Trying to keep your nails from breaking is difficult at any time of year, but in winter, it's almost impossible.

During the cold months the elements combine to dry out your nails and make them more brittle, flaky and prone to chips than usual - it's particularly annoying when you want your nails to look pretty for party season.

The good news is, there are several ways to counteract the effects of the cold - and we don't just mean getting back to back gel manicures.

Here, Carla Opoku, founder of cruelty free and vegan nail brand Cienna Rose shares seven top tips to strengthen your nails in winter.

1. Hydrate with an oil

"We use oils on our face, body and hair so why not use them on your nails too?

"Cuticle oils hydrate the cuticle, skin and nail area and as they penetrate deeper, are great at giving brittle nails and dry skin a mega moisture boost."

2. Don't forget your base coat

"Always wear a base coat even if you don't have time for a full on manicure.

"Applying a hydrating and strengthening base coat can prevent nails from peeling and becoming weak but make sure you use a natural formula without any harsh chemicals."

3. Try a nail mask

"Transform tired and brittle nails while you sleep with a treatment such as the the Cienna Rose Overnight Success Revival Mask.

"Combining a synthetic crystalline protein that's super effective at rehydrating and seaweed, a brilliant source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, along with pro vitamin B5.

"Simply paint the treatment onto nails at night and let it work its magic. Rinse clean in the morning with water and voila, healthy and revitalised nails."

4. Give your nails a break

"We all love shiny salon style nails, however gel manicures can really dry out the nails.

5. Exfoliate regularly

"Nails have layers of dead cells that become dehydrated and damaged.

"Exfoliation helps buff away build-up of dead skin and maintain strength and good health.

"Massage a scrub on the surface of your nails in gentle circular motions to smooth and brighten beds."

6. Boost your B vitamins

"Bumpy, ridged nail beds are not a pretty sight and could be caused by a vitamin deficiency.

"Try increasing your vitamin B9 intake, otherwise known as folic acid, which helps repair cells and promote overall nail health.

"Also try boosting your diet with foods like beans and wholegrains that are rich in folic acid."

7. Ditch the acetone

"Acetone packed nail polish removers can be very harsh on nails and can instantly dry them out, leading to splitting and peeling, so go acetone-free.