Marie Claire‘s junior beauty editor, Nokubonga Thusi, answers your beauty questions:

Jacqueline Friedman (@JGFWriteDance) asks on Twitter:’Knox, how do I strengthen my nails?’

Having strong, split-resistant nails requires care and maintenance all year long. Now that it’s winter, the chills are definitely starting to wreak havoc on our nails. I believe that having strong nails is less about numerous appointments with your nail technician and more about everyday practices that slowly put strength back into your nails. This is what you need to do to get your nails to grow:

Bring back the moisture: We forget that nails are protein, just like hair, and they both become brittle and split when they lack moisture. Keeping nails hydrated will make them more likely to bend than snap when confronted with harsh conditions. Use a hand cream every day and add extra moisture when you hands feel dry.

Cuticles need love, too: The cuticle and nail bed is where the magic happens. The first signs of discord in your nail situation is when your cuticles start tearing, getting hard or the skin of the nail bed recedes and splits. Use a cuticle oil every day and massage in circular motions into the skin and nails to keep them strong and happy.

Take a break: One thing that kills your nails’ strength is back-to-back nail polish applications. Your nails need a break in between manicures otherwise they start thinning and breaking. Give your nails a day or two rest in between DIY manicures and about a week in between gel manicures. On the days that you have gone bare, apply a few coats of nail strengthener or base coat to protect them.

Always opt for a moisturising or nourishing nail polish remover: Go for removers that have moisturising properties like vitamin E that will help nourish your nail as opposed to the ones that easily remove dark colours as they can be very harsh, drying and damaging to your nails.

Do you have a beauty question for Knox? Tweet us @marieclaire_sa using the hashtag #AskKnox.