How can I improve weak, brittle nails?

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STRENGTHEN THEM WITH THE B VITAMIN BIOTIN (2.5 grams daily), says Dana Stern, M.D., a dermatologist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Take it in supplement form or get it from food (tomatoes, carrots, Swiss chard). While you wait for the results, which can take up to six months, prevent painful breaks by keeping nails short and moisturized, says Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa in New York City. For healthy nail beds, soak fingertips in olive oil or apply a cuticle oil twice a weekrthen gently push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher. Prevent breakage by using a strengthening formula, and avoid drying ingredients like acetone and formaldehyde in polishes and removers. Always pick smooth files, and go only in one direction — not back and forth.
PRODUCT PICKS:

* Honeybee Gardens Odorless Polish Remover ($7; honeybeegardens.com)
* Opi Dry & Brittle Nail Envy ($15; opi.com)
* Sally Hansen Salon Healing Cuticle Oil ($6.50; sallyhamen.com)
* Earth Therapeutics Filing Block ($3; earththerapeutics.com)

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By S. A.

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