Nothing is more frustrating than painting your nails and noticing a chip — what makes it even worse is when the chip isn't just your nail polish, it's actually a piece of your fingernail. I don't know about you, but no matter how careful I am with my hands, my nails still manage to chip away at the tips. Luckily, there are some easy ways to combat this common problem... 

Here are a few ways to keep your nails in tip-top shape:

1. Drink more water.

It turns out that nails chip and break for the same reason that hair breaks away — they're dehydrated. Drinking more water not only helps your skin and hair, but it's great for your nails, as well.

2. Hydrate with the right hand lotions.

That nice fragrant lotion you're using may not be doing your hands any favors. Look for hand lotions that contain AHA (alpha hydroxy acids), which hydrate your nails.

3. Wear the right polish.

Polishes that contain formaldehyde and toluene aren't too great for your nails. While there is no nail polish that is completely all-natural, you can find brands that are "three-free", meaning that they are free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phtalate (DBP) and toluene, like Butter London.

4. ... And use better nail polish remover.

Nail polish removers that contain acetone work really well, but they also dry out nails and cuticles. Non-acetone removers use less aggressive solvents like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol and propylene carbonate. Even polish removers labeled as "natural" or "organic" still use a solvent, they just don't use acetone. They also add moisturizing agents like glycerin, panthenol and soy to minimize the drying effect. [via Self] If you have dry nails that tend to crack, switch to a non-acetone remover.

Keep in mind that nails actually grow very slowly, so it may take about two months to notice any signs of improvement.

How do you prevent chips?

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