Yeah, so this is the part where I tell you to drink lots of water and eat a great diet because things like vegetables, whole grains and fish contain the oils, vitamins and nutrients you need for really fabulous nails and hair. And drinking enough water is basically the most important beauty tip of all time. But you knew all that already, I know, because Dot & Lil nation is full of smart, beautiful people.
5.              be good 
You know all those times you think "I should put on gloves before I do this!", but then you don't? Yeah, you should. If your nails are tearing or brittle, wearing gloves for cleaning, dishes and household tasks can make a huge difference. I'm not a fan of wearing them either, but have found that getting ones that fit me properly makes it more likely I'll actually wear them, as I hate not being able to hold or feel things properly in too-large gloves. 
So now that you have great nail care tips, go paint your nails and send us the pretty pictures! And if you have any special nail care tips of your own, make sure to let us know.