As the autumn approaches and the days grow colder, it is more important to take good care of your nails.

Merle Brown, writer of the 5pm Health and Beauty blog, said cold weather can cause nails to become dry or brittle.

Combined with indoor heating, this means nails may be more prone to breaking or chipping, unless they are treated to regular manicures.

She also pointed out that nails tend to grow more slowly in the colder months due to slower circulation and less exercise.

This means that if you're a fan of longer nails, you need to give them the best chance possible to lengthen and remain strong.

Ms Brown recommended leaving the nail polish off for a few days or a week if possible to let the nails breathe.

She also suggested having a manicure once a month and using a good quality hand cream, applied to the nails as well as the skin of the hands.

"Use a good cuticle cream, or oil, and massage it in," she advised. "Use a hand cream - keep it on the desk, and in your handbag."

There are a number of herbal oils, tinctures and drinks that are beneficial for healthy nails, such as Fushi's skin, hair and nails tincture, which supplies silica to the nails to strengthen them and promote cellular regeneration.

Wearing gloves in the winter is another of Ms Brown's tips or healthy nails, as is using a base coat underneath dark and glitter-based polishes.

"Never bite your nails, never cut them unnecessarily and try and keep them at a manageable length with proper filing," she added.

"It's better in winter if they are shorter and rounder, that way they will break less easily."

Posted by Laura Andrews