Saturday, November 13, 2010


Perhaps I should have mentioned this earlier, but to me it was sort of a default.  I realize however, this needs to be mentioned because everyone's diet is directly related to nail health, just like skin and hair.

Simple Rules ... (at least simple enough ... I admit I myself am a work in progress)

1. Stay hydrated.
You know that rule.... 8 glasses of water blah blah....eeehhh what a chore.  The good news (by way of Dr. Nancy Snyderman from the Today show), is that apparently those 8 glasses can be included in the food you eat.    All food has moisture in it.  Some has more than others, think watermelon vs. cereal.  Therefore, if for example you have tea or milk during the day this can be counted as your "moisture" and part of the 8 glass minimum.  Yeahy!  My only problem with this rational is, coffee and tea drinks contain caffeine, which is a known diuretic.  So, it seems all you are doing is quickly peeing out your moisture.  This is counter intuitive.  Does that mean you have to drink even more to make up for the loss or are your kidney's just happy enough they got something?  My mind is going in circles thinking about this, and biology is not my friend.    

2. Balance your fats, carbs and proteins.
I love all of the above.  BUT like nail buffing, all things are good in moderation.

3. Vitamins
Maybe this is a personal preference, but I think the best vitamins come from actual food.  I was raised in Russia and back in the day if I told my mom I yearned for an apple, she would say "sorry they are not in season and we can't afford them."  Then we would go stand in line for bread, or whatever they were selling in "the line" that day.

4. To Biotin or not to Biotin
If you decide to take biotin, the rule of thumb, from my research, has been 5 milligrams (mg) (or 5000 micrograms (mcg)) a day.  This is a favorite among both nail and hair forums.  However, a few words of caution on the side effects:

a. strong healthy hair growth (awesome!)
b. strong healthy nail growth (double awesome!!)
c. strong healthy mustache growth (what the .... eeehhhh, maybe I'll pass and stick to moisturizer.)

Others have also reported some skin problems, while others swear by it.
Everyone is different and individual results will very *insert 30 min infomercial here*.

Has anyone tried Biotin?  For how long, how long before seeing results?  Any side effects, good or bad?


  1. Been dying to try Biotin, but am afraid of the acne and mustache side effects. Yikes. My nails give me enough problems already, why make new ones? LOL

  2. biotin made me break out really bad. i know it's the biotin because i have attempted to use biotin multiple times. each time resulted in major breakouts. no biotin for me ever again.

  3. aaahh, see good to know. Thanks for leaving your experience. The pendulum swings widely on this topic for sure!

  4. I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago, well the entire blogging world of nail polish addicts actually =). I had no idea.

    1)THANK YOU for posting so much educational information for nail care along with guidelines and pros/cons of different methods and products. I've really learned quite a lot. I've always enjoyed manis/pedis both at salons and at home, and have a ton of supplies for nail art at home. However, I now realize I was pretty ignorant about nail care. So thank you.

    2) I used biotin a few years ago. I did not know it was suggested to take 50000mcg a day, so I only took 10000mcg. I never experienced any unwanted side effects and my nails and hair were still pretty awesome. Grew strong and fairly fast.

    3) I haven't been a nail biter since I was a kid, but I still tend to bite the skin around my nails. Any suggestions on how to kick that habit? lol

  5. Hi Head of the Warren Family! ;)

    Welcome to this wonderful world. The nicest, loveliest world to be in! Now you will have a second addiction, I'm sure.

    1. You are very welcome! It comes spewing out, so I'm glad someone is there to catch it.

    2. Nice. The nail boards/bloggers always recommend higher. I'm glad to hear it helps you.

    3. Obviously will power is key. How bad do you want better nails? But aside from that, you can try a couple things.

    a.) I feel like it should be my motto, but MOISTURIZE like it's your job!

    Moisturizing frequently and consistently will help keep the skin soft and maybe not as tempting to bite.

    b.) Use cuticle remover to exfoliate thick scraggly skin so that again you are not as tempted.

    Feel free to email me as well!

