Ask Carrie – Brittle Nails

brittle nails

Ask your most pressing Midlife Skin Care/Health/Beauty Questions and get answers!

I’m 54 years old and for the past 10 years my fingernails have all but stopped growing. My nails stay stubby, break and peel a lot and no matter what I try, I can’t get them to grow or strengthen. I’ve spent a fortune on high end nail growth treatments and cuticle creams but nothing works. I’m embarrassed at how my hands look now. What’s wrong and how do I fix it?!  Annabelle Q.- Cupertino, CA

As we move through peri menopause and Menopause, our hormones fluctuate-wildly at times. Our body tissues also dry out. I suspect what’s going on with your nails Annabelle, is just that: the normal hormonal shifting of the Menopause process, and all that goes along with it.

Assuming you’ve had a full physical and have ruled out disease processes like hypothyroidism and anemia, and your diet contains adequate amounts of quality protein sources, fats and minerals, this very well may be the root cause of your issue.

Peeling, brittle nails and/or nails that split and break easily (onychorrhexis) are usually a sign of a generalized weakening of the keratin layer, the primary structure of hair and nails.

Treating this issue just topically will do nothing to correct the problem- as you’ve already learned through your frustrating investment in numerous nail growth and strengthening products.  Treating internally is Key. I suggest you consider discussing with your healthcare provider, the addition of a Collagen Hydrolysate powder into your daily diet.

By this, I am NOT referring to one of those gelatinized nail supplement products you can pick up at the drugstore or super market. What I AM referring to is a Kosher, Free Ranged Beef Gelatin that is as Organic as you can possibly get and preferably from grass fed cows.

This type of gelatin actually is absorbed by the body and serves as a metabolic regulator. Because it is of low molecular weight, it can be readily absorbed. It’s also very easy to take!

Given the high amino acid content, this type of gelatinized Collagen helps connective tissues repair. Your skin, hair and nails are part of those connective tissues and will greatly benefit from the nutrient support found in Collagen Hydrolysate.

This type of Collagen is also the exact same type found in cartilage and bone, so as you improve your nail health this way (should you choose to take such a supplement) you are actually improving and supporting your joint and sinew health as well. This culminates in less pain and stiffness overall.

Aside from this, always wearing rubber gloves when washing dishes and cleaning, keeping your body properly hydrated and also nourished with healthy fats, and keeping a coat of clear polish on your nails will help them repair and begin to strengthen and grow again. You will also find your hair texture improving with the addition of Collagen Hydrolysate.

Another thing to consider: investing in an At Home Paraffin Bath for your hands. Use this once per week to help boost hydration in the skin of your hands and cuticles and also to help protect and seal the nails.

Should you purchase a brand of Collagen Hydrolysate, be sure to follow the instructions for dosage as per the container, or as instructed by your MD/ND. You can purchase this supplement online at Amazon and other online vitamin retailers like VitaCost or you can find some at your local Health store.

I’ve been using Collagen for several months now and my nails are stronger than they’ve been in years.

I hope this info helps you! Thanks so much for writing in with your question.

(If you have a skin health or beauty question for Carrie please email her directly:  She’s looking forward to hearing from you!)

carrie pierceHealth and Beauty has been Carrie E. Pierce’s career focus for over 28 years. Throughout her career, Carrie has served as: Guest and Corporate Makeup Artist for numerous major, international cosmetic companies and as a Hollywood film, TV and special effects makeup artist. She’s provided skin care and makeup services for the fashion industry, as well as restorative make up procedures for burn and scar patients, cancer patients, domestic violence survivors and women suffering with self-esteem issues.  Carrie is a licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, Menopause Skin Care Specialist, Author, Public Speaker and served as co host of the syndicated radio show ‘Magnificent Menopause & Beyond©’. It’s her mission and her passion to help women be the best they can be – especially as they move through Midlife! Find out more


Carrie Pierce
Author: Carrie Pierce

Carrie Pierce has worked exclusively in the Health, Beauty and Entertainment industries for over 30 years. She’s a Licensed Aesthetician, Certified Color Analyst, former Hollywood Film and TV Makeup Artist, syndicated Radio Talk Show Host and a published Author, specializing in Midlife Health and Beauty issues. It’s Carrie’s mission -and her passion- to help make Midlife the very best it can be- for women and men everywhere!

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