  6. I had breakouts when taking Biotin as well, which made me sad, because my hair/nail results were awesome.

    Then I read that zinc helped with the breakouts, so I added zinc supplements to the mix, and BAM! no more breakouts!

    I had never been able to grow nails in my life, and now, at 33 years old, I finally have pretty nails!

  7. @Maureen - Oh great info thanks! I am sooo happy your nails (and skin) are beautiful. Music to my ears! yay to pretty nails! <3

  8. I had really high hopes for biotin when I started taking it. About a month in I started peeling, I chalked it up to needing to be more routine with my nail care but soon after all ten nails were peeling so badly that I stopped taking it. I can't say 100% it was the biotin but I am still anxious about trying it again...any suggestions?

    1. Well aside from the biotin, how is your moisture routine? Could it be that your nails just needed moisture? Also, perhaps cold weather maybe have contributed or if you were using a hardener? Not sure.

  9. I bought Biotin from the biggest health food store here in the UK, you prob know the one i mean. and i took the lowest dose they sold first for 2 months and didnt notice any difference in hair/nails/skin, so then went up to the higher dosage they sold (they only sell 2 dosages)i think one is 300mcgs and the other is 1000mcgs but im not sure.....
    ..anyway I took the higher one for about 2 weeks and started getting painful spots on my face, i put this down to being stressed in university with a heavy work load and didnt even make the relation to biotin. (i have NEVER before this had acne or even suffered with spots etc and im now in my early 20's)
    this acne went on for weeks and the spots really hurt to touch..anyway i stopped buying biotin after 2 months because i saw no diff and i forgot to buy it as i was busy.... then my acne went away.... 2 months later i thought id give it another go after reading more reviews and this time took 3 a day instead of 2... one week later i had boosting acne on my face and everywhere else. this went on for about 6months off and on until i randomly came across a review with a girl saying it made her have acne too! so i stopped taking it.. and then retook it several times to make sure it was that. and everytime i stopped it would go and start again when i took it again. i tried drinking loads of water like some people but still had acne. it DID NOT help my nails in ANY way.

    1. Exactly. Thank you so much for leaving your experience. Every person reacts slightly different to supplements and it's really nice to hear the entire spectrum.

  10. Love my biotin tablets! The pills also include pi, chrome and vitamin c. They're working great on my nails without any skin breaking out. I also take multivitamin that includes zinc. PS. Your blog is so addicting I may fail my course since I've been reading all you're nail hardening and filing posts instead of my cource books :D

    1. Girl, it's just as addicting writing it. Take breaks and read a post or two, otherwise study!!! lol <3

  11. Just found your wonderful blog! I'm learning so much here. I've taken 5 mg. of Biotin for about a year and a half. I had a break-in break-out period (even though I'm in my early 50s!), and my VERY thin, VERY fragile nails are quite a bit stronger now. No miracles, but also no mustache, and I have a lot fewer low tears, which always drove me crazy, waiting for the nail to grow enough to clip it down.

  12. Hi Loodie! Loving your blog -I have recommended it to all my friends. I can't tell you how much I have learn't since I discovered you. I am actually a former beauty therapist, but I think I have learn't more from your blog about nails than 2 years of college!! Anyhow, just wanted to chip in with my views on biotin- I have always loved nails but always been disappointed with my thin, bendy nails that wouldn't grow, despite lots of care. After reading about biotin I decided to give it a go. I have been using 10,000 mcg for nearly 3 months now ( desperation made me try the strongest I could find) and I am really rather impressed. As the new growth moves up my nail, it seems like a supportive base to the rest of my thin nail, with the added bonus that my polish seeems to be lasting at least a week now (I guess because the nail isn't flexing so much). I haven't seen any growth of the dreaded 'tache but I have had some acne (nothing too bad, but my skin is normally quite clear). So far I am really liking the results- I am actually getting growth!! When I have finished my current bottle, I will try the 5000mcg that you mentioned to see if I can get similar results minus the acne, and also reccomend it to my Mum(whose nails are paper thin)